Summer Undergraduate Research Intership Opportunities

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) works with the College and our global partners to identify and coordinate summer research and internship opportunities in the United States and abroad for undergraduate students.


For more information or to apply for next summer contact

Meet Our 2015 Interns

Samuel Kei Takazawa ’16, summer intern in Japan

Kie TakazawaMajor: Applied math and physics double major
Future plans: Considering four or five options—including everything from graduate school in physics, math, or psychology, to Teach for America

Kei has spent the last two summers working for HDI in Tokyo, Japan. Part of his work involved conducting interviews with people who serve at churches in the disaster area, as well as with people who are still receiving care after Japan’s triple disaster in 2011. Four years after the disaster, he says people are coming to Christ in miraculous ways. “There are people who literally woke up and felt that strongly that they had to go to church—people who had no connection to Christianity in their daily lives—they didn’t even know where a church was.”

An applied math and physics double major who grew up going to the public schools in Japan, Kei has also been doing translation work, coding the interview results, creating a website for the Disaster Relief Church Network (DRCnet) to help in forming networks among local churches, and a Facebook page for another church network association. “I enjoy having a number of roles. It allows me to see the bigger picture of what’s going on in Japan—and to develop important relationships.”

Kei’s knowledge of the Japanese culture is also essential for the research he’s doing into the most efficient way to create a flat network (rather than a typically Japanese hierarchical network) of church leaders.

“The most important part my HDI involvement has been in building relationships. Many organizations have left, but the fact that HDI is still maintaining its connection with the churches here is a great encouragement to people here—it tells them that they aren’t forgotten.”

Jon Tsen ’16, HDI research intern

HDI intern John TsenMajor: Psychology
Future plans: Hopes to pursue research and clinical work in psychology through a doctoral program in clinical psychology

“My two-year internship with HDI was multifaceted. One day I might be collecting literature and summarizing information, the next I would be meeting with community leaders with Dr. Boan via teleconference, and on another day, the whole team was putting their full effort into preparing for HDI's annual Disaster Ministry Conference.

“One of my favorite things has been meeting all the conference participants and hearing their stories. Leaders of NGOs, government organizations, churches, and more come with different stories about disaster resilience, preparedness, and ministry. I love seeing the fruit of the work we put into planning each conference, but even more so I love seeing the work that each individual and organization has put in to addressing needs in at-risk disaster areas.”


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