BVIS Practicum/Internship


Founded in 1921 by Professor Thomas Smith Jones, the Biomedical Visualization program (BVIS) at the University of Illinois at Chicago is the second oldest accredited school of its kind and one of only four accredited graduate programs in North America providing professional training for careers in the visual communication of life science, medicine, and healthcare. With a renowned faculty and a curriculum that keeps pace with advances in science and technology, UIC's BVIS program attracts graduate students from a variety of disciplines such as medicine, life science, art, sculpture, digital animation, and computer science.  

Students can earn credit while working at a practicum site under the supervision of a preceptor. The purpose of the practicum is to provide a structured field experience that is a valuable educational component and link between the didactic education and the student's career.  The practicum provides the student with a foundation for professional development and assists in refining skills and behaviors necessary for successful practice in the complex health care environment.  



The goals of the practicum encompass three broad areas:  the mentoring relationship, observation, and application.

Mentoring Relationship: Through a mentoring relationship between the preceptor and the student, the student is able to develop a personal philosophy of leadership that exploits new opportunities for managing technology and organizational transformation in a continuous environment of change.  Through the mentoring relationship, the student is able to enhance understanding of organizational behavior and skills in interpersonal relationships, communication, negotiation, and strategic thinking.

Observation:  Through observation and selected participation, the student is able to develop an appreciation of the relationships between organization culture, structure, and behavior and how these enhance the effectiveness of the health care system.

Application: The practicum experience should provide the student with an opportunity to develop confidence in the application of acquired knowledge and skills.  Furthermore, the student should gain enhanced project planning and management skills.




Ali Padilla is currently a 2nd year graduate student in the Biomedical Visualization program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, graduating in May 2015.  Ali graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of New Mexico, focusing on traditional illustration and sculpting techniques.  He then worked at the University of New Mexico as the Art Department’s Sculpture Lab Manager before moving to Chicago to attend the UIC BVIS program.

Ali’s graduate research is focused on the implementation of non-invasive excavation and three-dimensional reconstruction of human paleontological remains.  He is currently working with Paleontologist Dr. Paul Sereno and his team at the University of Chicago to digitally excavate a 10k year old burial plot (part of a larger burial complex) found in Niger.  The plot contains the remains of three human specimens and an array of artifacts that were too fragile to fully excavate until now.  Using CT scans of the specimens and data segmentation software, Ali has been able to virtually extract the bodies from the surrounding rock and create detailed interactive models, giving us the first look at these specimens since their deaths 10,000 years ago.




Lauren Kalinoski is originally from Toledo, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame and her graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned her Master of Science in Biomedical Visualization in May 2014. Her past museum experience includes work with the Toledo Museum of Art as a member of their High School Art Council and their Community Advisory Board.

During her practicum at the museum, Lauren was a member of the development team for the Redefining the Game exhibit. She worked on all aspects of the exhibit - from brainstorming to final installation - including research, content creation, videography, and film editing. Along with the RTG exhibit, she assisted with museum events, completed graphic design projects, and helped with the creation and installation of other exhibits.