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2022 Kessler Scholars Get Startup Summer Internships


The College of Engineering’s 2022 cohort Kessler Fellows program has successfully accepted internship offers at startups across the country, doing innovative work ranging from modern beekeeping to designer jewelry subscriptions.

Open to any first-year undergraduate student at Cornell University, the Kessler Fellows program gives students with a passion for entrepreneurship the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of day-to-day work for a startup.

Fully funded through the generosity of Andrew Kessler ’80, Kessler Fellows receive a weekly stipend that allows them to spend the summer focusing on their full-time internship. Fellows also receive personalized mentorship and guidance from Cornell Engineering Entrepreneurs in residence throughout the spring semester when they take courses in entrepreneurship as they search for a startup that matches their passions and values.

Meet the 2022 Kessler Scholars and learn about their summer internships:

  • Ave Kludze ’23 (biomedical engineering) is on an internship at GRO Biosciencesa biotech company expanding the amino acid alphabet to overcome the limitations of therapeutic proteins.

  • Dawn Zee ’23 (human development) is interning at Simplifieda telehealth company that provides virtual breastfeeding and baby feeding support fully supported by health insurance.

  • Elizabeth Madamidola ’23 (Global and Public Health Sciences) is interning at Health wardsa platform that brings together trusted clinicians, wellness practitioners and brands to meet customers’ long-term health needs.

  • Jacob Ritter ’23 (communication) is on an internship at Evteka technology company that is reinventing recycling by radically improving the collection, identification and refund system through machine learning.

  • Jordan Roth ’23 (food science) is on an internship at UBEESa company that combines traditional beekeeping expertise with innovative science and technology to reduce bee mortality rates and support the beekeeping industry.

  • Kendall Hoffman ’23 (Information Science and Environment and Sustainable Development) is interning at Schoolectroa startup working to create cleaner, cheaper and more scalable green hydrogen to decarbonize the economy

  • Max Clouser ’23 (hotel administration and IT) is on an internship at Roll the worldan online travel marketplace that allows people with disabilities to book accessible travel experiences, including accommodations, tours and activities.

  • Michael Hansan ’23 (industrial and labor relations) is on an internship at Heimdala startup developing a scalable and affordable solution for direct airborne carbon capture.

  • Phillip Teixeira DaSilva ’23 (Food Science and Applied Economics and Management) is on an internship at Food.partnersa company that helps independent, co-operative and small-to-medium sized businesses develop, manage and expand their hospitality, food and beverage businesses in a flexible and financially sustainable way.

  • Sanna Vedrine ’23 (chemical engineering) is on an internship at Transaeraa startup developing a new class of affordable, energy efficient and sustainable cooling systems.

  • Somil Aggarwal ’22 (IT) is on internship at We3a web3 professional network for women and non-binary people who bond through learning, investing, and accessing financial opportunities together to achieve freedom, independence, and joy.

  • Tewodros Mitiku ’23 (IT) is on an internship at Flatteninga platform that provides developers with the tools to create and manipulate custom development environments optimized for end-to-end prototyping and testing in the blockchain space.

  • Yunhan Chen ’23 (hotel administration) is on an internship at TO CHANGEan online platform that allows members to access designer jewelry through a subscription service.

Several fellows will work with Cornell-affiliated startups, including Zee’s internship at SimpliFed, founded by Cornell alumnus and speaker Andrea Ippolito, BS ’06, MEng ’07, and Hoffman’s internship with Ecolectro, a startup founded by Cornell who is deeply committed to the Cornell Clean Energy Ecosystem.

“Through the Kessler Fellowship, I hope to learn valuable skills and gain hands-on experience through a culture and community of innovation that cannot be found in a traditional company,” Hoffman said. “I hope to learn from an inspiring, mission-driven team and surround myself with people who share my passionate commitment to a common goal.”

When Kessler Scholars return to campus in the fall after completing their internships, they will present their experiences, lessons learned, and future plans to their peers and mentors.

“This cohort of Kessler Scholars have used all the benefits of this program and prepared for an incredible summer,” said Alex Hagen, program director. “On average, each student had the choice between three internship offers, which allowed them to choose the one that suited them best on a personal and professional level. I’m very excited for the recap in the fall where they will share their experiences with us as well as their plans for the future.

Applications for the 2022-23 cohort of Kessler Scholars will open in the fall for any Cornell junior with an interest in entrepreneurship. Learn more about the Kessler Fellows program and summer travel for fellows on the Cornell Engineering website.