Location: Bowdoin / McKeen Center / Activity / 2009 / Community Connections through Summer Fellowships

Community Connections through Summer Fellowships

Story posted August 26, 2009

Interested in issues important to the local community as well as exploring careers in the public sector, seventeen students spent the summer living on campus and working 40 hours a week at local non-profits through the Community Matters in Maine Summer Fellowship Program sponsored by the Environmental Studies Department and the McKeen Center for the Common Good.

Ranging from serving the morning meal and developing organizational systems for Preble Street’s clothing closet, to completing ecological monitoring surveys for the Nature Conservancy in Maine, to establishing a carbon emissions baseline inventory for the towns of Brunswick and Topsham and researching the barriers to post secondary education with the Mitchell Institute, these students provided an additional ‘employee’ to partner organizations while increasing the connections between Bowdoin and the community. Psi Upsilon Fellows focused on environmental issues, while Community Action Fellows addressed issues of social concern.

Both community partners and students reflected on the benefits of the placements at the end of summer gathering held in Cram Alumni Barn where students shared reflections on what they had done and learned while interning at the organizations through posters and presentations.

"I’m humbled every day by the genuine passion and talent of those who are involved in this work. They are integral in actively creating more just, equitable, and prosperous lives for all Mainers,” commented J.B. Chun ’11 who worked with the Maine Center for Economic Policy.

Lindsay Warren-Shriner reflected upon her experience noting, “Through my fellowship with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, I was able to apply what I have learned in the classroom to the organization’s work on important environmental issues facing Maine. I gained a clearer understanding of the process behind environmental policymaking, and the experience strengthened my interest in pursuing work in this field in the future.”

“The Mitchell Institute has benefited tremendously through Elaine’s internship. Having a fresh and different perspective on projects coming from someone who is in college has helped us think in new ways,” commented Lisa Plimpton from the Mitchell Institute.

Learn more about the experiences of all Community Action and Psi Upsilon Fellows.

Join us for an info session about next year's fellowships on Wednesday, January 27th at 7:30 p.m in Main Lounge, Moulton Union.

Listen to several of the fellows reflect on what they learned through their summer fellowship placements:

Drew Trafton ’10
Environmental Studies and Government and Legal Studies
Psi Upsilon Environmental Fellow with Maine Island Trail Association

Martha Clarke ‘10
Government and Legal Studies
Community Action Fellow with Volunteer Lawyer’s Project

Katy Shaw ‘11
Environmental Studies and History
Psi Upsilon Environmental Fellow with the
Maine League of Conservation Voters

David Funk ‘10
Environmental Studies and Government & Legal Studies
Psi Upsilon Environmental Fellow with the
Town of Brunswick Planning Department

Sam Waxman ‘10
Classics and English
Community Action Fellow with Five River Arts Alliance

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"I've spent the summer completing research while building community connections, and have learned how indispensable community collaboration is."
— Maina Handmaker '11