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Career Exploration Through Joan Hinde Stewart Program


Named for Hamilton’s 19th president, the Joan Hinde Stewart Career Development Program (JHS) provides four-year career development support to a select group of students with significant financial need.  This summer, a number of students involved in the program are exploring career interests at internships in a range of professional fields.  

Elaine Yip ’21, who was involved in the program throughout her four years at Hamilton, is working as a research assistant in the lab of Nobel Prize-winning virologist Charles Rice at The Rockefeller University. She is studying flavivirus pathogenesis, a role she described as her “dream post-grad job or research topic” due to her desire to pursue a career in virology.

“Through the JHS program, I did biology research with Professor of Biology Wei-Jen Chang, some ambulance ride-alongs, biology research at Washington University in St. Louis, and math research with Assistant Professor of Mathematics Jose Ceniceros,” Yip said. “I also connected with several physician-scientist alumni through the program, which is my career goal.”

Ariana Wheeler ’23 is an undergraduate fellow at the Truman Center for National Policy, a national security think tank with some 2,000 members nationwide. Her daily tasks, she said, include “designing merchandise, data entry, putting together curriculum and information for an incoming class of members, collecting dues, and really anything that other members of the team need.”

Last summer, Wheeler was involved with several other JHS internships, providing her with a diverse and valuable range of professional experience. All the same, she is glad to now be focusing on a single position. “It’s really nice to have direct exposure to individuals in the field I one day hope to pursue,” she explained. “I am so grateful for this opportunity, and can’t wait to see what else is in store for the summer.”

Denzel Capellan ’22 is an analytical science intern at FICO, where his role is to analyze trends in FICO Score data and draw insights from them. A recent project, he said, consisted of looking at the FICO Resilience Index — which “measures a consumer’s economic resilience to downturns in the economy” — in order to ensure that the model remained effective during the pandemic.

Though Capellan came across the FICO position through another program, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, he highlighted the importance of several courses and professors in teaching him vital skills and information. “The public policy and statistics courses that I’ve taken at Hamilton have prepared me the most for [the FICO job],” he said. “I’ve used so much from those courses in my current role.”

Other JHS program students include Adam Valencia ’22, a software engineering intern at DoorDash; Cicille Dan-Morton ’24, a political affairs intern for the Borgen Project; and Grace Woolson ’21, a software engineer at MathWorks. 

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