Impact Technology Fellowship – 2024

When: May 21st – June 28th

Where: Boston, MA

Who: 21 undergraduate students who are interested in civic technology from Boston University, Olin College, Tufts University, and UMass Amherst

The Impact Technology Fellowship presented by the PIT-NE Summer Institute gives students who attend schools across New England to work together on PIT experiential learning projects from community partners while building critical professional skills. This program will consist of three key pieces:

  1. Experiential learning where teams of 3-4 students work under the guidance of mentors and project managers on projects from community partners
  2. PIT skill building through lunch and learn sessions with PIT leaders and consultations with PIT experts
  3. Professional development workshops where students grow skills and learn about PIT career paths

Fellows will work for 40 hours per week in teams under the guidance of technical experts to deliver innovative projects to our community partners. There will be three different project tracks:

  1. Software Engineering
  2. Data Science
  3. Machine Learning

Alongside their technical work, students will engage in a series of seminars to grow their PIT skills to be leaders in the socially responsible workforce of tomorrow. These workshops will be presented by PIT leaders who will help students apply these new skills to their technical work. Professional development workshops will also help students advance skills such as presentation, communication, and Agile processes to be successful members of the workforce.

Developing a platform for civic engagement and user-friendly resource access to developments, events, and announcements for Boston’s District 4. 

Leveraging technology to identify and create data visualizations of historic racist deed restrictions in Longmeadow, MA.

Analyzing coverage of Boston’s Black community in the Boston Globe over a decade to assess changes in coverage, volume, topic, sentiment, and demographic representation.

Benchmarking speech recordings of people who stutter against popular speech recognition models provided by OpenAI, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Otter.AI to analyze the role of technology in marginalizing people who stutter.

A citizen science project to monitor tree phenology in India to understand climate change impacts on seasonal patterns by comparing citizen submitted tree data against the reference database.

PIT in Practice

Christine Bassem – Wellesley College

Francine Berman – UMass Amherst

Kade Crockford – ACLU of Massachusetts

Diana Freed – Brown University

Ben Linder – Olin College

Kim Lucas – Northeastern University

Daniel Pomeroy – Scientific Citizenship Initiative

Russ Wilcox – ArtifexAI

Ethan Zuckerman – UMass Amherst

Tech Talks & Trainings

Brian Baldwin – ESRI

Mark Bestavros – Red Hat

Brian Brubach – Wellesley College & EAAMO

Katia Bulekova – Boston University

Anthony Chamberas – Boston University

Ziba Cranmer – Boston University

Jessie Finocchiaro – Boston College & EAAMO

Sera Linardi – EAAMO

Dennis Milechin – Boston University

Christopher Robinson – Boston University

Langdon White – Boston University

Professional Development Workshops

Suzanne Alcott – Olin College

Robin Kahan – Tufts University

Casey Maloney – UMass Amherst

Nick Merlino – MITRE

Angela Richard – Boston University

Alexis Trench – Wellesley University

I never would’ve believed that at the end I’d have made an entire functioning website that accomplishes a tangible goal, for a genuine client. I feel like the work I’ve done could make a real impact on real people. And that’s very uplifting. – Eleanor, Tufts University

This program offered more than what a standard internship could offer. It offered me a purpose, especially with what I want to do with my career. I made some really good friends who are in the same field as me and are equally passionate about PIT. – Nikhila, UMass Amherst

I was expecting it to be a lot like previous internships I worked in, where there was a ton of work but things were very disorganized and communication wasn’t the best. In PIT-NE, there was great communication and the workshops and the people made it such a good environment to not only work, but also learn in. Participating in this program was important to me because I wanted a way to use my skills to do what technology was meant to do in the first place – help the general public live better lives. – 2024 Fellow

I also gained a deeper sense of what public interest technology is. Hearing from different speakers and looking at the wide range of projects within our cohort I feel like I understand more of what being a Public Interest Technologist means. – 2024 Fellow from Tufts University

The fellowship provided me with opportunities to work on a high-impact project, which helped me enhance my technical skills and apply them to real-world problems. I connected with industry leaders, mentors, and peers, which broadened my professional network and opened doors for future collaborations and career opportunities…Ultimately, the Impact Technology Fellowship has been a pivotal step in my career, aligning perfectly with my aspirations to drive positive change through technology and innovation. – Rachel, UMass Amherst

There was a great emphasis on Public Interest throughout the program. I have great interest in utilizing technology for the greater good for society and this program has exposed me to various different ways and niches that technology could improve a sector. -Hannah, Boston University