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Praxis and SURF Update, April 8, 2020

Praxis and SURF Update, April 8, 2020

Dear students:

In an ordinary year, this is the time when you would be focused on making plans for summer, including summer jobs, internships, research and other ways to test and deepen your Smith education in real-world contexts. In this extraordinary moment, when the physical distancing compelled by COVID-19 precludes pursuing such experiences in person, we remain committed to supporting your experiential learning in remote contexts.

Accordingly, the Lazarus Center will consider Praxis internship proposals in which students work for organizations remotely. Further, in recognition of the disruptions that workplaces are experiencing due to COVID, the Center will extend application deadlines and offer greater flexibility in work-hour requirements. The requirement that Smith funds can only be used for remote internships in summer 2020 holds for all internship programs across the college.

Similarly, the Science Center will work with faculty sponsors to advance SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) projects that can be supervised appropriately by remote means. We are able to continue both Praxis and SURF because of endowed funding specifically for these purposes. If unexpended funds remain after the summer and conditions improve, we will hold open the possibility of additional internship and research experiences during J-Term 2021.

By continuing to offer funded summer internships and research experiences, albeit in remote forms, we hope to support your goals for experiential learning even in these unprecedented circumstances. We want you to be able to use this summer (or January 2021) to build the experience, networks and accomplishments that will prepare you for success in an ever-changing world.


Susan Etheredge
Dean of the College and Vice President for Campus Life

Michael Thurston
Provost and Dean of the Faculty