For many college students, the summer after freshman year means heading home for jobs waiting tables, working at youth recreation programs or scooping ice cream at the beach snack bar.
But after completing his first year at the University of Delaware, Sam Koeck came home to Connecticut to the kind of paid internship usually afforded only to students further along in college, when they’ve already taken several upper-level courses in their major. A resident of Fairfield, Koeck is getting the chance to develop skills and real-world experience uniquely relevant to his double major in materials engineering and marine science at nearby Stratford Point, a Long Island Sound site serving as a laboratory for shoreline restoration. At the same time, he is enabling two Sea Grant programs –Delaware and Connecticut – to partner on a project that could benefit both states.
“Sam is just starting his academic career, so I hope this gives him the exposure he needs to help him see a path forward,” said Chris Hauser, associate director of Delaware Sea Grant. “We’re really excited about the skills that Sam will gain and how he can use them.”
Nancy Balcom, associate director of Connecticut Sea Grant, said the chance to work with another Sea Grant to jointly support Koeck – each program is providing half of his $5,000 summer salary – was a great opportunity.
Article and photo by Judy Benson