Entry Point! is an internship program that recruits and refers students with disabilities to government agencies, industry, and university research programs, for paid, 10-week, summer experiences. As the signature program of the AAAS Project on Science, Technology and Disability, Entry Point! was created in response to the realization that college students with disabilities, with strong academic records, were not easily reaching the employment end of the science and engineering pathway.
Internships have proven to be the gateway to showcasing talent and leading to full employment in a science or engineering field.
From 1996-2016, over 600 undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities participated in summer internships with 85% of alums having entered STEM careers.
Anna Krauss participated in the EnryPoint! program with a 10-week intership at Mayo Clinc | Anna Krauss
“I had the extraordinary opportunity to be a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (SURF) at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) this summer, reflected Anna Kraus, a rising senior at the Rochester Institute of Technology. “My researched focused on characterizing two lines of genetically modified zebrafish with the objective of modeling Pendred syndrome, a form of congenital deafness. I had many opportunities to network and explore the professional community of Mayo Clinic.”
During her internship, Krauss was able to work closely with working professionals at Mayo Clinic who are experts in the field. As an undergraduate who had never been in the world of research before, the experience proved to be invaluable. While challenging, the SURF program seemed appropriately paced as to make sure the educational aspect of the work was not left behind
“My internship was a mixture of training in research techniques and developing the independence to decide the direction of my project. The Office for Diversity was extremely accommodating. I was astounded by their flexibility and willingness to provide accommodations that fit my unique needs as a deaf individual. It is because of the accessibility they provided that I was able to excel and gain maximum benefit from my experience as an intern.”
With the support of her mentors from the SURF program, Krauss hopes to return to Mayo Graduate School to pursue her Ph.D. following graduation. She hopes to incorporate the Mayo standard in her career and become an influential deaf professional.
“I am so grateful to Entry Point! for connecting me with this unique opportunity. SURF has been an enlightening experience and helped to affirm my aspirations as a researcher. As a student with a disability, Entry Point! has been invaluable in helping me achieve my dreams.”