Bowdoin alumni are serving the common good in countless ways around the world. Learn from the individuals below about how their Bowdoin experience impacted their work, what they’ve been accomplishing in their communities, and the advice they have for current Bowdoin students when seeking the common good. In addition to the individuals below, explore the recipients of the college’s Common Good Award, given annually to Bowdoin alumni who demonstrate “an extraordinary, profound, and sustained commitment to the common good.”

If you have a suggestion for an alumni we should profile or want to contact an alumni on this page, email Sarah Seames.

Jon Behar '01

Jon Behar '01

Chief Operating Officer and Director of Philanthropy Education at The Life You Can Save

"Aim big: don't just try to do good, try to do as much good as you can."

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Lydia Bell '00

Lydia Bell '00

Associate Director of Research at the NCAA

Fourteen years ago, Lydia Bell '00 accepted an AmeriCorps position at Bowdoin right after graduating that would lay the groundwork for the Community Service Resource Center in 2001 and the McKeen Center in 2008. Over winter break, Caitlin Callahan '11 had the opportunity to talk with Lydia about her path at Bowdoin, her work in the early years of the CSRC, and her path since.

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Larkin Brown '10

Program Development Associate and East Boston Program Coordinator for Soccer Without Borders

"Find something you are passionate about, get active, and pour your energy into that worthwhile cause, but never lose sight of being a student. Curiosity and a thirst for knowledge will make you a more effective change maker!" 

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Connie Chi '10

Connie Chi '10

Program Coordinator for Chicago Cares

"There has to be a deep and genuine understanding of the needs and motivations of the people you are working with-- you cannot do effective work otherwise. I learned that lesson early on at Bowdoin and it has guided the work I've done since my time at Bowdoin."

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Sam Collins '11

Sam Collins '11

"You must have patience for the process as well. Nonprofits are such interesting institutions and they have so many layers. It's great to be part of something that is a challenge every day when you go to work."

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Shanna Crofton ’01

Shanna Crofton ’01

"I think service work lends itself well to someone who has grit. You have to have grit in order to be successful."

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Iris Davis '78

Section Chief for the Bureau of Waste Site Clean-up at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the Department of Environmental Protection

"Participate in something you love. It will be much more rewarding and the people that you are working with will see how much you care."

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Sky Dudley '06

Sky Dudley '06

 Case Manager at Intermountain

"I think that my degree and experience at Bowdoin gave me a more realistic and certainly more worldly view on life. I've always wanted to help people and my time at Bowdoin only entrenched this more in myself." Full profile>

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Kara Gerson '04

Executive Director of Voss Foundation

"Wonderful professors, challenging courses, non-traditional class formats, and porous classrooms encouraged me to think about and participate in communities global and local."

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Jennifer Goldman '87

Jennifer Goldman '87

Director of Development and External Relations at the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine

"My experience at Bowdoin heightened my awareness about inequality, especially regarding wealth disparity... After college, I committed myself to working to make sure no person, regardless of income, gender, sexual orientation, or race, ever felt alone or isolated because of who they were or where they came from."

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Matthew Hillard '12

Associate Analyst at Abt Associates Inc.

"There is an opportunity in every job to pursue the common good, and in fact there is a higher potential for impact bringing those values and desire to affect change in environments not know for sharing such values."

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Sara Holby '08

Sara Holby '08

 Co-founder of Ajiri Tea

"Work in the public service sector can be very rewarding and fun. You might not know where your path to a career in this field is going, but know that the pieces will fall together."

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Jeremy Litchfield '99

 Founder and CEO of Atayne

"It can be a roller coaster ride with the highest highs and the lowest lows. Remember to celebrate the victories, even the little ones. That can help to keep you going in the toughest of times."

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Elizabeth Mcghee '89

Program Manager at Spindleworks

"I engage with the community by making mindful choices, and supporting efforts that strengthen local communities and the economy whether that be in the arts or the grow local movement."

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Zalika May '13

Administration Manager at Harlem Village Academies Elementary

"Take the time to cultivate a strong relationship with the members of whichever community you decided work with. The stronger the relationship, the more you can help and the more productive you can be."

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Jamie Nadeau '10

Jamie Nadeau '10

Program Director at the Posse Foundation Veterans Program

"Recognize that you won't be able to figure everything out at once - the field of public service is constantly evolving, so keep an open mind and remain critical and reflective as you make career decisions."

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Lisa Peterson '07

Lisa Peterson '07

Boston Program Director and National Director of Program Development, Training, and Evaluation at the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship

"I had to learn how to effectively build relationships with the people I was working with; lessons that demanded a lot of introspection and humility and a simple motto: listen more than you speak."

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Torin Peterson '07

Codification work at Match Education

"Any worthwhile work you do for the common good will feel both incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding at the same time."

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Helen Pu '10

Student at Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University

"Good intentions can have bad consequences. Before you set out to do something, take the time to learn about the place, the people, the program, and the mistakes that were made in the past."

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Charlie Roscoe '66

Charlie Roscoe '66

President of Schools for Refugees and retired managing partner of BerryDunn, Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors

"Each organization has its unique challenges and each required learning about mission and operations and effective governance. Through volunteer experiences, I developed leadership skills which led to success in leading a rapidly growing financial services firm."

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Greg Rosen '14

Greg Rosen '14

 Public Health Associate with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

"No job or job description is too small for someone to have an impact immediately. While experience and credibility do matter, impact takes on so many levels; it’s possible to have an impact right away, whether that impact is in your institution or in the community." Full profile>

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Lauren Speigel '12

Lauren Speigel '12

Research Associate at the Center for American Progress

"There is not an easy or clearly laid-out career path if your goal is to work toward the common good (for the most part), so you have to be somewhat entrepreneurial and take some risks." Full profile>

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Morgan Taggart-Hampton '11

Special Education and Mathematics teacher at Bronx Leadership Academy High School, student at New York University School of Law

"...Finding the one or two professors who truly inspire you helps immensely because they will go out of their way to provide you with opportunities that you might not have gotten without their experience."

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Kristin Waters '89

Kristin Waters '89

Co-founder and Vice President of Project Blue Collar

"It was the widespread sense of community I experienced at Bowdoin that made me interested in serving the common good post-graduation."

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Ian Yaffee '09

Ian Yaffee '09

Executive Director, Mano en Mano / Hand in Hand

“Think about what you're passionate about, get involved with organizations, volunteer, seek out leadership opportunities, and think about what kind of world you want to live in."

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