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Foundation Updates

Meet the Summer Interns of MJFF

MJFF's summer Interns sitting around the table in a conference room.

Every year, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) champions an internship program — where a motivated group of hardworking all-star students and graduates become part of MJFF’s mission to accelerate a cure for Parkinson’s disease. This summer, they had one of their largest classes ever, with 19 interns working with teams across the Foundation.

As a theatre performance and psychology double major at the University of Kansas, I joined the Communications and Content Strategy team to gain knowledge and experience in the non-profit world while also learning more about New York City, where I someday hope to move and pursue a career in acting. My favorite project at MJFF was meeting and learning more about some of the other interns who are part of the program, so I could write this story.

  • Advancement/Special Events

    Marissa Vargas
    As a recent Rutgers University graduate, and at MJFF, Marissa wants to expand her knowledge of non-profits by working directly donors and planning special events. She hopes to one day work at a foundation much like MJFF, in either of these two fields.

  • Community Events

    Rita Lulo
    Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Rita strives to one day heal her home country’s mental health problems. To accomplish this, she is studying psychology at Suffolk University. At MJFF, she hopes to engage with donors and learn how to better communicate with community partners.

    Julia Macedonio
    From Long Island, Julia is at MJFF to learn more about how larger organizations function, gain experience in a company setting and further her knowledge of human nature. Julia has enjoyed organizing data for possible donors and participants of the East Coast Tour de Fox.

  • Development Operations

    Jalen (Xingchen) Fu
    Born and raised in China, Jalen is a graduate student at Fordham University where he’s working toward becoming a data scientist in the tech industry. He is heavily interested in the advancements in AI and biotech. At MJFF, his favorite project has been creating algorithms to indemnify patterns in the Foundation’s database.

    Harry Daly
    Regis High School student, Harry, is looking toward his future early by interning at MJFF. He’s enjoyed searching for potential donors and thrives on gaining experiences and understanding of a workplace environment.

  • Human Resources

    Madeline Godin
    Madeline is a rising senior at Greenwich Country Day School and is thankful for the opportunity to contribute to the Foundation’s mission. During her internship, she’s enjoyed posting open positions on college websites.

  • IT

    Jaron Huang
    Jaron attends Hunter College and strives to become a chief technology officer at a unique tech company. In the IT department at MJFF, he hopes to gain knowledge and experience with a vast server system. His favorite part thus far has been learning more about our server system.

    Sonali Rai
    Sonali currently attends Hofstra University, and at MJFF, she wants to gain practical experience to supplement her college coursework — her professional goal is to work in software programming or help implement new software in offices. So far, she’s enjoyed utilizing the applications that the IT department maintains.

  • Marketing

    Katherine Yuen
    Katie currently attends Penn State where she’s studying communications — she’d like to work in digital/social media marketing in the future. Her favorite part of being at MJFF has been working on social platform analysis and learning about the people who support the Foundation.

  • Public Policy

    Caroline Kinesella
    Caroline is currently a student at Boston College, and is excited to discover more about policy formation and the impact of legislation. At MJFF, her favorite project so far has been researching and summarizing legislation on various health-related topics.

  • Video Production

    Allison O’Donnell
    As a student at Loyola University Maryland, Allison studies communications with a focus on digital media. At MJFF, she hopes to gain a bevy of useful experience for her wide-range field on our video production team. Her favorite part about working here has been learning to always go the extra mile and show initiative.

  • Research Partnerships

    Ava Colarusso
    Ava currently attends Colby College and is very interested in learning how MJFF is leading Parkinson’s disease research into the future. So far, her favorite project has been learning about the landmark Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative study (PPMI) and how the program engages patients.

    Ruyuan Wan
    Ruyuan is currently a student at the University of Minnesota and hopes to pursue a career in data science. During her internship, she hopes to analyze data, generate insight and share with others. She’s enjoyed learning about Fox Insight and how questionnaire data is analyzed.

    Sasha Israel
    Sasha attends Vanderbilt University and hopes to enter the health care field or the medical industry after graduation. Through her internship at MJFF, she hopes to learn more about the health care field, and has enjoyed reviewing and categorizing the Foundation’s interactions and partnerships.

  • Research Data Governance & Compliance

    Ariella Izzo
    Ariella is a student at the University of South Carolina and has an interest in international affairs with a focus on security. Her favorite parts about working at MJFF have been interviewing her colleagues in hopes to glean some of their wisdom, as well as learning about our recent advancements toward a cure.

  • Research Programs

    Tyler Sphor
    Tyler recently graduated Binghamton University with a B.S. in integrated neuroscience and hopes to one day become a neurologist. At MJFF, he wants to learn about the pathology and breakthrough research going on in Parkinson’s. He’s enjoyed working on the MJFF Tools Project, where he acquired new information regarding both Parkinson’s and neuroscience.

    Samantha Gerstman
    Samantha currently attends Binghamton University and would like to pursue a career in medicine. Through her internship, she hopes to gain non-profit experience and learn about research avenues that MJFF pursues. Her favorite part about working at MJFF has been updating an awardee welcome booklet and packet.

  • Team Fox

    Regan Kinder
    Regan is a student at Virginia Tech and her goal after graduation is to work with international organizations and non-profits, much like MJFF. Her favorite part of being at MJFF has been working on the Sponsored Athletic Benchmark and Incentives Review, which outlines all the athletic events that Team Fox puts on by comparing incentives and participation.

Thank you to Noah and all the summer interns at The Michael J. Fox Foundation who contribute to our pursuit of a cure on behalf of the millions of people living with Parkinson’s disease. We’re so glad to have you as part of our team.

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