SPARK Stories

Eligible students can use a $1,500 Nazareth SPARK Grant for an international experience during the school year. In the summer, $1,500 SPARK Grants make it possible to do an otherwise-unpaid/underpaid summer internship or summer research experience — plus for-credit experiences can get tuition waived, an additional $2,300 benefit.

See SPARK Grant eligibility and details »

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 2018 Internships

Among the nearly 100 SPARK Grant-supported internships:

  • An anthropology major at World Vision in Australia
  • A legal studies major with environmental studies minor at Northeast-Midwest Institute (a public policy organization promoting economic vitality, environmental quality, and regional equity) in Washington, D.C.
  • A public health major at La Fundación Dr. Raúl García Rinaldi in Puerto Rico, which helps low-income patients with cardiovascular disease 
  • Political science majors at a district attorney's office in Massachusetts and at the Massachusetts State House
  • A museums, archives, & public history major at Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village
  • Clinical laboratory science students at F.F. Thompson Health in Canandaigua, NY, and at Bausch & Lomb
  • A biology major at Tanglewood Nature Center in Elmira, NY
  • Three psychology majors at Mt. Hope Family Center in Rochester, NY
  • An occupational therapy major and gerontology minor at Sisters of St. Joseph in Rochester, NY — adjacent to campus, with housing at Nazareth College
  • A communication sciences and disorders major at an elementary school in Painted Post, NY
  • A visual communication design student at Dixon Schwabl 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."