STEM students explore a range of science experiments during summer internshipsby Jan Janes on Sep 10, 2018
More than 30 Gavilan College students, working individually and in teams, presented their findings at the STEM Symposium in the Science Quad August 17.
Marla Dresch, STEM Program Director, and Rey Morales, Biology instructor, recruited students for STEM work opportunities with area mentors, notably at San José State University.
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) internship application process is comprehensive. Students submit transcripts, STEM classes taken and grades earned, campus leadership activities and a 500-word essay stating intended major and future academic/career goals. Students who make the cut then sit for a panel oral interview.
Prior STEM interns are now pursing PhD degrees in their chosen fields.
Mentors and students from Cañada de los Osos Ecological Reserve and Gavilan College
Gilroy campus at their presentation posters during the STEM symposium. The Birds of
Gavilan team pursued the understanding of bird habitats, protection of birds, and education.
They placed 10 bird houses on the Gilroy campus and monitored for occupancy, egg laying
and fledging of house wrens and tree swallows.
Rowan Briggs, mentor Dr. Melody Moh of SJSU and Alec Cordova at the presentation
area. Briggs explored the problem of unsafe passwords, cryptocurrency, Pseudo Random
Number Generators and compared reliability of hashes and ciphers. Cordova studied
software security, cyber attacks, hacking and patching. He created an encryption lab
coded in Python, implemented brute force password hacks and developed a password
Heidy Amy Togliatti explained her STEM internship project to Dean Fran Lozano,
whose Liberal Arts and Sciences division has been awarded three multi-year STEM
grants to fund student research, labs and curriculum at Gavilan College. Using
available tools to determine software life cycle, Togliatti worked with Gavilan IT,
which has more than 2,000 computers across multiple locations. She illustrated
remote access, catalogued capabilities and identified resources to update and
The 2018 Gavilan College STEM interns, along with faculty, mentors and board trustees,
celebrated at the end of their symposium presentations.