The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Division of Student Services

McGill Lawrence Summer Internship Awards

The McGill Lawrence Internship Award offers Reed students the opportunity to complement their academic studies with a summer internship in the public or non-profit sectors. This fund was originally made available by a donation to help cultivate an environment of understanding and respect for multi-cultural issues at Reed. The endowment has increased over the years with generous college and Reed student body contributions. At least 50 percent of the funds awarded go to support proposals that bring students in contact with ethnically and culturally diverse issues and populations. 2011 recipients received an award of $3,750 for a minimum of 8 weeks of full time engagement. Award amounts were increased for 2012 recipients to $4,000 for a minimum of 8 weeks of full time engagement. Application instructions for the 2014 award are forthcoming.  

Congratulations to the 2013 McGill Lawrence Internship Award Recipients!

A Study of Microenterprise Nonprofit Successes: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Active
April Kaplowitz ’14, Economics

April Kaplowitz will spend her summer serving with Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) as the Summer Data Intern. MCNW is a community and development financial institution that provides grants and microloans to folks who may not otherwise have access to these resources. Accompanying the monetary assistance, MCNW provides regular educational opportunities to loan and grant recipients, as well as the larger Oregon community. The mission of MCNW is “to assist people of all walks of life, especially those without access to conventional financial services in Oregon and Washington states by increasing their economic self-sufficiency and community integration through microenterprise development and self-employment.” In addition, as Mercy Corps’ only domestic program, MCNW strives to end “suffering, poverty and oppression” through fighting the root cause of many of society’s troubles— economic hardship. As data intern, April will collect, aggregate, and organize data on clients’ experiences with MCNW to create an annual report. This report will include information on how successful supplemental programs were in promoting the success of microenterprise businesses, and demographic information about clients. Not only will the report be used to understand the community impact of MCNW in Oregon, it will be sent to the Aspen Institute to be included in a larger study of microenterprise organizations. This work is incredibly important as it is a primary tool MCNW may use to receive grants, donations, and funding from larger organizations (including government). It is also used to assess current performance and create tangible ways to improve the organization. April will work on a second project collecting client stories to share as both inspirational and promotional material for MCNW. Lastly, she will begin researching ways for MCNW to expand its client demographics, particularly to people of color. “After serving for over ten years with over ten organizations, I have found that quantitative activities are just as important to the success of a project as hands-on direct service, as data and assessment make everything they do possible, and amazing.”

Summer Internship at Derechos Humanos in Tucson, Arizona
Anna Montgomery, ‘14, Anthropology

Anna will be spending the summer in Tucson, Arizona interning with Derechos Humanos (DH). DH is a non-profit organization that is committed to preventing human rights abuses as well as fostering a healthy community in Tucson and the nearby borderlands. In recent years the increased militarization of the US-Mexico border has made both discrimination and rights abuses a concern. Derechos Humanos addresses these problems through their Abuse Documentation Clinic, which helps individuals who have experienced abuse navigate their available options; and the Arizona Recovered Human Remains Project, which works to provide accurate data about the deaths on the border. As an intern, Anna will support this mission by working at both the Abuse Clinic and the Recovered Human Remain Project in addition to starting English classes at the Abuse Clinic, which is frequented by non-native speakers. Anna hopes her presence will be helpful in this polarized community. She writes "As the national debate on US immigration policy gathers steam, I think that the mission of Derechos Humanos serves populations far beyond their local community. The type of awareness that Derechos Humanos promotes is crucial for a healthy discussion both locally and nationally."

Interning With a Chinese-Speaking LGBTQ NGO
Joseph Vincent '14, Chinese

This summer, Joseph will intern with the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, an LGBTQ rights NGO in Taipei, Taiwan. Joseph will focus on Chinese-English translation of the association website, the volunteer handbook, brochures concerning safe sex and HIV testing in Taiwan, as well as accounts from the Senior LGBTQ Oral History. In 1998, a series of news reports concerning suicides of LGBTQ teens inspired friends and allies to establish a hotline to provide emotional support for Taiwanese people identifying as LGBTQ. However, the organization soon came to realize that taking phone calls was not enough as non-heterosexuals still faced serious discrimination and prejudice in Taiwan. In June 2000, Hotline became the first registered national LGBTQ organization in Taiwan. Now, the NGO supports the LGBTQ community in Taiwan through the following: Human Rights Advocacy, Companionship for Senior LGBTQ Citizens, the compilation of an Oral History of Senior LGBTQ Taiwanese, Anonymous HIV/AIDS Testing, AIDS and Safe Sex Education, Coming Out Workshops, Counseling and Support Group for Parents of LGBTQ Children, Gender and Queer Education, as well as their Hotline service. Joseph will first spend three weeks translating the organization’s website and various informational brochures into English from his home in Portland. Then, he will collaborate for six weeks with National Chenchi University Professor of Social Work Wang Zeng Yong at the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association in Taipei to translate Chinese accounts from the Taiwan LGBTQ Oral History into English. Joseph writes: “Offering the Tongzhi Hotline Association’s brochures, handbook, and website in English will open services to the growing English-speaking population in Taiwan. Moreover, translation of the Tongzhi Hotline information will increase the association’s ability to cooperate with other like-minded organizations in Asia and in the World as well as secure funding from overseas institutions.”

Domestic Violence Advocacy with La Oficina de La Mujer in Rio Blanco, Nicaragua
Arya Samuelson '13, Anthropology

Arya will work with La Oficina de la Mujer, an anti-domestic violence network in Río Blanco, Nicaragua. La Oficina is a remarkably active and multi-faceted organization, which seeks to address domestic violence and women’s empowerment through longer-term preventative and awareness strategies as well as through emergency crisis intervention. Among many others, one of La Oficina’s core projects is to train domestic violence advocates (“las promotoras”) in communities located all over the Río Blanco municipality to enable access to domestic violence resources for women living in more remote areas. Arya will contribute to the full breadth of the network’s offerings by applying her sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy background in many ways. She will help to lead community workshops about self-esteem, warning signs of abuse, and new domestic violence legislation; facilitate advocacy trainings for “las promotoras”; administer radio broadcasts to raise awareness about sexual health and local domestic violence resources; and accompany survivors to the police or to the courthouse to testify about their abuse. Arya will also help the organization secure national and international funding as well as to publicize their services regionally and within the national and international feminist networks to which La Oficina belongs. Arya writes, “Working with La Oficina will allow me to deepen my understanding of the impact of domestic violence on impoverished communities, to grow as a domestic violence advocate, and to learn firsthand about coalition-building from such an active women’s organization. Thinking beyond this summer, I hope to build longstanding relationships with the Río Blanco community so that I can return to the coalition in future years and for a longer, more sustained periods of time.”

Stories from the Margins: Weaving Voices from New Mexico's Past and Present
Alexi Horowitz '14, History

Alexi will spend the summer of 2013 producing a radio podcast for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Museum is one of the central repositories of New Mexico's cultural heritage and representation, holding many of the largest collections of historical artifacts and archives in the state, and has served the community through its exhibitions, special events, and lecture offerings since its founding in 1909. As the Museum's mission statement relays, the museum "serves as a history center for research, education, and lifelong learning, delivering quality programs that encourage knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of New Mexico's diverse cultures.” Inspired by and modeled after radio programs like WBEZ Chicago's This American Life and WNYC's Radiolab, the podcast will serve the diverse communities of New Mexico by providing historically oriented educational programming, and by creating a space for intercultural discussion, a means of engaging the public to think about the past and its representation, as well as an outlet for oral histories and historical perspectives that would otherwise go unheard. Through dynamic sound design, comprehensive research, and extensive interviews from throughout the community, Alexi hopes both to benefit the museum by showcasing and exploring its exhibitions, to revitalize the way listeners think about and experience the past, and to help "build a more cohesive and compassionate community by offering a multicultural, multi-perspectival lens onto our shared history."—"In the tradition of Public Broadcasting programming like POV and American Experience, the podcast will serve the community by providing universally accessible educational programming, sharing underrepresented voices and perspectives from across New Mexico, and distributing stories that examine, challenge and complicate the stereotypes and mythologies that have long defined the history of the American West."

Intern at Raphael House of Portland
Emma Mclean-Riggs '14, Sociology

Emma will spend the summer working at Raphael House of Portland, a domestic violence agency that operates an emergency shelter for women and children and an outreach program.  Raphael House defines its mission as “to provide a foundation of hope for a life free from family violence”. Raphael House does this in two major ways: by serving women and children escaping from intimate partner violence through both a 24-hour emergency shelter and a 24-hour crisis line, and by working to prevent intimate partner and family violence through education and outreach.

Emma’s work will split her time between these two programs, in order to holistically support Raphael House’s mission. For half of her working hours, she will work in the emergency shelter. Shelter work involves answering the 24-hour crisis-line, being available to residents of shelter to assist with the completion of housing or legal paperwork, monitoring shelter security, and working with the children in shelter through the Youth Advocacy program. She plans to work hours that are difficult to staff with volunteers including late nights and early mornings, in order to make sure that the crisis line has constant coverage. For the other half of her working hours, she will work in various other programs, including the outreach program. She writes “I intend to pursue a career in domestic violence response, specifically in legal advocacy for survivors of intimate partner violence. My internship with Raphael House will expose me to the best practices in the field.”

Engaging with Preschool Education and Development in Burma
Justin Fishman ’16 & Emily Curtis ’16, Religion

Justin Fishman and Emily Curtis will be interning at Green Island School, a non-profit preschool just outside of Yangon, Burma.  Though significant political change has swept the country, demonstrated most profoundly by Aung San Suu Kyi’s election to parliament, the state education system in Burma continues to founder, leaving few avenues for the children of the economically disadvantaged to bridge the nation’s significant wealth gap.  Within this sociopolitical landscape, Green Island School aims to provide as many children from low income families with a free pre-school education as possible.  Since a strong preschool education is essential to success in higher levels of schooling, Green Island seeks to finally open this educational opportunity to children of disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.  Emily and Justin will aid in this process primarily through curriculum development in English language instruction.  The limited English language skills of the school’s permanent staff prevents the development of a full curriculum for their students, so Emily and Justin will assist in the creation of lesson plans and teaching resources in addition to running adult after-school English language lessons for teachers as well as community members.  Additionally, they will work with the school to develop a small library of children’s books in English and Burmese as an ongoing resource for both students and members of the wider community.  At the center of these projects is a belief in the unparalleled ability of education to profoundly alter the course of Burma’s future.  Emily and Justin write, “Educational reform can accomplish more than governmental change ever could to encourage a sprit of self-determinism and empowerment in Burma’s socioeconomically disadvantaged majority, who for so long have been neglected by the military elite.”

La Solidaridad No Caridad: Summertime at the Voz Worker’s Rights Education Project
Carolyn Kato '14, Mathematics 

Carolyn is a soon-to-be senior studying mathematics. This summer she will be continuing to work as an intern at the Voz Worker’s Right Project. Voz is a multifaceted organization that is dedicated to empowering day laborers who face discrimination and employment abuses to secure work under safe and fair working conditions. Throughout the previous school year, Carolyn has worked closely with members of the Voz and day laborer communities on projects that involved engaging students from Reed College in the language skills development programs and cultural events at Voz. In addition to connecting the Reed students to the teaching opportunities and events at Voz, Carolyn has worked to foster and facilitate intercultural relationships at the Voz Worker Center specifically around learning, to motivate her peers to focus on the learning that can happen outside of the classroom from the simple but important exchanges that we share alongside our peers.

Carolyn hopes to continue to foster stronger relationships within the day laborers community, as well as between the day laborers and the wider Portland community, through developing a variety of events, such as ESL and GED classes, regular barbeques to enjoy the beautiful climate at the Worker Center, leadership trainings, carpentry and landscaping projects, English and Spanish book clubs and playwriting sessions, and a new curriculum of Spanish classes taught by day-laborers to the English-speaking communities in Portland. In addition to amplifying the programs that Carolyn, the Reed students, and the Voz organizers have built over the last few years, Carolyn also hopes to help her peers, both Reed College students and the day laborer students at Voz, to get more involved with their own and with eachother’s projects so that we can build a stronger community around learning and shape the Voz space and projects as we see fit to our needs and goals. Carolyn looks forward to working alongside both Reed students and Voz organizers and day laborers to better understand how to work together in a cross-cultural setting in order to carry out the changes that we want to see, together.  Carolyn states that "learning by doing is the name of that life game, and it’s time to start empowering our community at large to take a step forward in doing the same." 

Applications and instructions for the 2014 McGill Lawrence Internship Award are forthcoming. If you want to read previous applications, you may do so by perusing past proposals in the Center for Life Beyond Reed (Greywood).

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