SPARK Stories

Eligible students can use a $1,500 Nazareth SPARK Grant for:

  • an international experience during the school year
  • an otherwise-unpaid/underpaid summer internship or summer research experience — plus for-credit experiences can get tuition waived, an additional benefit worth more than $2,400.

See SPARK Grant eligibility and details »

Music Publishing Internship (NYC)

    Sean Saville '20 spent the summer at Carl Fischer Music and a SPARK Grant supported his housing.
    Erich D'Eredita

    Erich D’Eredita (Research)

    "There's a joy in finding information that hasn't been known before," says biology major Erich D'Eredita '20, who spent 6 weeks on campus this summer analyzing the caloric value and composition of northern crayfish. The role was paid, but commuting 45 minutes both ways from home would have been an obstacle — until he got on-campus housing at very low cost through Nazareth's SPARK Grant program. He said the summer research advanced his proficiency with laboratory procedures and machinery, including computerized calorimetry, which is a plus for his plans to pursue grad school and future research. He would love to research the way life exists in the Great Lakes or Finger Lakes area — where he's from — and find a way to remove contaminants that are inhibiting life. "That's what I want to do. I've always loved nature." Considering climate change, he adds, "There's definitely an urgency."

    In 2018

    Nazareth's SPARK Grant helped fund:

    • 97 student internships
    • 82 international experiences
    • 4 research experiences

    It also enabled 13 students to live on campus during the summer for internships or research nearby.

    Alyssa Benzinger's tweet
    Stefanie Bunnell

    Stefanie Bunnell (INTERNSHIP)

    Caring for animals such as Sophie the owl (pictured) and Wilbur the black vulture and educating people about them at Tanglewood Nature Center has confirmed plans by Stefanie Bunnell '20 to become a teacher. "I never thought I would find a career path that makes me excited to wake up on a Monday morning to go to work, but I did! I also know now that it is possible to merge education with environmental conservation in a career, which is great because I am an education and biology major!" She'd like to become an elementary teacher and continue with conservation work, research, and working with animals. "I have always had a passion for the environment and a deep interest in all the animals in it..... Showing people the importance that particular species hold in the ecosystem hopefully makes them aware of the value in preserving those species and the planet they live on." She said her SPARK Grant allowed her to focus on this internship all summer, without struggling to also fit in a part-time job.

    Katie Eipert


    After just one year of college, nursing major Katie Eipert '21 gained knowledge, confidence, and more from an internship in geriatrics at Highland Hospital. The SPARK Grant provided funding and a no-cost internship credit. Read about her experience.

    Summer 2019 Internships

    Among the nearly 100 SPARK Grant-supported summer experiences:

    RESEARCH mentored by faculty

    • An English and education major studying incarceration narratives in children's literature to identify books that help children understand/cope with a parent's incarceration
    • A social work major doing a qualitative project on postpartum depression
    • A biology major studying the effect of growing medium on the health of plant seedlings


    • A music/business major at Carl Fischer Music sheet music publishing company in New York City
    • A music education major teaching music in Spain 
    • A finance major at Northwestern Mutual in Syracuse, NY
    • An occupational therapy major at Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) Camp in Oregon.
    • A dance and social work double major at Dancenter dance school in Utica, NY
    • A communications and media student with a minor in music performance providing social media and photo/video work at concerts at Symphoria Orchestra in Syracuse, NY
    • A legal studies major at the Indiana County District Attorney's office in Indiana, PA
    • A public health major at Madison County Department of Health, NY
    • An English major at 585 Publishing in Rochester, NY
    • A music/business major at Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps in Boston
    • A psychology major at Compeer in Rochester, NY
    • A musical theatre major at Fingerlakes Musical Theatre Festival
    • A business management major with an art minor at Rev Marketing in Victor, NY

    Student deadline: You must apply before the experience starts, but after you've lined it up. See SPARK Grant eligibility and details »

    Nick Capostagno


    "I remember coming to baseball games here at Frontier Field as a kid and always having such a great time and always making memories with my dad, but I never thought I'd have the opportunity to one day be a part of the 'behind the scenes' operations," says Rochester Red Wings graphic design intern Nick Capostagno '20, a visual communications design major. "I can say that there is never a dull day while being here. This internship has really opened my eyes to what I can expect for a potential career in graphic design and I couldn't be more thankful for all that the Red Wings and Nazareth have done for me — helping me become a better graphic artist and a more professional individual. "

    Lily Caron (Hungary)

    Nursing and public health major Lily Caron '20 traveled to Hungary during spring break to present a paper about mental health to fellow college students. Big confidence boost to speak in front of a large international conference? Yes. But so much more. "My host student, Regina, gave me an invaluable experience as she took me horseback riding in the country, showed me a famous lookout of Lake Balaton, and taught me what the typical Hungarian college experience is like. She's already planning a trip to visit me in America and has invited me back to stay with her for two weeks this summer! I strongly believe that traveling with Nazareth College provides a chance to learn valuable lessons and make memories that will last a lifetime."