Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

Connecting to Augusta: Sarah Glaser '11 Shadows State Rep.

Story posted April 17, 2012

Throughout her time at Bowdoin, Sarah Glaser ’11 has sought connections between what she learned in the classroom and the actual experiences of various communities.  In 2009, after received a Global Citizens Grant, she volunteered at an after-school literacy and arts program in San José, Costa Rica.  After returning to work with other Bowdoin students to work with the children during the following winter break, she went on to complete an independent study in sociology, looking at the media coverage of the San José neighborhood in which she worked. 

This semester, Sarah is taking Professor Allen Springer’s course on international and humanitarian law.  After making a connection through the McKeen Center, Sarah was able to shadow State Representative Anne Graham for several days at the State House in Augusta over spring break.  Sarah greatly enjoyed the experience, relishing the new insight into the intense lobbying around proposed bills and the opportunity to hear conversations between legislators.  While in Augusta, Sarah also connected with three Bowdoin alumni who are currently serving in the state Legislature: Alex Cornell du Houx ’08, Terry Hayes ’80, and W. Bruce MacDonald ’60.

Sarah’s initiative to set up this opportunity will likely pave the way for others to experience state politics first-hand.  Politics and policy are inextricably linked to the common good, and the state legislature provides an accessible way for students to see the intersection of politics and policy.  As Susie Dorn, the Director of the McKeen Center, notes, “Increasingly, we find our students interested in policy and determining ways to address the root causes of the issues they learn about through their work in the community. Maine has one of the most accessible legislatures in the country, and, in this era, we need young people to understand how government works and to see, first-hand, the messy work of democracy.” 

Read more about Sarah's time in Augusta on the Bowdoin Daily Sun.

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