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Have a hard time filling school breaks? CCCE fellowships solve that problem.

October 3, 2019 at 2:07 pm

The summer months, which are ironically supposed to be the easiest months of a college student’s year, often require a preposterous amount of coordination and preparation to sort out. Filling free time for Carls may be a particularly difficult task—when we don’t have a project to stress over or a cause to organize for, we are like dogs without our bones. The trouble does not merely reside in whether or not students get an acceptance letter. There is the debate over getting a job that pays versus a resume-building unpaid internship; worrying about if you can get funding for that unpaid internship. International students may have to weigh the opportunity to go home and see family with the cost of airfare, or an amazing fellowship opportunity that they landed in the U.S.; others face difficulty navigating the visa authorization process. Ultimately, after the daunting task of sending out dozens of applications, requesting funding, and finding housing, it often comes down to one question: is this something I am passionate about?     

Each spring the CCCE opens up applications to a multitude of funded fellowship opportunities, which help bring an answer to that overarching question of the summer. In 2019, 26 Carleton students participated in summer fellowships located in Northfield, Minnesota and Gaziantep, Turkey. During their participation, we asked a few of them to tell us a bit about what their jobs entailed. 

Anya Gould
, She/Her/Hers
Political Science/International Relations major, 2021

I am working with UOSSM in Gaziantep, Turkey this summer as one of their "Impact Evaluation of Aid Projects in Stressful Volatile Environments" fellows, or "Evaluation" fellow for short.  Thus far, I've been doing a lot of research online as to the best practices for evaluating and monitoring aid projects in stressful situations, and looking at case studies in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, and Burundi. This coming week, I'm going to start writing interview questions or surveys that I will then take to other humanitarian aid organizations in the area or that UOSSM has a connection with and begin collecting data on what kinds of methods and tools are used, what the most common challenges are, and how organizations are working to solve these problems.  Once I get that data back, I'll hopefully be able to create some informative graphs and highlight popular and effective strategies. All of this will go into a final paper at the very end!

Alli Palmbach
, She/Her
Environmental Studies, Political Science/International Relations major, 2021

I have been doing invasive species mapping and research for the townships of Northfield and Bridgewater. I've had to drive around both territories and map all of the invasive species. Now that that is completed, I have to input and analyze the data I've collected. 

, She/Her/Hers
Statistics major, 2021

I'm doing the data fellowship with the Northfield School District. I've been working with Hope Langston, the Director of Assessment Services for the Northfield School District, on a few data analysis-related projects. They have all been fairly different, but I've been using R (a programming language) and Tableau (a data visualization program I've been learning) to analyze various datasets and produce useful information for the school district. For example, I created a table that separated students into categories of their chances of reaching the college benchmark on their ACT based on their PreACT scores. Hopefully, the school district is going to use the table to counsel students with lower scorers about considering options other than 4-year colleges, or on getting some help with their weaknesses. I've also been working with a large dataset that has information on each student's academic, social, and emotional wellbeing. Their teachers rated them according to this survey, and marked the students "at risk" or "not at risk" accordingly. I've been looking at two main components: first, what types of students are more likely to be marked at risk? In other words, are you more likely to be marked at risk if you are a student of color? If you have free and reduced lunch? And second, I've been looking at if there is a significant difference in academic performance between students who were marked at risk and students who were marked not at risk.
Naomi Lopez, She/Her
Undeclared, 2022

I have a fellowship with the non-profit “The Children of Incarcerated Caregivers.” As their public outreach intern, I'm working on connecting CIC with families experiencing parental incarceration. This specific demographic is difficult to locate for various reasons (such as the shame and stigma that persists against incarcerated people and their families and the absence of a formal system of recording the families impacted by incarceration), and I have had to develop some creative approaches to find these individuals and advertise CIC's resources. I just finished a project to enroll 25 children with an incarcerated parent for summer camp, which was completely free to families thanks to a grant the CIC obtained.

Caroline Hall, She/Hers
Environmental Studies, Music major, 2020

I am working for the Community Action Center of Northfield, specifically with the Food Shelf. The Food Shelf was recently transformed into a Super Shelf, a model designed to create a more dignified experience for individuals receiving food by emphasizing personal choice and increased access to healthy options. My role as a summer fellow is mainly to aid in the transition to this new model, so my job entails a wide variety of tasks. Part of my work is directly engaging with clients, checking them in, and helping them shop for food. Another aspect is doing food rescue at Cub and Target twice a week to increase the amount of fresh produce at the food shelf and reduce the amount of food waste in our community. I also help receive and sort donations and stock the food shelf. Additionally, I'm working on various projects including making a community cookbook with community members' favorite recipes, providing more healthy recipes for produce that we have in abundance, and creating informational materials about produce storage and balanced meals. Finally, I attend the Community Action Center's Growing Up Healthy dinner events twice a week to develop connections with community members and promote the Food Shelf's programs.

Molly Smith
, She/Her/Hers
Psychology major, 2021

This summer I have been interning at Believet Canine Services here in Northfield! Believet is a non-profit that provides service dogs, free of charge, to disabled military veterans who suffer from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Anxiety, Military Sexual Trauma, and other disabilities.As an intern, my main job at Believet has been compiling and writing materials for the organization to become “accredited” by Assistance Dogs International. ADI is really the gold-standard for service dogs and being accredited will help Believet with things like grant applications and general legitimacy as a non-profit. The application for accreditation is extensive and I’m tasked with writing out a lot of their procedures like selecting dogs, selecting clients, general training timelines. I’ve also been learning how to compile a Business Plan for a non-profit. 

Tate Olander
, She/her/hers 
Cinema and Media Studies
major, 2020

This summer I am working with a Northfield based nonprofit called Believet. They are a really cool group of people who train service dogs for disabled military veterans free of charge. I think they are especially cool because many of the dogs they train are rescue dogs from shelters around the Midwest. So, they help dogs and veterans. I’m continuing a project I began fall term through the CCCE’s ACE program in my nonfiction CAMS course. This summer I was using footage from that project to create a short 60 second promotional video for their website. My goal was to create a video for them that captured the impact Believet has on the veterans and families they help so that anyone who comes to their website looking for some help they can be quickly alerted to the fact that they have come to the right place.
Summers varied greatly from project to project, but patterns began to emerge when students distilled their experiences down to the overall impact. Those who stayed in Northfield found new appreciation for the town, as well as for the independence that comes with living and working away from home. More generally, in both Turkey and Minnesota, one of the most exciting aspects of the day was having the opportunity to interact with so many different types of people. We often don’t realize how microscopic our world can become during the grind of the academic year. It was a happy surprise for many to realize just how much of Northfield there was still to discover. Equally as important for everyone involved was how much they actually cared about what they were doing—they were invested in the people and work. This allowed them to gain the practical skills that are not tested in the classroom, narrow down the types of organizations they might want to work for in the future, and confirmed their passions.

While summer may be over the CCCE continues to offer alternative and financially viable ways to spend school break. Continue to check the website for postings about winter break fellowships and Alternative Spring Break.