Community Matters in Maine Summer Fellowships

CMM site visit 2013

The Community Matters in Maine Summer Fellowships provide students the opportunity to work and serve in the local community by way of a placement in a specific organization to address community issues while strengthening campus-community partnerships. Meant to capitalize on students' interests, the fellowship allows students to explore work in the public sector while developing an understanding of issues at the local level — what they are, and how to solve problems related to these issues by working with a broad spectrum of community leaders.  

This 10-week fellowship includes a $4000 stipend, and fellows are eligible for on-campus housing. In addition to their placements, students convene regularly with other fellows for reflection and problem solving. Most fellowship placements go from early June to mid-August.

McKeen Community Fellows work with organizations addressing issues of social/civic concern.  Placements are designed for students interested in public service with experience in community service and/or service learning courses.
Read about past McKeen Community Fellows and their placements:
2014 2013 2012 2011 2010  2009  2008  2007  2006

Psi Upsilon/Logan Environmental Fellows work with organizations addressing issues related to the environment at the local level and are primarily for students majoring in Environmental Studies. Read about past Psi U Fellows and their placements.


As part of the program, fellows are required to:

  • Participate in an orientation to the program during the first week of June;
  • Convene regularly with other fellows and staff for discussion, reflection and problem solving and to identify common themes among participating agencies that might be addressed in the future;
  • Present a summary of the experience to participating agencies, students, faculty and staff at the end of the summer;
  • Participate in an evaluation of the program at the end of the summer to help craft future program components.


Interest in public issues, academic record, and financial need are all important criteria for fellowship applicants, although students not receiving aid are eligible if a paying summer job is a necessity. Preference is given to rising juniors and seniors.


Applications are now available and are due by noon on Wednesday, February 12. Interviews with agencies will be scheduled for March and all accepted fellows will be notified before Spring Break.

McKeen Community Placements for Summer 2014

ArtVan (Public Art) -- Bath, ME

ArtVan is a mobile arts therapy program that brings the arts to low income children and teens in Bath, Brunswick, Lewiston, Auburn and Biddeford. This fellowship position is especially suited to someone with a strong interest in social media, video, fundraising, marketing and of course the arts, youth and community wellness. The fellow would divide their time to work alongside ArtVan Program staff and ArtVan Development Director to support both Direct service and Organizational Development. Working as a team member and alongside arts educators, art therapists, the financial administrator, and the director of development, the fellow would have the opportunity to stretch both their creative, business and entrepreneurial capacities.

Projects include:

  • Assisting in the design of, and lead neighborhood arts projects.
  • Helping build ArtVan’s communications in social media, and research "How to Evaluate Community Arts Programs."

Community Financial Literacy (Immigrant & Refugee Communities) – Portland, ME

Community Financial Literacy seeks to support immigrants and refugees in making sound money management decisions. CFL offers classes, workshops, and one-on-one counseling on basic financial skills. The fellow will assist CFL in expanding its mission by gathering data on immigrant and refugee workforce development, including talking to current workforce development providers about challenges and costs related to providing these services. In the process the fellow will gain knowledge of non-profit management skills, enhance his or her cross-cultural communication skills, and get to know the diversity of the refugee and immigrant communities in Portland.

Projects include:

  • Collecting and comparing data on immigrant skills with workforce corporation needs.
  • Researching costs and other needs for incorporating workforce development and small business management into CFL’s services.

Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (Immigrant & Refugee Communities) – Portland, ME

The Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project is Maine’s only statewide legal aid agency dedicated to providing legal assistance on immigration issues to low-income immigrants, including gaining asylum from persecution, unification with family members, and citizenship and work authorization. Approximately one-half of her/his time will be spent in direct client contact, working in ILAP’s Immigration Clinic and assisting ILAP’s staff with “intake” of new clients (interviewing and assembling client documents and needed data entry follow-up). The fellow also will assist ILAP’s legal staff in researching particular matters, obtaining court records and other case support, and will also work on website maintenance and with the flow of clients at the front desk. The fellow will learn to interview and engage with people of very different backgrounds and life circumstances, and gain insight into what immigrants experience in Maine, how the immigration system functions, and what attorneys’ jobs in these situations actually involve.

Projects include:

  • Assisting clients in Immigration Clinic in filling out basic immigration forms and applications (e.g., for work permit or permanent residency "Green card") and then follow-up on each case to finalize and complete the assistance.
  • Working with ILAP's legal staff to obtain court records, perform needed research on particular client matters, and otherwise provide case support.

Maine Center for Economic Policy (Economic Policy) – Augusta, ME

MECEP’s forte is its economic policy analysis. We research, analyze, and write about the need for better jobs, fair taxes and budgets, quality education and worker training, and accessible child care and health care; and the growing divide between Maine’s wealthiest and poorest families. Opportunities at MECEP can be tailored based on the fellow’s interests in learning about public policy, economics, nonprofit management, advocacy, or communications. The fellow will conduct in-depth analysis of a particular policy issue that makes a difference in the lives of low- and moderate-income Mainers. Using research results, the fellow will write an issue brief, op-ed, blog post(s), and Facebook and Twitter posts; host MECEP’s cable television talk show; and present findings to coalition partners and policymakers. The fellow will also participate in staff and board meetings and assist with communications and outreach activities.

Projects include:

  • Policy analysis on any of the following: Expanding Pre-K Education in Maine; Increasing Higher Education Attainment in Maine by assessing Opportunity Maine; or Benchmarking Maine’s Economic Growth by developing creative ways to measure growth
  • Understanding Government Revenues in Maine: revamp and update MECEP’s revenue spending primer of state and municipal government income and appropriations for distribution to Maine’s incoming legislature in 2015.

Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (Food Security) – Brunswick, ME

The Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program works to reduce hunger by providing food assistance, sustainable living education and referral services to households living at or below poverty in Brunswick, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Durham, Harpswell, Lisbon, Lisbon Falls, and Topsham. After visiting food pantries and partner agencies to learn about hunger in our area, the fellow will develop a basic volunteer management manual that can be adapted to each individual food pantry. The fellow will also serve as Communication and Constituent Feedback Intern, drafting news stories, designing summer "new media" communication goals to reach multiple constituent bases, and providing feedback to the Executive Director on constituent satisfaction. The ideal candidate will enjoy interviewing people, have strong written and verbal communication skills and be proficient with Microsoft Office and Publisher.

Projects include:

  • Working with the Food Security Coalition of Mid Coast Maine, the fellow will create a basic volunteer management manual for small food pantries in the Mid Coast area.
  • Fiinalizing draft versions of client and volunteer feedback surveys, designing and implementing a plan to administer them, analyzing survey data, summarizing and presenting findings for possible implementation

Mitchell Institute (Education Policy) – Portland, ME

The Mitchell Institute works to improve the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue and achieve a college education. The summer fellow works as a Research Assistant on several Maine-focused, policy-oriented education research projects, using a blend of quantitative and qualitative research methods. The fellow joins a small, collegial staff in the office in downtown Portland. The fellow will collect and distribute data on a variety of education indicators using Excel and Access databases, creating infographics and maps with data, and advising staff on social media, design, office technology, etc.

Projects include:

  • Conducting an annual college student and alumni survey and distributing college enrollment data to Maine high schools
  • Collecting data on a variety of education indicators and helping to update the Indicators report
  • Researching promising practices in encouraging student aspirations

Oasis Free Clinic (Public Health) – Brunswick, ME

The Oasis Free Clinic offers quality health care services to uninsured, low-income residents of southern Midcoast Maine. The fellow will learn about community health and the use of medical records to monitor patient outcomes. The fellow will also have the opportunity to interact with patients and medical staff and develop the ability to advocate on behalf of under- and un-insured patients, to work with community caregivers, develop relationships with pharmaceutical executives, administrators, and leaders in the community.

Projects include:

  • Integrating data from medical records to be used to monitor outcomes as the clinic moves to a model of a patient-centered medical home, and preparing to evaluate treatments for individual patients as well as to provide data to support applications for funding.
  • Working with participants in the Community Prescription Assistance Program (CPAP), the fellow will interview patients and contact pharmaceutical companies to advocate on their behalf. The fellow will also work with the CPAP administrator in community outreach to connect more patients with the CPAP.

Preble Street (Food Security) – Portland, ME

Preble Street and the Preble Street Maine Hunger Initiative advocate for solutions to end hunger in Maine and help low-income households move toward greater economic self-sufficiency. The fellow will help expand access to USDA federal nutrition programs such as the Food Supplement Program and the Summer Food Service Program in Maine. The fellow will also support the work of Preble Street soup kitchens and food pantry—the largest emergency food service delivery operation in northern New England—distributing 550,000 nutritious meals three times daily through soup kitchens and emergency food boxes for individuals and families who are homeless or living in poverty. The fellow will develop an understanding of the causes and effects of hunger and poverty, the emergency food system and public policy around hunger including government benefit programs, as well as volunteerism, community organizing, and group facilitation.

Projects include: