Summer Internship Opportunities 

The Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health is offering training opportunities for students and community members interested in developing skills and deepening knowledge of community systems science for environmental health equity. The training will advance capacity in one or more of the Center’s focal areas related to (1) community-engagement for environmental justice; (2) ecological, systems, and computational methodologies; and (3) implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of environmental health interventions. Over eight weeks, interns will be immersed in engaging and thought-provoking experiences to enhance awareness of and skills to address the environment’s disparate impact on communities and populations. 

In this 10-week program, interns will take part in professional development opportunities by working alongside Center team members and through engagement in a weekly colloquium to foster praxis, reflection, and technical skill building. Interns are selected to work on one or more specific projects throughout their internship based on Swetland Center needs. Interns are expected to work with research project staff 20 hours per week and will receive a monthly stipend of $1,200 (Total = $2,400).

Image of Swetland Internship flyer


*This cycle is currently CLOSED.


Important Dates:

Application Closes: February 14, 2020 (5pm EST)
Interviews Begin: February 18, 2020
Candidates Notified of Acceptance: March 6, 2020
Internship: May 26-July 31, 2020


Description of 4 Available Positions:
Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health:

The Swetland Center is engaging in a strategic planning process to enhance its current research agenda while maintaining current and developing new partnerships with organizations, CWRU departments and residents throughout Cleveland.

There is one (1) internship opportunity with specific focus in advancing the Swetland Center. The intern will assist the Director of Operations & Partnerships in evaluating the Center’s progress in fostering multidisciplinary and community-engaged research opportunities focused on understanding and eliminating environmental health disparities. Key responsibilities include mixed-method data gathering and analysis to suggest improvement strategies for strengthening research capacity building and community engagement. 

Candidates should have acute attention to detail, strong communication skills, and exhibit passion about environmental health equity research.

Building Capacity for Obesity Prevention Project (BCOP): 

BCOP was developed in 2014 as a partnership between CWRU, The Ohio State University SNAP-Ed Program, and the Ohio Department of Public Health Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) Program. The project has developed a web-based tool to support SNAP-Ed and CHC practitioners as they develop, implement, and sustain community nutrition interventions in urban and rural areas throughout Ohio in four key areas - farmers’ markets, farm to school, healthy eating in childcare, and healthy food retail. 
There is one (1) internship opportunity with Building Capacity for Obesity Prevention Project (BCOP). Under general supervision, the intern will assist the BCOP research team with improving the usability, reach, and adoption of the PSE READI assessment tools to guide implementation of policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) interventions and dissemination of project evaluation findings. Key responsibilities of a potential intern may include: 1) participation in mixed-method data collection to develop a school-based PSE area and assess user feedback; 2) maintenance of recruitment and marketing processes (i.e. email, fliers via Canva, and Twitter via Hootsuite) for BCOP’s online decision support tools. Interns may also assist with maintenance of an online compendium of resources (i.e. guides, toolkits, and websites), literature reviews, and other BCOP study-related tasks as necessary. 

Candidates should be comfortable with collecting qualitative data (i.e. interviews and/or focus groups), working collaboratively with research team and project partners, be driven to work through challenges and problem solving, organized, and possess exceptional time management skills.

Ohio Produce Perks Statewide Evaluation:

This evaluation project is funded by the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program that was established by the 2014 Farm Bill to incentivize the purchase of fruits and vegetables by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit recipients. FINI is collaboratively administered by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 

CWRU's role in FINI is to evaluate Produce Perks, Ohio's nutrition incentive program, in both retail (grocery store) and farmers' market settings. Evaluation of Produce Perks includes routinely working with data to help guide programmatic decisions and gauge gaps related to implementation of the program. 

There is one (1) internship opportunity with the Ohio Produce Perks Statewide Evaluation. Under general supervision, the intern will assist the team with research-based evaluation processes, such as interviews with stakeholders, focus groups of SNAP recipients, or an audit, at all retail locations offering Produce Perks. Key responsibilities for this position include qualitative data coding and analysis using AtlasTI or NVivo software. The intern should be comfortable using quantitative data management software, such as SAS, and conducting basic analyses. Should the intern assist with conducting interviews or focus groups, training will be provided by research team. The intern should possess the following skills: attention to detail, ability to work independently and as a team (in a rapidly evolving project), highly motivated, comfortable with taking initiative to tackling challenges/solving problems, self-directed, organized, and comfortable interacting with diverse populations. Knowledge of GIS (i.e. ArcMap) programs and software is not required, but beneficial.

Modeling the Future of Food in Your Neighborhood Study (foodNEST 2.0): 

The Modeling the Future of Food in Your Neighborhood Study (foodNEST 2.0) works to develop strategies that can help guide decision making around efforts to make food systems in the city of Cleveland more equitable. Cleveland is one of the largest urban agriculture cities in the country and has one of the oldest and most successful food policy coalitions. Nonetheless, nearly two out of three Clevelanders live in neighborhoods with limited access to full-service supermarkets and experience extensive inequities in economic opportunities and health status. The study examines key changes to local food systems, such as supermarket expansion, healthy-eating marketing campaigns, or emergency food assistance programs, in order to develop models that can be used in low-income neighborhoods to build equitable food systems and community health. These computational models will reflect interdependencies among different actors and interventions influencing local food system dynamics in low-resource neighborhoods. 

There is one (1) internship opportunity with The Modeling the Future of Food in Your Neighborhood Study (foodNEST 2.0). Working under general supervision, the intern will in the translation of the foodNEST 2.0’s complex decision support tool to four Cleveland neighborhoods. Key responsibilities for this position include assisting with data gathering to better understand the neighborhood context for dissemination of the decision support tools through engagement in neighborhood meetings, interviews with neighborhood leaders, and observations in the neighborhoods; and, contributing to the development of “how to” materials to support use of the decision support tool by diverse lay audiences. The intern will have an opportunity to work with other researchers in the Center, gain valuable public health and fieldwork experience, and develop relationships in this interactive and collaborative discipline.

Undergraduate or graduate student candidates should have strong communication skills and previous experience working with diverse populations. Though knowledge of statistical programs and software is not required, candidates must exhibit value of community-based public health work.