‘Community Matters’ Fellows Work on Social and Environmental Problems

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Two dozen students this summer have grants from Bowdoin to intern for local organizations that address environmental and social concerns. Bowdoin’s Community Matters in Maine Summer Fellowship program, jointly run by the McKeen Center and the Environmental Studies Program, places students in a range of organizations, from town agencies and art organizations to housing authorities and environmental nonprofits.

Though the fellowships fall broadly into social/civic issues and environmental issues, there is often overlap between the two.

Janice Jaffe, associate director of the McKeen Center, said that collaborations can emerge over the summer among students, who work together on initiatives bridging social and environmental problems. “They have come to see the interconnectedness of the organizations and the importance of multidisciplinary responses to issues,” she said.

The fellows recently gathered in Moulton Union’s Main Lounge to share their projects with one another. Supervisors from participating organizations also attended. The event began with brief remarks from Jaffe and Environmental Studies Program Manager Eileen Johnson.

“It’s amazing to see the work that the students have done,” Johnson said. She added that the fellowship program not only strengthens community-college ties, but also provides students with pre-professional experiences that they can use as a foundation to independent studies and honors projects.

Jaffe thanked the fellows’ mentors. “Many of you have told me that our fellows took on a real leadership role this summer,” she said. “Thank you for giving them a chance to spread their wings.”


*Colton Hall ’16, who is not listed in the brochure, worked on a regional composting initiative with several partners — the Town of Farmington, University of Farmington and Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

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