Project on Science, Technology and Disability

Meet Entry Point Students and Alumni

AAAS wants to introduce you to some of the students who participated in the internship Program. It was a life-changing experience for them and it can be for you!

Rodney Stewart Photo
Rodney Stewart
, who majored in mechanical engineering at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, was an Entry Point intern for two summers at IBM in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Upon completion of his BS, Rodney, who has a mobility impairment, was hired by IBM to work at its manufacturing facility in Poughkeepsie, NY.


Rob Hill Photo
Rob Hill
, who graduated in mechanical engineering at University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, interned at Goddard Space Flight Center and the following summer at Kennedy Space Center. Robert, who has cerebral palsy, now works at Boeing in Seattle, WA.

“It was the BEST work experience of my life… I wanted to go right to work immediately after graduation.”



Melanie Rosestudies Computer Science & Mathematics at Southwest Baptist University. Melanie interned as a website designer for IBM in Raleigh, NC. Melanie has muscular dystrophy and rides an electric wheelchair.



Ben Kim Image


Ben Kimis pursuing a PhD at Stanford University in Engineering Economics and Operations Research. Ben, who has a mobility impairment, has worked for three summers at IBM in San Jose and Almaden, California.



Jessica Mahood photo
Jessica Mahood graduated in biology from Butler University and now is in a micro-biology doctoral program at University of Wisconsin/Madison. Jessica, whose disability is Celiac Sprue, worked with several mentors at Johnson Space Flight Center.

“The Entry Point! Internship was one of the best opportunities of my undergraduate career. Not only did I have firsthand experience at research in a very prestigious facility, but I learned cutting-edge techniques, gained valuable contacts, and will as a result stand a much better chance of getting into a good graduate school.”



Ashwini Deshpande Photo


Ashwini Deshpande graduated from MIT in electrical engineering and received a Master’s degree in Atmospheric Science. Ashwini, who is mobility impaired, interned at NASA Langley and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Oregon State University.



Chris Lamoreaux Photo
Chris Lamoreaux
graduated from Tufts University with a BS in Physics. He was an intern at Johnson Space Flight Center for one summer. After he completed a co-op for a semester, he was hired to work at Johnson. Chris has osteogenesis imperfecta and is a wheelchair rider.



Toya Barros PhotoToya Barros, originally from Boston, studied physics and aerospace engineering in a dual degree program at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and moved on to Georgia Tech. She interned at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, and now works at the Patuxent River Naval Air Base in Maryland. Toya is hearing impaired.

“The corporate world has a place for all of us. It is up to us to face the challenge and take advantage of all opportunities. By taking advantage of the opportunities you will have a chance to experience having a great internship, and possible future job.”


Jesse Leaman Photo
Jesse Leaman
, who studied physics at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, interned at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL and at Goddard Space Flight Center. Mentors and computer technicians worked with Jesse so his voice-activated computer was compatible with NASA technology. Jesse received his B.S. degree from University of Maryland and now has a fellowship at University of California-Berkeley to pursue a Ph.D. in Astrophysics. He will continue as a graduate co-op with NASA during the summers. Jesse has a spinal cord injury and is quadriplegic.


Erika Nelson Photo


Erika Nelson, who is deaf, interned at the Silicon Valley Lab of IBM in San Jose, CA. Erika graduated from Dartmouth College and is working for Accenture in Los Angeles.



Tim Scamporinno Photo
Tim Scamporinno
, who studied computer science at Sonoma State University in California, was an intern at IBM in San Jose, CA. Tim, a wheelchair rider, joined IBM and was made a manager.

Entry Point! has given me the opportunity to demonstrate my technical knowledge in a very challenging position at IBM. As a result, my talents have been recognized…not overshadowed by my disability as has been the case when I attempted to seek employment on my own. You have been the bridge that has allowed me to rise above the discrimination and closed the gap between being a student and becoming a professional.”

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