Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Virginia Tech Creates Haiti Intern Program

By WSLS News Staff

BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech is helping students in Haiti, following the devastating earthquake earlier this year.

The university set up an intern program for Haitian students, in partnership with the Haitian Education and Leadership Program (H.E.L.P.) and up to five Haitian universities, according to a news release from Tech provost Marck McNamee.

The program will bring 20 Haitian undergraduate students, who are at the senior thesis stage, to Blacksburg for one semester during the next school year (2010-2011), through Tech’s existing J-1 “intern” visa program. The interns will complete their undergraduate thesis projects at Tech.

McNamee says, “This program will focus primarily on academic areas and projects that can generate solutions to Haiti’s immediate problems, such as agriculture, computer science, engineering, entrepreneurship, and forestry,“ so it will have the “greatest impact” on Haiti’s rebuilding effort.

He adds that up to five junior faculty members of the Haitian universities involved, will also take part in the program to enhance their research and teaching skills.

McNamee estimates the direct cost of the program at $100,000, and says financial help from the community is needed.

Source: WSLS

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