Four students from Longwood University’s College of Business and Economics have been selected to participate in an all-expenses-paid research internship at Carnegie Mellon University this summer.

Nick Baragar of Virginia Beach, Hannah Flaherty of Springfield, Ben Peters of Amherst and George Werbacher of Fredericksburg will travel to Pittsburgh in June as fellows in Carnegie Mellon’s highly competitive ITLAB Internship program, which is open to rising seniors pursuing STEM-related undergraduate degrees from ITLAB’s 12 partner institutions. All four students are completing BSBA degrees with a concentration in information systems and security.

"The Information Systems program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College ranks among the most prestigious in the world," said Peters.

The internship program, which concludes in August, will provide Peters and the other participants the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research projects directed by Carnegie Mellon faculty, who are world-renowned experts in their fields, and to take two courses. Research projects will focus on areas including urban systems, digital entertainment analytics, healthcare IT and data privacy. Students also develop technical skills and novel ways of applying technology to business problems.

The Longwood students competed for the opportunity with students from other universities, including Brigham Young and Emory universities. Dr. Randall Boyle, associate professor of information systems and security at Longwood, said the outstanding training his students receive made Longwood’s applicants for the program stand out.

"Longwood students discover that the extensive applied focus of their technical training sets them apart from their counterparts at other schools," he said. "Our students have a technical skill set that is much more extensive than other top IS programs."

Participating in the program will give the Longwood students a competitive edge in applying to graduate school. Students in the ITLAB program interact daily with the directors of Carnegie Mellon’s information systems graduate program. If they prove their worth, their chances of being admitted to a graduate program at Carnegie Mellon will be greatly improved. Carnegie Mellon’s graduate program in information systems is currently ranked No. 2 in the country behind Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The fellowships provided by Carnegie Mellon include a stipend of $3,500, plus a meal allowance, round-trip airfare to Pittsburgh, university housing, tuition for two courses, all required books and related course materials, and access to all of Carnegie Mellon’s facilities.

Longwood’s College of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB International and has a required internship program.

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