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Former DC3 Student Selected for Summer Internship

Published April 15, 2024

Julian Chavez, a former Dodge City Community College (DC3) student from Dodge City, has been selected for a paid summer research program, which seeks to find equitable pathways to community disaster resilience, with a focus on social equity.

The internship, which is organized by the U.S. National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), is an immersive, interdisciplinary team-based research experience. Split between three universities around the state—Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, and Wichita State University—the program will run from May 28-Aug. 9.

Chavez, who found out about the internship opportunity through the DC3 Student Achievement and Resources Center (SARC), will be spending his summer at Wichita State working with experienced professionals in the areas of computer, electrical, and manufacturing engineering.

“I was approached by one of the academic coaches at the SARC, Aneth Morales, a close friend and associate,” he said. “She came to me on a whim. I read the flier taking note of how well their criteria matched my circumstances, and I decided to give it a shot.”

To be eligible for the internship, applicants must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program and preferably have completed at least two years of college coursework (or an associate degree). And community college students, like Chavez, also must plan to enroll at a four-year college after they finish their two-year degrees.

“It’s so cool to me to finally get a taste of my life’s dream of being an engineer,” he said. “I’m also excited to make connections with others in my field.”

Morales said she also is excited that Chavez was selected for the opportunity because he has a natural disposition for new experiences that place him in areas where he can leave a lasting impact.

“Julian is extremely observant, applies himself well, and is an excellent critical thinker. As a result of these highly-developed skills, he is capable of processing information fast and efficiently,” she said. “His regard for analysis and self-reflection improves the lives of those around him because he challenges them to consider possibilities they may not have considered before.”

Following his summer internship, Chavez plans to attend Wichita State, working toward a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

“I really learned to appreciate the people in my life this year,” he said. “If not for them I wouldn’t be here. They continue to educate, motivate, and love me. The greatest wealth lies in those who lift us higher.”

By Lance Ziesch
DC3 Assistant Director of Marketing and Community Relations

Photo by Lakin Scheck