Graduate Fellowship Program Prepares Nine in IT and Bioscience

Tech Collective 2013 Graudate Fellowship PRogram
Top Photo (Left to Right): Lydia Rogers, Yogi Kurniawan, Stephanie Piantedosi-Salvatore, Stephanie Hernandez-Lopez, Kim Tran, Peter Sadeck, Jessica Claflin, Jon Hills, Anthony Salazar

Tech Collective 2013 Graduate Fellows 
View all photos in full size on Tech Collective's Facebook page


Six Fellows hired after 10-week Tech Collective work experience program for Rhode Island college/university graduates.

“We were valued employees at Tedor Pharma and knew it… I can't stress how important this opportunity has been for me.” - Tedor Pharma Fellow, Stephanie Piantedosi-Salvatore.

This was one of the Fellowship experiences shared as leaders in the IT and Bioscience industry gathered to recognize the achievements of this year’s nine Tech Collective Graduate Fellowship program participants. The breakfast recognition event was held at The Rhode Island Foundation on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. Six of the Fellows have been hired to date. Five Rhode Island companies hosted the Fellows: Absolute Commerce, Alert Solutions, AIPSO, Tedor Pharma, and Ximedica.

Graduate Fellowship Program
Managed by Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s Bioscience and Information Technology industry association, and funded through the Governor’s Workforce Board of Rhode Island (GWBRI), the Graduate Fellowship program connects recent Rhode Island college and university graduates with local IT and Bioscience employers. The 2012 pilot of the program hosted five Fellows and successfully garnered post-employment for all of them.

Nearly doubling in number, the 2013 program hosted nine Fellows. In May, Rhode Island technology employers and recent graduates of Rhode Island colleges and universities were solicited to submit open entry-level job positions and resumes, respectively, to be considered for the Fellowship. Tech Collective staff evaluated positions and candidates to make recommendations to employers, who then conducted formal interviews and selected the Fellows. During the June-August program, each Fellow was paid a weekly stipend funded 70% by GWBRI’s Jobs Initiatives program and 30% by the host company.

“The Fellowship program put us in touch with people we might not otherwise have had access to,” said Lynda McCoy, project lead at insurance service provider, AIPSO. “It was a cost-effective way for AIPSO to see good candidates, without having to advertise or search for them.”

The Fellowship program provides a comprehensive approach to connecting students, academia, and employers with the matches best suited to their needs,” said Kathie Shields, executive director at Tech Collective. “For all involved, there is a direct, qualified connection without an overwhelming number of jobs to apply to for students or resumes to sort through for employers. 

Peter Sadeck, a graduate of New England Institute of Technology completed his Fellowship at AISPO and has since been hired. Sadeck says of his experience “[it] was excellent from the start, I felt like I was really contributing to the company.”

Along with other Fellows, both Sadeck and Piantedosi-Salvatore learned of the Fellowship program from their schools – NEIT Career Services and URI Biotechnology Manufacturing Program Coordinator, Dr. Ed Bozzi, respectively.

Fellows and Host Companies
In total, nine Fellows were placed with five Tech Collective member companies to garner hands-on bioscience and IT experience ranging from laboratory technician, mechanical engineering, technical support, inbound marketing, and programming. They are:

Jessica Claflin – BS: Mechanical Engineering / Concentration: Solid and Fluid Mechanics, Brown University. Fellowship: Mechanical Engineering, Ximedica.

Stephanie Hernandez-Lopez – BS: Medical Laboratory Science / Concentration: Biotechnology Manufacturing Program, University of Rhode Island. Fellowship: Laboratory Technician, Tedor Pharma.

Jon Hills – BS: Mechanical Engineering, Brown University / BFA: Furniture Design, Rhode Island School of Design (joint degree program). Fellowship: Mechanical Engineering, Ximedica.

Yogi Kurniawan – MS: Chemical Engineering, University of Rhode Island. Fellowship: Laboratory Technician, Tedor Pharma.

Stephanie Piantedosi-Salvatore – BS: Medical Laboratory Science / Concentration: Biotechnology Manufacturing Program, University of Rhode Island. Fellowship: Laboratory Technician, Tedor Pharma.

Lydia Rogers – MS: Media Studies, Rhode Island College. Fellowship: Inbound Marketing & Communications Analyst, Absolute Commerce.

Peter Sadeck – AS: Information Technology, Software Engineering, New England Institute of Technology. Fellowship: Assistant Programmer, AIPSO.

Anthony Salazar – BS: Game Development and Simulation Programming Technology, New England Institute of Technology. Fellowship: Technical Support Representative / Developer, Alert Solutions.

Kim Tran – BS: Biochemistry, Providence College. Fellowship: Laboratory Technician, Tedor Pharma.

New Horizons Computer Learning Centers provided each Fellow with a Microsoft training certificate to utilize as they continue to grow their knowledgebase and experience.

"The success of the Graduate Fellowship program is a testament to our young workers entering the workforce, as well as a testament to the commitment of Rhode Island’s industry employers,” compliments Shields. “Talent is developed – over time, over experience, over mentorship. These employers have invested all of this – and more – to reap the rewards of introducing fresh ideas, approaches, and technologies into their companies. Thank You Absolute Commerce, Alert Solutions, AIPSO, Tedor Pharma, Ximedica, and the Governor’s Workforce Board.”

About the Governor’s Workforce Board Rhode Island
The Governor’s Workforce Board is the primary policy-making body on workforce development matters for the State of Rhode Island, and has statutory responsibility and authority to plan, coordinate, fund and evaluate workforce development activities in the state. Since its inception in 2005, the Governor’s Workforce Board has made more than $65 million in strategic investments that reward collaboration among the state’s employment, education and economic development entities. For more information, visit

About Tech Collective:
Tech Collective is Rhode Island’s Bioscience and Information Technology Industry Association. Uniting industry, government and academic stakeholders, our mission is to inspire, engage, educate and employ a high-skill, high-wage Knowledge Economy in Rhode Island. Since its transition from the Rhode Island Technology Council (RITEC) in 2004, Tech Collective has received more than $8M in federal, state and private grant funding to foster industry and workforce awareness, collaboration, and development through forums and initiatives including: Tech10, GRRL Tech, Women in Technology, Bio-Ed, and STEM-based education and training programs for K-16 students as well as incumbent and transitioning workers. Get connected to Tech Collective at, on Facebook (TechCollectiveRI), Twitter (@Tech_Collective), and on Linkedin (Tech Collective).

Contact: Giselle Mahoney
Manager of Communications & Media Relations
Tech Collective
401-521-7805 x101


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