Knapp Media and Technology Interns

Knapp Interns

Beginning in 2002, an additional gift from Betsy and Bud allowed the College to hire eight to ten Wellesley undergraduates each summer to develop technical expertise as they created and managed technology-enhanced teaching and learning projects. Students were quickly trained at the beginning of the summer in HTML, CSS, digital video and audio, animation, project management, and other key instructional technology skills. Then, pairs of students were matched with faculty who had an instructional technology project and who could commit to working with students to finish the projects over the summer.
Betsy standing in the back row of a group of Knapp internsBetsy Knapp with a group of Knapp Center interns in 2014
Between the summer of 2002 and the summer of 2008, over sixty Wellesley students participated in the Knapp summer instructional technology internships. In 2009, Wellesley modified the Knapp intern program to respond to the changing technology landscape and changing staffing patterns.  Rather than hire eight to ten undergraduates for two months during the summer, we chose to hire one recent Wellesley graduate to work on special instructional and/or emerging technology projects for twelve months.  Over the next few years, Knapp graduate interns worked on projects including the support of our initial web content management system, our learning management system, launching the live webcasts from the Albright Institute, the transition to Gmail and Google Apps (now known as G Suite); testing for a learning management system based on Google Sites and Google Apps; the pilot for an interactive whiteboards in classrooms; and web development in Drupal and PHP, website redesign and implementations, and responsive design research.
As of 2017, Knapp interns continue to work on cutting edge projects, though they now work throughout the year, as they are once again undergraduates. Many of their projects involve digital modeling and fabrication, digital 3D spaces (aka virtual reality), and 3D animation. For more information, see the Knapp Projects page, the current website for the Knapp Media and Technology center, and the report on Knapp interns presentations at the World Maker Faire in the fall of 2016.


Students and Alumnae Describe Their Knapp Intern Experience


Heather Barrett wearing cap and gown at doctoral graduation

Heather Barrett ‘08

I loved my summer as a Knapp intern. I made new friends, I learned useful skills for managing long-term projects, and I felt like I made tangible contributions to Wellesley's academic resources by creating websites for different courses and departments. Now that I have completed my PhD in English and am beginning a career as a college writing instructor, the knowledge I gained as a Knapp intern shapes how I think about using technology to enhance my own students' learning experiences. I will always be grateful that I held this internship, and to Betsy Knapp for making that experience possible. 

Kate Ciurej portrait

Kate Ciurej ‘08

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect beginning to my technology career than the Knapp internship. I discovered my passion for building online products in my senior year at Wellesley, so I was thrilled to be accepted to a program where I could spend the summer honing my skills on campus before entering the full-time job market. At the time, I was most excited about the technical skills I was building, but now I realize that the internship's most valuable lessons were in teamwork and leadership. When I finished the program, I landed a dream job building the blogging platforms that allowed writers to share their stories with millions of people. Many thanks to Betsy and her family for an opportunity that has set the stage for a very fulfilling career in technology.

Kaylie Cox portrait

Shane Cox, Classics ‘18

Working on projects as a Knapp Intern has impacted my understanding of what it means to engage in digital humanities, and the difficulties that exist within the field. Choices have to be made on aspects such as how to represent 3D models of real objects, and whether the model should focus on a single area or detail, or the object in its entirety. Engaging with material through such critical analysis is helping me not only become a better student, but also prepare for life after graduation.

Ariel Hathaway smiling in a sunny indoor space

Ariel Hathaway ‘09

The Knapp internship provided me an opportunity to put the skills I'd learned in my computer science classes to use in a meaningful way and opened my eyes to how I may use some of this knowledge in the "real world". At the same time, I built strong relationships with Wellesley faculty and staff which continue to this day. The internship taught me strong project management skills, how to be an effective teammate in a group, and design thinking/prototyping - all of these skills serve me well in my current job and as I've continued my education. I'm thankful for the development opportunities that the Knapp internship provided me and as well as for the fact that in allowed me to spend a summer on the beautiful Wellesley campus.
The Knapp Center was my second home at Wellesley - I started working there my sophomore year and spent countless hours there working and doing homework during the rest of my time at Wellesley. It's one of my mandatory stops every time I'm back on campus; I love seeing how it's changed and what remains the same. I feel so honored to have been part of Knapp at Wellesley and to still be in contact with many of the other students and staff that I worked with!

Rachel Kaston Johnson portrait

Rachel Kaston Johnson '10

The Knapp Internship not only set me on the path of web development, but also paved the way for my entire career to date. The experience of working directly with faculty and staff at Wellesley was invaluable during my time as a Web Developer at Case Western Reserve University, and further prepared me to manage my current digital team at Progressive Insurance. The internship allowed me to translate passion and talent into a real world application, and provided me with a fantastic mentor whose advice still guides me today.

Bing Li portrait

Bing Li ‘05

During my pursuit of Media Arts & Sciences at Wellesley, the Knapp Internship was the perfect vehicle to fuel my interests, in a real world setting. My projects were diverse and educational, ranging from designing a website on the effects of light pollution on zooplankton, to creating Chinese tutorial flash animations. They allowed me to practice the art of gathering strong requirements from clients while balancing creativity and professionalism. I was privileged to have mentors and colleagues who supported and challenged me, and who showed me that enjoying those you work with is often just as important as what you do.
These lessons would continue to serve me well in my career, from freelance web and graphic design, to working at a large biotech company creating software user experiences. They’ve instilled an appreciation for the components that go into good design, whether I’m framing a photo for social media, noticing font choice on product packaging, or compiling slides for a presentation. I have Betsy Knapp to thank for giving me, and so many other women, this opportunity to learn the fundamentals and gain confidence in our abilities as professional equals early on in our development.

Kamile Lukosiute portrait

Kamile Lukosiute, Physics ‘19

While I’ve done a lot of things this year while working at the Knapp Media Center, I think my most impactful projects have been the programming in Python workshops. The workshops have been fun and low-stakes, so I hope that the students that attended had their curiosity sparked and will seek a more formal education in programming. For myself personally, I learned a lot about teaching in a classroom setting. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead these workshops because the skills I gain now will be useful in my future, as I hope to pursue a career in academia and teaching.
I have also been working on learning how to build virtual reality experiences. I also hope that this project leads to other faculty at the college using emerging technology in creative ways. For me personally, this project has been very instructive. Learning how to learn and learning how to overcome hurdles in projects are the most important skills I hope to come out with at the end of my college career, since they are applicable in any field I may choose to go into. Learning how to build these environments has been an incredibly valuable experience to me, since I practice those skills every time I come into the Knapp Center to work.

Anna M. Pförtsch portrait

Anna M. Pförtsch, Media Arts and Sciences ‘17

The Knapp internship has been a defining moment of my Wellesley career, in the ways it has contributed to my knowledge, forced me to be creative, and allowed me to collaborate with both other Knapp interns and students around campus.
A lot of the skills I have learned at Knapp have been incredible in helping me find an internship or job. Being able to comfortable use and discuss things like 3D printing, IoT devices, VR, AR, and more, as well as having projects to show off (all which were made because I worked at Knapp) has been extremely impressive to interviewers. I like to bring up the example of where I was invited to a Makeathon/interview, where I was the youngest, as well as the only undergrad, as was the only comfortable with using the 3D printer and laser cutter. It was a moment I was proud of, but also grateful that I have been exposed to so many technologies in my undergrad.
I am challenged at Knapp in more ways than I have ever felt in the classroom at Wellesley. While working on my projects, I can feel frustrated, stumped, and lost, but ultimately, with the time given to me I can move on and figure out how to solve my problems.

Kate Tetrault portrait

Kate Tetrault ‘06

I applied for the Knapp Internship because I loved tinkering with Photoshop. I left it knowing I wanted a career that involved the learning, play, creativity and teamwork that were core to my Knapp experience. I’ve been working in User Experience Design for over 10 years now, and I will be forever grateful to Betsy for helping me find my path.

Havannah Tran portrait

Havannah Tran, English and Media Arts Sciences ‘19

One of my significant contributions to the development of the Knapp Intern program has been the organization of the 2017 Ruhlman exhibition titled: Wait, You Made That?: Making and Fabrication at Wellesley College. This exhibition displayed all of our work from the last year, including digital media work, VR experiences, 3D modeling and scanning, etc. From this exhibition, I have had students express interest in joining the program and developing their own media related projects as well as express interest in coming to consult interns for their media-related projects. Ultimately, I have found that my work at the Knapp Center has both helped in my personal artistic and professional development and the development and exposure of the program to the greater college community.

Christine Yang portrait

Christine Yang, Economics and Psychology ‘19

Working as a Knapp intern has been a very rewarding experience. I was able to learn from my peers and also have the freedom to focus on the things that I am interested in, which is very different from the approach that I usually take in classroom.