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Oklahoma college senior to embark on summer internship in China

East Central University’s Linzi Thompson is one of nine students from across the country chosen for an environmental research internship through Alabama A&M University and funded by the National Science Foundation.
by Kathryn McNutt Modified: May 17, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: May 17, 2014

— Linzi Thompson spends the spring and fall semesters as a full-time student at East Central University and an intern at the nearby U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s research center.

In between, she likes to see the world beyond Ada.

She went to Cambodia for winter break. This summer, it will be China.

“When I get my breaks, I want to make the most of them,” said Thompson, 21.

She will leave Sunday morning to meet her traveling companions in Alabama before the group flies to Shanghai.

Thompson is one of nine students from across the country chosen for an internship through Alabama A&M University’s Research Experience for Undergraduates and funded by the National Science Foundation. She found the all-expenses-paid opportunity on the National Science Foundation website and applied.

“I’ve always been interested in China,” she said. The country’s environmental issues made it the perfect choice for the senior from Sulphur, who is a double major in environmental health science and chemistry.

Summer in China

Traveling with Alabama A&M research assistant professor Elica Moss, the group will spend a week in Shanghai for orientation to the language and culture.

“It’s all going to be brand new. I don’t know anything,” Thompson said.

That doesn’t bother her. She’s been in that situation before.

“I’m used to not knowing the language,” she said.

China will be her 13th country.

After orientation, the group will stay at Nanjing Forestry University. Their work will include research on heavy metal pollution. Before leaving on July 20, they will spend some time in Beijing.

Thompson said she will earn six credit hours through the internship, and she hopes to use some aspect of the research for her university honors thesis, which she will present in May 2015.

World view

Seeing other countries and learning about their cultures is more than recreational travel for Thompson. She wants to work someday for an international organization like the United Nations, World Health Organization or UNICEF.

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by Kathryn McNutt
Higher Education Reporter
Kathryn McNutt covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK. Since joining the staff in August 2000, she also has worked as the Breaking News editor, Metro editor and assistant Local editor. A native of Oklahoma City, she graduated from...
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