Advancing the Common Good
through Community Service at Bowdoin College

Robin Transgrud '06

Robin Transgrud

Robin Transgrud '06

Major: Government and Legal Studies: Concentration in Comparative Politics
Hometown: Minnetonka, MN

Service activities:

  • America Reads Tutor
  • Recipient of the Public Interest Career Fund Grant: spent summer working at Camino Seguro/Safe Passage, an organization that provides educational reinforcement services for children and families in the Guatemala City dump
  • kNOw Poverty week Coordinator
  • Maine Civic Fellow
  • Two service learning courses: Globalization and Social Change; Class, Labor, and Power.

How did you first get involved in service at Bowdoin?When I first came to Bowdoin, I was overwhelmed by the unbelievable resources that the school was offering me and I felt extremely fortunate to be here. I also felt it was necessary for me to take advantage of Bowdoinís opportunities in a way that would allow others to benefit from the schoolís resources. I started volunteering with America Reads because I grew up at a home that doubled as a daycare, and I missed being around kids. As my academic interests developed towards social justice issues, I began to focus my extracurricular involvement and community service activities on poverty alleviation.

What have you gained from your service experience at Bowdoin?While it is difficult to quantify all that I have gained, I suppose it is possible to categorize the benefits into two broad categories. Primarily, I have learned about the career path I would like to pursue. While it might be nice to volunteer for the rest of my life, Iíve learned an enormous amount about how social change can be made in a variety of different ways through nongovernmental organizations as a result of my community service involvement. I have also gained a number of very practical, job related skills. Iíve learned how to market and publicize events, how to recruit people to be involved, how to conduct meetings and how to delegate tasks. These may sound like unlikely skills to come out of community service, but I have spent most of my community service efforts organizing events in which business-related skills are inherent! Most importantly, and this deviates from the first two categories, I have gained wonderful relationships with fantastic people both at Bowdoin and in the greater Brunswick community.

What does it mean to serve the common good?
Using your talents, skills and resources to enhance the lives of others and to build community.

Story posted on May 02, 2006

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