The Virtual Internship in Biomedical Engineering, or VIBE, was run by Professors Funmi Ayobami, Solomon Mensah, and Kris Billiar. The intention was to increase access to internships for underrepresented students and utilize the virtual aspect to bring students from across the country and world to collaborate.
VIBE has three main goals: Professional Development, the BME Design Process, and “Coffee and Conversations,” which took place during three weekly Zoom calls over an eight-week span. The professional development seminars were in collaboration with the Summer Professional Development Series for Undergraduates (SPuDS) and covered topics such as communicating research, ethics in BME, and scholarship opportunities. The VIBE meetings walked students through the aspects of the design process. Coffee and Conversations allowed students to hear about and discuss research and career paths,and explore their lived experiences as being under-represented in STEM with current WPI BME faculty in a supportive environment. The recorded Zooms also allowed the program to be completed completely asynchronously.