This summer, CCI partnered with the City of South Bend (COSB) Engineering department to offer a unique internship opportunity. After several years of mentoring CCI summer intern projects, City EngineerKara Boyles and project engineer Rebecca Plantz partnered with the CCI team to design an embedment model that offered a more well-rounded internship experience.. This model gave five interns hired by the City’s Engineering department the opportunity to work at the County City building on tasks such as daily inspections, data mapping, and creating a storm water quality report. In addition to their experience with the City, interns also received professional development, networking, project management support, and mentorship through CCI.
The interns - who include Notre Dame Environmental Engineering students John Keenan ( ‘21), Isaiah Murrell-Thomas ( ‘22) and Marilyn Zizumbo ( ‘22), Western Michigan University Civil Engineering student Dakota Emerson ( ‘23), and University of Minnesota-Duluth recent Chemical Engineering graduate Jonathan Lanari (‘21) - worked on a traffic calming project in the Rum Village neighborhood. In addition to Kara Boyles and Rebecca Plantz, interns received guidance from assistant city engineer Leslie Biek and project engineers Charlotte Bach and Finn Cavanaugh.
Throughout the eight weeks the team facilitated two community meetings, collected and analyzed traffic data, and created and presented a traffic calming proposal to the City of South Bend Engineering department. The proposal was reviewed by the City’s engineering team to determine future traffic calming implementations in the Rum Village Neighborhood. “The new collaboration for summer internships between the City of South Bend and CCI allowed for more hands-on opportunities and real-world experience for the students,” said City Engineer Kara Boyles. “Not only were they able to spearhead a traffic calming project for a neighborhood but they were also able to develop project management and leadership skills through training offered by the CCI.”
The embedment model gave students an opportunity to receive technical assistance and guidance while also receiving training and support related to community engagement. “The engineers at the COSB exposed me to engineering in the real world while CCI offered a more humanitarian point of view which then gave me the unique experience of learning how to incorporate the two together in a way that would best help the Rum Village community,'' said Murrell-Thomas.