Biology Internships

Internships (paid or volunteer) provide opportunities to gain valuable experience.  All students are required to complete an internship as part of their program of study. Goshen College students participate in a diverse range of internships that help them test their career interests.

Check out these recent examples:

Maple Scholars program

“I participated in the Maple Scholars program with Dr. Neil Detweiler. I extracted small pulmonary arteries from cow lungs and exposed the vessels to lower intracellular and extracellular pH. The vessels were tied on a cannula found on a vessel perfusion chamber. After solutions were poured into the chamber, vessel changes were recorded by a camera that was on a dissection microscope. We found that lower intracellular pH causes vasoconstriction, and lower extracellular pH causes vasodilation. We found it surprising to see opposing responses in the intracellular and extracellular compartments. Further research is required to identify which effect dominates in vivo and what ion channels are responsible for the effects.” – Rediet Delelegne

Center for Civic Innovation

“I worked with Notre Dame’s Center for Civic Innovation with the Elkhart Catalyst summer internship program. This internship was entirely virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions. I was assigned to two projects. My full-time project involved creating an informative website about waste and recycling for the City of Elkhart. My fellow interns and I released two surveys to gather information of what to emphasize on our website. We then created a website that will be integrated into the city’s MyElkhart311 app. My side project involved designing an educational rain garden with university interns for the Tolson Center. We designed a layout of native plants and educational signs. Both projects were a valuable learning experience that involved working with people across disciplines.” – Lisa Nalliah

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary

“I completed an internship at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion, IN. Black Pine is a sanctuary, not a zoo, meaning that they do not buy, sell, breed, or trade any of their animals. The animal residents are rescued from a variety of backgrounds including roadside zoos, hoarding situations, private owners, and circuses. When they arrive at Black Pine, they remain there for the rest of their lives. I cared for several large and small cats including a lioness, a cougar, tigers, and an Asian spotted leopard. Black Pine is also home to bears, wolves, foxes, and a variety of birds, reptiles, and primates. Interning at Black Pine helped me discover that a job in animal care is extremely intense, but improving the lives of the animals and building relationships with them makes it even more rewarding.”                – Ruby Meyer 

Marine Sponge Restoration research

“I worked with Dr. Mark Butler and graduate students from Old Dominion University at the JN Roth Marine Biology Station in Layton, FL. I aided in various research projects, one of which was sponge restoration. I’m holding a loggerhead sponge to be moved to a new site. Other projects included coral-crab interactions, lobster aging, and the marine soundscape.” – Max Burkholder

Springer Dental Care

“I completed my internship with Dr. Troy Springer of Springer Dental Care. I had the opportunity to observe many different dental procedures such as fillings, crowns, extractions, bone grafts, and root canals. The highlight of the internship was a denture procedure involving bone grafting.  Dr. Springer was a great role model to learn from, and he strengthened my overall passion for dentistry.” – Steven Horsch


Turtle Research

“I surveyed Blanding’s turtles at Merry Lea Environmental Center and analyzed the resident turtle populations for their diet selectivity. We used radio telemetry equipment to track six Blanding’s turtles throughout the summer season. I designed a 4-week experiment to analyze turtle diet in Blanding’s, Snapping, and Painted turtles, which involved checking ring net traps on a daily basis in multiple wetland sites across the property. I also assisted with other project such as helping establish a long-term salamander monitoring program and assessing how habitat edge effects impact small mammal populations.” – Liam Elias

Cancer Research at Penn State

“I worked in Dr. Gail Matters’ lab at the Penn State College of Medicine studying pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). My research was to investigate the cell-cell communication within the extracellular matrix through the cholecystokinin (CCK) receptor. The goal is to reduce the fibrotic microenvironment around PDAC tumors to improve the delivery of chemotherapy drugs and imaging agents for earlier tumor detection.” – Delphin Monga



City of Elkhart Aquatic Biology program


“I interned with the City of Elkhart’s Aquatic Biology program as part of the stream survey team. We did fish surveys throughout the St. Joseph watershed using electrofishing. The data we collected is part of a longitudinal study with data collected annually for the past 20 years. Most of our time was spent in the field collecting fish, identifying them, and recording length and weight. We also gave presentations to local school groups and day camps about the importance of rivers and fish diversity.”  – Skye McKinnell

Biochemistry Research at Illinois State University


“I conducted research in the Department of Chemistry at Illinois State University during my internship. The research in the lab focused on chemical pathways involved in the formation, maintenance, and function of cell membranes. My specific research focused on the pathways involving the enzymes pyrophosphatase and choline kinase. I was able to learn 31P-NMR  and protein expression and purification procedures.” – Josh Friesen


Science Education: ETHOS


“I worked at ETHOS Innovation Center in Elkhart, Indiana. ETHOS is a hands-on children’s discovery museum that focuses on the sciences. The museum is open to field trips from surrounding area schools through the week and to the public every third Saturday of the month. My role during these times was to showcase the animals in our “Critter Corner” and educate visitors with fun facts. I would answer questions and allow them to pet some of the animals. This was a great opportunity to spread knowledge and wonder.”  – McKinzi Vega


Hopedale Medical Complex

“My internship took place at the Hopedale Medical Complex of Hopedale, Illinois. I spent most of my time in their hospital and emergency room, where I worked as a unit clerk. My internship had me working the “background” of the hospital, assisting the doctors and nurses to make sure they could provide care effectively. Some of the tasks I regularly did included: entering orders from the doctors electronically so that blood work could be collected or radiology could be performed; maintaining paper charts of each patient, ensuring that all patient information was up to date and appropriately organized; and logging records of patients that had come in and out of the hospital and emergency room. I also occasionally cleaned and remade rooms for new patients or assisted with patient care by passing meal trays. When I wasn’t in the hospital, I was working and shadowing in multiple other parts of the complex, including the nursing home, laboratory, and the physical therapy/rehab clinic.” – Jonah King

Tallgrass Prairie Grazing Research

“My internship was working with the prairies on campus, at Merry Lea, and at Little Bluestem Farm as part of the Tallgrass Prairie Grazing Project. We collected various data to test for the separate and combined ecological effects of burning and cattle grazing management practices. I collected plant composition data through quadrat sampling techniques in the treatment plots, as well as soil samples to test for physical and chemical properties of the different treatments and bordering non-prairie areas. Additionally, I got to help with the prairie burnings in the spring of 2021 and to move the cattle through their grazing sequence for a few weeks in the summer.”
– Josie Strader