Posted July 20, 2012
If you walk into Nick Cohen’s living room, you will find a framed photo of ticks. To an outsider, a framed photo of blood-sucking parasites may seem like a strange decoration to have in the living room. But for Nick Cohen, the photo brings back good memories of his summer Psi Upsilon fellowship. In the summer of 2008, Cohen spent his fellowship with the Town of Brunswick’s planning and development office. For most of his time with the organization, Cohen helped compile an open space land database for the entire town of Brunswick. Cohen remembers, “My big project for the summer was putting together a map that the city could use, that the average citizen could use, if they needed to know where the open space in Brunswick was. The best part was I got to spend a lot of time outside going to some of those places.”
One day during his fellowship, when Cohen and his boss were driving back from a site visit, Cohen found a tick on his neck, pulled it off, and threw it out the window. When he looked down at his pants, he discovered five or ten ticks lining the seams. “When my boss saw my pants, she almost drove off the road. She yelled at me, ‘You have ticks everywhere, don’t take them off in my car!’ and she pulled over and made me get out to pull them off. It’s kind of a silly moment, but it was cool that for work I got to be outside and have that kind of stuff happen to me.” At the end of his fellowship, Cohen’s boss presented him with the framed photo of ticks.
Cohen now works in Malden, a city a little north of Boston. He works as a coordinator for the environmental justice program for an organization called Tri-City Community Action Program. The organization provides anti-poverty services for things like fuel assistance, legal assistance, or advocacy for lower income residents. Cohen still sees a connection between his Psi Upsilon fellowship and the work he does now. “I think I was always interested in how the science affects people and communities. That’s why I was interested in the Psi U program at Bowdoin. My fellowship ended up really reinforcing that interest for me.”
Nick was interviewed by Annie Sneed '12, Environmental Studies/Biology
“I think I was always interested in how the science affects people and communities. That’s why I was interested in the Psi U program at Bowdoin. My fellowship ended up really reinforcing that interest for me.”