Bowdoin’s Funded Interns Plan Ambitious Summers

Dighton Spooner of Career Planning congratulates all the funded internship recipients at an honorary lunch.

Dighton Spooner of Career Planning congratulates all the funded internship recipients at a recent lunch

Thirty-two students this semester have won grants through Bowdoin’s Funded Internship program, administered by the Career Planning Center. Donors have set up different funds — some aimed at students with specific career interests, others designed to be more general — to free students to accept unpaid summer positions around the world. The program gives students the chance to explore potential career paths and to gain professional experience.

2014 Funded Internship Recipients:

Thomas Andrew McKinley ’06 Entrepreneur Grant Fund

Justin Pearson ’16 will use the McKinley grant to create a nine-week summer camp for disadvantaged students in Memphis. “We will serve 30 kids who are challenged by social, economic and educational constraints and show them…that they can aspire to bigger possibilities in life,” Pearson writes in his grant application. The camp will also provide its participants with meals and LensCrafter vouchers for free eye exams and glasses. “As a student who grew up in poverty, I did not know how important vision was to academic success,” writes Pearson, who got his first pair of glasses in 9th grade. “I thought about how much better a student I could have been had I been able to see the board clearly.”

Scott Mitchell ’15, who has been studying at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College this year, has designed an inexpensive pediatric standing device to help children in developing countries who require physical therapy. He will use the McKinley grant to establish a nonprofit this summer to manufacture and distribute the standers “to those in need around the world.” The standers, he says, will help children develop stronger bones and muscles, as well as strengthen their respiratory and circulatory systems.

The Jason R. Baron Public Service Fellowship in Washington, D.C.

Anna Cumming ’15 is the first student to receive the new Baron grant. This summer, she will intern with the United States Agency for International Development in Washington D.C., primarily focusing on legislative affairs. Interested in international aid and international policy, Cumming says the internship will expose her to “the ways in which international aid functions as part of the U.S. government.”

Bowdoin College Alumni Council Internship Fund

Christine Parsons ’15 will use her award to work at the Slack Lab at Yale University, to continue research she was involved with last summer looking into the role that micro-RNAs play in the aging process. “The sheer excitement of my research is why I am trying to return to the same laboratory this summer,” Parsons writes in her application.

The Anwarul Quadir Fellowship

Bridgett McCoy ’15 will travel to Bangladesh to intern at the BRAC Bank, where she hopes to help develop or enhance loan programs that have an environmental focus. “Threatened by sea level rise and vulnerable to deforestation, any business in Bangladesh should incorporate sustainability into its operations,” she writes.

Delta Sigma Arts Fellowship

Henry Austin ’16 will head out West this summer to make a series of outdoor videos for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). “I will be working alongside industry professionals learning skills necessary to film in a backcountry environment…,” Austin writes. “I will also be called upon to journey out into the wilderness in an effort to illustrate the incredible experience of taking a NOLS course.”

Nikuradse-Matthews Summer Public Interest Fellowship

Diamond Walker ’17 will work for the nonprofit advocacy organization, Children’s Defense Fund, in New York City, which she says will give her experience interacting with people from diverse backgrounds as well as insight into laws relating to children. “If I want to be an advocate for juvenile justice I do not want to limit myself to just being able to work with the students,” she says. “I want to bring their cases to the top and for them to be heard by everyone.”

Richard B. ’62 and Sabra Ladd Government Internship

Garrett Casey ’15 will work for the office of congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, a democrat representing New Hampshire’s first district. Casey says he will work with legislative assistants on health care and education reform. “I will learn about [these issues] by drafting legislation, by conducting research on legislative matters, and by examining how certain laws are affecting the congresswoman’s district,” he says.

Luke Drabyn ’15 has been offered a summer internship with the public affairs office at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. A double major in government and Russian, Drabyn says he will likely conduct research, monitor news sources, respond to congressional inquiries and participate in consultations with high-level officials. “…I have gradually come to realize that I want to spend my life abroad, living and breathing international relations,” he writes.

Robert S. Goodfriend Summer Internship Fund 

Alexandra Glass-Katz ’16 will be an intern with the New York City publisher Schwartz and Wade Books, a Random House imprint that publishes children’s books. “What I love about smart children’s literature, other than the way the stories stay with you, is the successful blending of humor and moral, and the remarkable way authors combine the visual with the literary to achieve an aesthetic impact, often for all ages,” she says.

Christa Villari ’15 will intern for Innerscope Research, a marketing research firm in Boston that employs neuroscience and biometric measures, such as heart beats and respiratory rates, to develop advertising strategies. She writes that the internship will allow her to “apply my neuroscience laboratory skills to the business world in a hands-on fashion.”

Emese Gaal ’15 will work for Enel Green Power North America, Inc. this summer. The Massachusetts-based company develops and manages renewable energy projects around the world from solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass sources. “My exposure to the ambitious plans and challenges of this company could lay the foundation for an exciting career in renewable energy,” Gaal writes.

Katherine Gracey ’16 will travel to Hong Kong this summer to intern with Christie’s Special Events Department. She says the experience will educate her both about the international art market and Chinese art. “My internship offers a tremendous chance to uncover how the art market is changing and what the future may hold for buying and selling art,” she says.

Maxwell Wolf ’15 will intern at Atayne, an eco-friendly sportswear company in Brunswick founded by Jeremy Litchfield ’99. All the clothing is made from recycled plastic bottles and environmentally friendly dyes. “Atayne’s commitment to a socially and environmentally conscious business model particularly interests me and epitomizes Bowdoin’s values,” he says.

Raisa Tolchinsky ’17, a poet, will intern with Jill Grinberg Literary Management in New York City, where she will be exposed to both the “business as well as the art of literature.” She writes, “By interning at Jill Grinberg Literary Management this summer, I will be getting a sense of what kinds of stories readers respond to.” She adds that she is also looking forward to discovering the city. “Living in New York would be an education in and of itself, one that will make me wiser and more independent as a person, a poet, and even perhaps as a literary agent one day.”

William Danforth ’16 will be a business development intern for Urban Putt, a miniature golf course and restaurant in San Francisco. “This position will test my foundational knowledge of economic theory, while developing core business analytical abilities,” Danforth says. He’ll be researching competitive businesses and doing social media marketing.

Zhaodong (Marco) Li ’16 will travel to China to intern with the China Great Wall Asset Management Corp., a financial asset management firm that acquires, manages and disposes of non-performing assets of state-owned banks. “I hope to understand more about the tightly regulated Chinese financial market, particularly its once thorny issue of bad debt accumulation among state-owned commercial banks and the specific governmental regulations that transformed these insolvent institutions into the world’s most profitable lenders today,” Li writes.

Preston Public Interest Career Fund

Alexander Sukles ’17 was inspired by his Alternative Spring Break trip to Atlanta, George, this March where he volunteered with refugees building new lives in the United States. With his grant, he will return to Atlanta to intern with the Lutheran Services of Georgia, which helps resettle refugees. “Growing up bicultural, I see that there is so much richness in each culture, and diversity has always enriched our country. I have always been taught to accept and learn from others, an attitude that the world desperately needs,” he says.

Apekshya Prasai ’16 will return to her home in Nepal to work at a women’s shelter and develop a support program for the residents, many of whom have suffered violence and abuse. “Though raised in this patriarchal society, my parents were passionate about gender equality,” she writes. “As a result, I escaped the dreadfully oppressed lives that most Nepalese women lead.” She will teach the women skills, such as how to read, manage their money and keep themselves healthy. “One of my primary goals will be to make the women aware of their rights and the resources available to them.”

Aviva Mattingly ’15, an aspiring physician, will intern with an NGO in Kenya, where she will focus on providing healthcare to people living in impoverished areas. She will stay in four rural villages, assessing student education and health needs and constructing a final report for the organization. “I am drawn to this opportunity because SOTENI represents the values that drive me towards my future career: a commitment to community service and a dedication to improving conditions in regions of the world where populations are without adequate healthcare,” she writes.

Faustino Ajanel ’16 will tutor first-generation college students in math with the Los Angeles organization, A Place Called Home. “Having the chance to lead math sessions and provide one-on-one tutoring during the programs will provide me experience similar to a math teacher,” he writes. “I am set on teaching back in Los Angeles after getting my college degree and teacher certification.”

Helen Mohney ’15 will stay in Brunswick to work with Spindleworks Art Center, which provides art classes to adults and children with disabilities. “As a visual arts and sociology major, I am interested in exploring the intersection between mental health and the arts and in pursuing a career that would allow me to work with underserved populations,” she writes.

Jacqueline Uranga ’15 will intern with the Volunteer Lawyers Project in Portland, Maine, to provide legal services to low-income people. She writes that she is interested in pursuing a law degree, but knows that for her to remain dedicated to this career path, she will need to work “for a cause that I found truly meaningful,” such as helping underserved people.

Jia Chen ’17 will intern with an organization in China dedicated to improving education for rural girls. She will offer daily summer camp activities and teach sex-ed and English to middle-school aged students. “I feel so connected to those left-behind girls, as I was in a way, and want to encourage them to look for their own life path instead of what they are supposed to be,” she says.

June Woo ’16 will live in Ecuador for the summer, where she will teach English at a rural, primary school and help offer music lessons. She will also mentor struggling students. “Through working in the under-resourced schools in the rural areas of Ecuador, I look forward to making my contribution to addressing educational inequality,” she says.

Strong/Gault Social Advancement Internship Grant

Benjamin Pallant ’16, who aspires to a career in medicine, will work for the Angkor Hospital for Children, a teaching hospital that provides free care to poor children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. He will be a research assistant in an ongoing study of dengue fever and help in the hospital. “…I will be able to extend my academic interests to a real-world setting and contribute to an established project aimed at bettering the health of impoverished children in one corner of the developing world, ” he says.

Emily Snider ’16 will intern with Root Cause, a Boston consulting firm that focuses on nonprofits. “…For the past two years I have become even more interested in and passionate about non-profits, in terms of their missions and concrete strategies for targeting social issues,” she writes.

Hannah Sherman ’15, a Truman scholar, will be an intern with FINCA International, a microfinance organization that works around the world. Sherman will be based in Honduras this summer “to follow my passion for serving economically underdeveloped communities,” she says. She will create a social media presence for FINCA’s projects in Central America and assist with research on effective microfinance strategies.

John Branch ’16 will return to the organization he interned at last summer, the New Haven-based Innovations for Poverty Action, a nonprofit that researches solutions to end global poverty. He will prepare policy materials based on the organization’s research for government officials. “I am excited about the opportunity to return to an organization that I believe is doing important work in changing how academics, governments, and everyday people view global poverty…” he writes.

Marcella Jimenez ’16 will be a policy research intern for the Children’s Defense Fund, based in Washington D.C. She’ll track and analyze legislation and research policy initiatives in education, early childhood development and poverty.My internship at the Children’s Defense Fund will enable me to delve deeper into two fields that I am incredibly passionate about: advocacy work and education reform,” she writes.

Margaret Webster ’16 will work for both Boston’s Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center and for the organization English for New Bostonians, which raises money and awards grants for ESOL programs in Boston. “I believe that working with these two connected organizations, which represent both sides of the nonprofit sector, will allow me to fully understand what is required in a profession of this kind,” she says.

Sarah Haimes ’15 will be an intern with Percent for Art, a program run by New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs. The program oversees the acquisition and installation of public art throughout the city. “As a visual artist and art history scholar, I am primarily interested in the effect of art on society,” she writes. “…My goal is to…[give] back to the community that inspired me to become a creator and a scholar of art.”

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