Posted May 27, 2010
After a semester abroad traveling to Brazil, South Africa, and Vietnam studying urban planning and development, Simon Ou '10 came back to Bowdoin eager to continue his studies of social issues.
He signed up for Maine Social Research last semester. This sociology course, taught by Professor McEwen, gives students the opportunity to design their own research project as part of a longer-term study on affordable housing, homelessness, hunger, and economic insecurity in the Brunswick-Topsham area. During that semester, Simon worked with many community institutions, including Brunswick Housing Authority, and conducted an interview-based research on the landlord’s perspective on the Section 8 housing program.
This semester, Simon is taking another community-based course: Architectural Design with Professor Theodore. In this class, students meet with members of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust as well as various local farmers and community members in preparation of designing a new year-round farmer’s market.
Simon is also a member of the Common Good Grant Committee, where he reviews grant applications submitted by local communities and, with other members, decide which ones to fund.
Next year, Simon plans on going to China with the Princeton in Asia Fellowship to work at an environmental NGO that focuses on bringing about a more environmentally and socially sustainable supply chain.
“Service is no longer extra-curricular work but an essential part of my academic experience.”