Meet the winners of the 2020 Graduate Student Internship Fellowship

by Vash Doshi, Graduate Career Peer
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 4:00 PM

Internships can unlock countless opportunities for graduate students to develop job skills that cannot be gained through their graduate studies, but are nonetheless crucial to their career success. UC Santa Barbara's Graduate Student Internship Fellowship assists graduate students with attaining experience related to career goals and professional development. This funding is made possible through the GSA referendum fees and additional support from the Graduate Division, under the leadership of Career Services. 

This spring, Albert Ventayol-Boada (PhD student in the Linguistics Department), Amanda Pinheiro de Oliveira (PhD student in the Global Studies Department), Chongzheng Wei (PhD student in the Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology Department), Estefanía Pihen González (PhD student in the Gervitz School of Education), Kate Zheng (PhD student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department), and Melissa Janson (PhD student in the Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology Department) were each awarded the 2020 Graduate Student Internship Fellowship. Read on to learn how the six awardees will be gaining new skills in exciting positions at their internships! 

Albert Ventayol-Boada

Albert will be the Linguistics and IT intern with The Language Conservancy in Bloomington, IN, a nonprofit dedicated to working with communities to revitalize endangered languages in North America. As a person who is passionate about a career at the intersection of language revitalization and technology, this internship will help Albert acquire the skills and hands-on experience in that exact field. He is looking forward to learning mobile app programming for language learning and UX/UI design. He hopes that this internship will inform the direction of his professional careers such that he can tailor the remainder of his graduate studies toward that end. 

Amanda Pinheiro de Oliveira

Amanda is looking forward to being the Asylum-Seeking Processing intern with Instituto Madre Assunta, a shelter in Tijuana providing dignified assistance to women and children who have been displaced after deportation from the United States or are migrating from central Mexico. While there, she hopes to learn how to navigate the governmental process of refugee settlement, and how to access and analyze data on migration/refugee settlement on a global level. This internship aligns with her long term goals of working with global and local NGOs and government agencies to be able to observe the “real life” applications of the theories she has learnt in graduate school. She hopes that by “being on the ground” this internship will help her renew her energy to finish the dissertation.

Chongzheng Wei

Chongzheng will be the Education Program Officer for the Gay and Lesbian Campus Association of China (GLCAC), a Chinese NGO that focuses on LGBT youth and gender equality education. He is looking forward to working closely with Chinese LGBTQ activists, education training facilitators as well as teachers. He is excited to be developing a manual about gender-inclusive anti-bullying education in China, including relevant polices, teaching methodologies, lesson plans, and best practices. He hopes that the manual will serve as an essential tool to raise the awareness of gender-inclusive anti-bullying education among Chinese educators, and to advocate for policy changes when working with government officials. This opportunity will further his long term career goal of promoting gender equality in Chinese education institutions and to apply his research findings into creating social changes.

Estefanía Pihen González

Estefanía will be the Accreditation Process Consultant for local schools with Long Way Home, a nonprofit that is helping rural community schools in Guatemala receive government accreditation. She looks forward to designing and implementing an accredited educational program for schools in areas that have survived genocide and civil war, and are now are attempting to develop a curriculum for their community that merges democracy, social equity, and environmental stewardship. She also expects to gain experience in working with governmental regulations and academic standards. This internship is in lockstep with her long term career goal of becoming an authority in this specialized field of education that merges eco-literacy and ecological agency. 

Kate Zheng

Kate is excited to be the Technical Writing & Project Management Intern at Vascular BioSciences, a biopharmaceutical and medical device company with a focus on developing solutions for difficult-to-treat cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. She is looking forward to working at the forefront of science in a non-academic setting and being a part of an effort for COVID-19 treatment development. She is also looking forward to exploring roles outside of the lab and learning the business of a pharmaceutical company. She hopes to learn more about the clinical trial and FDA policies. This internship gives her a chance to use her academic knowledge and skills in the real world and will go a long way in helping her chart her career in the industry after graduation.

Melissa Janson

Melissa is going to be the Psychology Trainee at the Children’s Clinic of Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness. She is excited about this internship because it will provide her with the opportunity to work with underserved children and families within Santa Barbara county while providing mental health services. This internship allows her to acquire real world experience working with a population she is deeply passionate about. She hopes to learn a variety of treatment modalities to provide high-quality therapy to underserved families in need, and conduct psychological assessments. She is looking forward to helping her future clients, while also expanding her own knowledge.


Congratulations again to all of the recipients! We wish these interns a wonderful experience and look forward to checking back in with them at the conclusion of their work to see what they learned. Stay tuned! 

If you are interested in learning how you can get a graduate-level internship, come speak with a career counselor