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Reed students receive internship awards

Students to put their Reed education to work in communities across the country and in South America.

PORTLAND, OR (July 15, 2005) - This summer, Reed College students Annie Gordon, Kim Thien Nguyen, Rhiannon Killeen, Lennie Larkin, Maralena Murphy, Erin Crowell, and Christine Lewis will become volunteers in communities across the country and in South America. Using McGill-Lawrence and the Reed Environmental Activism Fund (REAF) internships to facilitate their projects, these students' efforts will both further their education and assist their communities. Upon their return to campus in the fall, each student will present his or her summer experiences to the Reed community.

McGill-Lawrence Internship Award
Gordon, Nguyen, Killeen, Larkin, and Murphy received the McGill-Lawrence Internship Award, designed to offer 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 This fund was originally made available by a donation to help cultivate an environment of understanding and respect for multicultural issues at Reed.

The endowment for the grant has increased during the past years with generous Reed student body contributions. At least 50% of the funds awarded go to proposals that bring students in contact with ethnically and culturally diverse issues and populations. Award amounts are based on need as established in proposal budgets, up to $1,500 per person. This year, the awards of two students--Larkin and Nguyen--are sponsored in part by two private donations to Reed's economics department. Larkin and Nguyen will participate in internships that emphasize law and economic issues.

The internship not only allows the students to take their studies into communities, but also impresses upon them the important connections between their academic studies and these communities. For Gordon, a senior religion major who plans to go to medical school after Reed, her liberal arts education will assist her in aiding victims of domestic violence. Working with Portland's Raphael House, she will help translate the organization's materials into Spanish while participating in educational outreach with the local Hispanic community.

"I believe that domestic violence is an under-appreciated issue that crosses all racial, economic, and gender boundaries," Gordon said. "This summer I am dedicating my time and energy to help prevent the cycle of abuse, and I am working to empower survivors of violence to help improve their lives."

Similarly, Nguyen, a sophomore economics major, also plans to spend her summer helping local victims, particularly immigrants and refugees, of domestic violence.

"As a legal intern for Portland's Catholic Charities Immigration Legal services," contended Nguyen, "I will be able to obtain hands-on experience working one-on-one with attorneys and accredited representatives on a variety of cases. I am excited to be working with such dedicated and selfless professionals to aid people who need our help."

In Greenfield, New Hampshire, Killeen, a junior psychology major, will utilize her liberal arts and psychology backgrounds while spending her summer working at the Crotched Mountain Foundation, assisting patients with disabilities.

"I will work with disabled people, helping them achieve optimal growth and independence," Killeen stated. "I will work directly with students in a therapy setting and also as a team member. In gaining a new understanding of the challenges disabled people face, I find myself quickly becoming an advocate for the special needs population."

At the same time on one of the world's largest political stages, Larkin is using skills that she acquired at Reed to help reform the United Nations. Working with the World Federalist Movement and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York, Larkin seeks to enhance accountability and efficiency in the UN's working methods. At the completion of her internship, Larkin, a recent Reed graduate in political science, will compile a series of briefs covering analyzed policy alternatives to provide a written guide that could be used to educate Reed students about the UN and policy.

"Thanks to the McGill-Lawrence internship," Larkin said, "I can assist in analyzing the responses of all member states of the UN to proposals for Security Council reform. I will present the reform processes before the UN Summit in September."

Murphy, a senior anthropology major, will spend the summer interning in a public hospital in Quito, Ecuador to learn about health issues facing rural populations. Afterwards, she will work with the agency Ayuda Directa to build a health center while training community leaders to operate it in a sustainable fashion in Monte Nuevo, a village outside of Quito.

Reed Environmental Activism Fund
The Reed Environmental Activism Fund (REAF) recognizes Reed students with longstanding commitments to environmental activism and allows them an opportunity to participate in an internship related to their activism. The internships focus on training related to creating systematic change toward an environmentally sustainable society. The REAF awards are made possible by the generosity of a Reed alumnus.

During the summer, Crowell and Lewis, both junior anthropology majors, will work on environmental projects on behalf of the REAF. Crowell plans to spend the summer using her knowledge of ecology, economics, and architecture to help Sustainable Systems Design research and publish a paper that can be used as a marketing and technology reference for sustainable development projects. In her research, Crowell will explore the viability of creating an ecovillage in Portland.

"I have a strong interest in urban planning and architecture," Crowell states, "and a love for cities. My REAF internship gives me the opportunity to explore these fields."

Similarly, Lewis plans to work with the Center for Environmental Citizenship in Seattle to build community and provide education around alternative and renewable energy in the Northwest. She plans to help create a Northwest network and resource guide that will have a sustainable regional impact.

"The work I am doing is important because a change in America's energy paradigm is the only way that a global warming crisis can be avoided," Lewis contends. "We are to the point where the push must come from consumers. I am thrilled that the REAF has enabled me to do this work."