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Practical Experience Given to Interns at Purdue Technology Center

Six firms at the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana are providing working experience to students who attend Indiana colleges, including Purdue's West Lafayette campus and Purdue University Calumet.

Balanced IT Solutions, HealthCall LLC, Identitylogix, Next Wave Systems LLC, the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana and SAIC hired 11 interns for the summer. The internships are funded through a grant from the Dean & Barbara White Family Foundation Inc. of Merrillville.

"The foundation awarded $100,000 to support the internship program over the course of five to six semesters," said Kathy DeGuilio-Fox, director of the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana. "It gives each of the students about 400 hours of experience working with an established company this summer, and it helps the interns gain practical experience that builds upon what they have learned in the classroom."

The interns, their colleges and hometowns include: Anna Bremer, Purdue University, Valparaiso, Ind.; Nathan Fast, Indiana Wesleyan University, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Brian Havlisch, Valparaiso University, Northville, Mich.; Patrick Kozlowski, Purdue University Calumet, Munster, Ind.; Lauren Legler, Purdue University, Schererville, Ind.; William Milhans, Valparaiso University, Milwaukee; Ryan Miller, Purdue University, Munster, Ind.; Ivan Smith-Garcia, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Ind.; Michael Weber, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Schererville, Ind.; John Welch, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind.; and Yaqi Zhao, Purdue University Calumet, Beijing, China.

"I'm learning to write computer code in the field," said Miller, who interns at Identitylogix, a high-tech computer security company. "I'm also learning about different aspects of the business world, which I don't get in the classroom. If the internship program weren't available, it would be difficult to get this type of experience."

Interns also are exposed to different opportunities within their academic fields.

Bremer, who will graduate with a doctorate in pharmacy, records and enters data on more than 64,000 pharmaceutical codes for HealthCall.

"There are many different career paths available to a person with a pharmacy degree," she said. "These industry codes are areas of pharmacy that I couldn't have explored if I worked somewhere else this summer."

The internship program at the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana also benefits firms and the Indiana economy.

"The interns provide a fresh perspective," said Daniel Hayes, CEO of HealthCall. "They are learning the latest information in their fields. Having that insight in our office has been very helpful."

Eric Dahlen of Balanced IT Solutions said, "If interns help businesses grow, there will be new jobs available for new graduates. It is beneficial for interns to know that high-tech jobs are located in Indiana."

About Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana

Modeled after West Lafayette's Purdue Research Park flagship incubator that is owned and operated by Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana is located on 386 acres west of I-65 in Merrillville. This laboratory and office facility serves as the anchor for the state-certified technology park - Ameriplex at the Crossroads - under development by Purdue Research Foundation and Holladay Properties.

The 48,000-square-foot center is slated to expand to 60,000 square feet in 2009. It opened as Purdue's first satellite technology center in 2005 and currently serves 14 technology-based tenants, five additional tenants and nine technology-based affiliate companies. Employment within the center currently numbers approximately 100, including researchers with advanced degrees, recent college graduates and interns.

Visit the Purdue Research Park on the web at http://www.purdueresearchpark.com.

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