CHE + The Center for Discovery Summer Internship Opportunities

Cornell Human Ecology is co-sponsoring new residential internship opportunities for undergraduates at The Center for Discovery.


June 15, 2023 – August 15, 2023


The Center for Discovery; 31 Kinnebrook Rd., Harris, NY 12742

Internship Description

Student interns will join a project that is a partnership between two (or more) mentors, based in Cornell Human Ecology, Cornell University and at The Center for Discovery (TCFD). TCFD, located in Harris, New York, is a major research and specialty center that offers residential, medical and special education programs as well as world-class Music and Creative Arts Therapy, Adapted Physical Education, and a biodynamic agricultural program among other unique services. Interns who will participate in hands-on activities will complete TCFD’s 40-hour orientation training along with various NYS requirements such as fingerprinting and drug testing. Interns will receive a stipend of $6,000 for approximately 240 hours of work over the course of the summer. This internship is designed as an immersive community-engaged experience and interns will spend the summer in residence at The Center for Discovery’s campus in Harris, NY. Housing, at no cost to the intern, will be provided by TCFD.


This opportunity is available to undergraduate students in Cornell Human Ecology.


$6,000 (housing provided)


Apply here with a letter of interest, resume, and transcript.

Deadline to apply

March 24, 2023

The Internships

There are three Internships available, one related to each topic below. Please apply for one position only. 

The intern will be placed with the Department of Nourishment Arts to work with the Assistant Chief on projects across the department with nutritionists, chefs and farmers.  The intern will work in pediatric and/or adult programs in clinical and/or TCFD community settings to deliver nutrition programming and care to individuals with complex disabilities, medical frailties, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Roles + Responsibilities

Interns will participate in the nutrition care process, including assessment, interventions, and outcomes evaluation.   The intern will ultimately develop a skillset in one or more of the following domains: dietary assessment, nutrition education, recipe and menu development, data analysis and program evaluation.

Qualifications + Previous Coursework

Required: completion of NS 1150 Nutrition, Health and Society and NS 1220 Nutrition and the Life Cycle;
Preferred: pre-Dietetics or Didactic Program in Dietetics student.


Emily Gier, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University; and Jennifer Franck, Assistant Chief, Department of Nourishment Arts, The Center for Discovery.

This internship will focus on analyzing data related to intra- and inter-individual variability in the response to nutrition interventions using a variety of variables/inputs, including sociodemographic, anthropometry, health history, dietary, microbiome, biochemical indicators, etc.


Saurabh Mehta, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University; and Jennifer Franck, Assistant Chief, Department of Nourishment Arts, The Center for Discovery. 

This intern will be based at the world-renowned “lab classroom” within the Michael Ritchie Big Barn Center for Environmental Health and Education at TCFD and will focus on the study of nature-based interventions among individuals with autism.

Roles + Responsibilities

Activities will range from data processing, coding video data, and literature review to supporting trained staff with various hands-on outdoor, nature- and agriculture-based activities with individuals with autism.

Qualifications + Previous Coursework

Required: background in environmental psychology; research methods and statistics courses; Preferred: prior research experience including coding video data, processing accelerometry data, and/or managing bio-data such as heart rate and galvanic skin response (GSR); prior experience interacting with individuals with developmental disability.


Nancy Wells, Human Centered Design and Kimberly Kopko, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell Human Ecology; and Helena le Roux Ohm and Tania Villavicencio, The Center for Discovery.    


Please reach out to Cornell Human Ecology’s Community Engaged Learning Coordinator Kristen Elmore ( with any questions.