Posted June 02, 2010
Katherine Wen '10 first became involved with service at Bowdoin through mentoring with a program called Falcon Friends at a local elementary. She volunteered as a mentor for two years.
Kat's main involvement on campus has come through her participation on the Common Good Grant Committee and Extension Committee. Being on the committees was particularly interesting as she has learned about Maine's demographics, the issues facing Maine populations, and gained a better understanding of the complexity of the operational side of non-profits. Actually allocating the grant monies was exciting and hard as the committee learned about people's passions and values and how deserving all of the non-profits that submitted grant requests were
Kat took Professor McEwen's Maine social research class her junior year. She interviewed patients at Oasis Health Network (a local, free health care clinic in Brunswick) and learned about the issues that the uninsured population faces. That summer she interned with the US Fund for UNICEF. Through this internship she learned about child health and education issues and inequalities, particularly in developing countries. These two experiences cemented her interest in health policy work and her decision to complete an independent study in economics with Professor Fitzgerald on intergeneration health correlations and relationship between health expenditures and health outcomes. Kat’s independent study explored the inequalities within populations on a global level.
Expanding her interests cultivated by the Grant Committee, Kat has been interned at the Maine Center for Economic Policy this past year. Working on a variety of topics, she began with general office work and data entry, and over time MECEP has given her more responsibilities. Kat is now working with them, helping to write an editorial on the unemployment in Maine.
“My favorite aspect of service involvement has been meeting individuals and non-profit leaders in the community and learning about their experiences and passions.”