Bowdoin Fellows Kick-off Summer Community Work

Bowdoin’s community fellows recently met with their supervisors to hash out their summer work plans

Two dozen Bowdoin students have fellowships from Bowdoin this summer to intern for local organizations committed to helping Maine’s people and its environment.

The two fellowship programs, Maine Community Fellows and Maine Summer Fellows, are run by the McKeen Center for the Common Good and the Environmental Studies Program, respectively. Each year, students are selected for these programs through a competitive application process. Recipients are partnered with organizations that match the students’ interests and have a need for a summer intern. The students receive $5,000 to support them over the summer.

Recently, this year’s group of student fellows met with their summer supervisors on campus to have lunch and plan out short- and long-term projects. These projects will range from helping to feed hundreds of schoolchildren over the summer who are at risk of going hungry, to working on improving water quality in a nearby watershed.

Five highlighted fellowships:

Abby Silsby ’20 will be collaborating with the Volunteer Lawyers Project, McKeen Center and Bowdoin’s Career Planning Center to help establish more student opportunities — such as legal internships or judge apprenticeships — at the West Bath Court House, where the Volunteer Lawyers Project is establishing a new assistance program. The Volunteer Lawyers Project provide free legal services to low-income people.

Olivia Giles ’20 will be working for The Gathering Place in Brunswick, which is a comfortable spot where homeless people and others can seek shelter, warmth, food, and company during the day. She will also be putting together a resource guide for people who need emergency financial assistance. The Gathering Place’s director, Mary Connelly, said that one of the biggest needs of The Gathering Place’s clients is finding financial help to see them through crises.

Scout Gregerson ’18 said she was drawn to a fellowship at the Oasis Free Clinic in Brunswick because she is interested in public health. “What excited me about interning at Oasis is I will become more literate about our healthcare system,” she said. Gregerson will be working on making a community-needs assessment for the clinic to determine its patient population’s needs now, and what they might be in the future.

Claire Day ’18 will be interning for both the Merrymeeting Food Council and the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association. The two nonprofits are collaborating to include seafood into the Food Council’s mission to make on more nutritious food available locally. Day will track where Maine fishermen catch ends up to let the fishermen know how far their market extends. Additionally, she’ll create infographics for consumers to inform them about local seafood. “Maine’s fishermen are the backbone of our coastal communities, and they’re dwindling,” Day’s supervisor Kendra Jo Marsh of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association said. “We’d like to encourage consumers to buy local because it helps keep coastal communities strong.”

Aaron Rubin ’19 will be creating interactive digital tools for the Topsham-based environmental consulting company Stantec to give the public access to the company’s data. Trevor Peterson ’02, who is Rubin’s supervisor, said Stantec has collected a large amount of information on Maine’s birds and bats while completing environmental impact studies on wind farms and that the company would like to give people an easier way to use this data. Rubin said he’s excited to do coding, graphing, and mapping this summer, and also to explore the intersection of business and environmental studies.

2017’s Maine Community and Maine Summer fellows:
ArtVan, Juliana Burke ’18
Brunswick Planning Department, Lauren Hickey ’20
Community Financial Literacy, Sarah Lim ’18
Cultivating Community, Hannah Karlan ’19
The Gathering Place, Olivia Giles ’20
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Victoria Lowrie ’18
Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association and Merrymeeting Food Council, Claire Day ’18
Maine Migrant Health Program, McClure Brower ’18
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, Abdul-Latif Armiyaw ’18
Mitchell Institute, Miranda Dils ’19
Natural Resources Council of Maine, Hannah Berman ’18
Partners for World Health, Julie Scholes ’20
Portland Housing Authority, Bridget Hoke ’20
Preble Street, Steven Colin ’17
Stantec, Aaron Rubin ’19
The Nature Conservancy, Nicholas Mitch ’18
Town of Topsham, Ripley Mayfield ’19
Oasis Free Clinic, Scout Gregerson ’18
Merrymeeting Food Council, Zachary Hebert ’18
Opportunity Alliance, Michelle Jeong ’18
American Cancer Society, Liam Nicoll ’18
Volunteer Lawyers Project/McKeen Center/Career Planning Center, Abby Silsby ’20
Brunswick Topsham Land Trust, Mikayla Kifer ’19
SEANET, Hugh Cipparone ’19
Political Ecology of Maine’s Agricultural System, Jamie Ptacek ’17

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