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The Engines of Idealism

She plans to enter a pre-med program and eventually go to medical school. “I would love to work in Guatemala or any other Latin American country doing some type of development program, hopefully linked with medicine,” she says. “My future is yet unclear to me, but my Latin roots are strong, so I cannot imagine not doing something that involves Latin America and especially Guatemala.”

“The Ducey internships support the best and brightest of Reedies,” said Stefan Kapsch, Reed political science professor, who has been involved in this program since its inception. He stresses that the awards are not based on academic performance, however, making the competition even-handed and rewarding students who are dedicated and innovative, even if they have not achieved the highest GPA.

The fund that pays for these internships was established in 1972 by Elizabeth Ducey, a friend of the college and a longtime contributor to progressive causes. She had worked as a U.S. senator’s staff assistant and understood the personal and educational value of practical policy experience. Her generosity has allowed these students to work in an atmosphere of social and political engagement and live their political passions, as both Elizabeth Ducey and Monica Serrano have done. R

Nadine Fiedler ’89 is assistant editor of Reed. She last wrote about John Haviland, “The Hidden Gringo,” in the August 2000 issue.



Family in corn field

Funeral procession




Katharine Alberts ’03, the daughter of a Czech immigrant, worked at a Portland refugee center but yearned to learn more about the workings of human rights activism. She spent the summer in Prague interning in a nonprofit group that monitors violations against gypsies and helps them learn about their rights.

Caryn Garner ’01, a psychology major, worked in Washington, D.C., at Choice USA. “I feel so passionately about women’s rights, particularly reproductive choice, that I really want to make a career out of this sort of work,” she said.

Racism in the United States engaged Amanda Lucier ’03, who ended up at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, spending the summer producing teaching tools about tolerance. What motivated her to work at her internship was “student empowerment to become policy makers in their own communities.”

Serrano’s experience was made possible by a Ducey internship, which three other students
won as well. Each received $3,000 to cover their expenses for a 10-week internship. (Serrano also received funds from Reed’s McGill Lawrence internship fund.)

These competitive Ducey internships demand a lot of initiative: applicants must identify the group they want to work with, communicate with them to set up the summer’s work, and make all arrangements themselves. Reed approves the internships and sends the students on their way with an expectation that they will come home with an intimate understanding of the way public policy groups work. In turn, the interns commit to presenting an assessment of their experience to Reed students and faculty members during the fall semester.

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