Many summer fellowships seek social change

By David Seitz

During the school year, Macalester’s student population is nearly sixty percent female. That does not change in the summer, but the school is certainly home to an abundance of fellows-research fellows, interns, and civic engagement fellows, that is.This summer, five rising junior students will conduct research projects through the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships. The Mellon Mays Program is designed to increase the number of students of color who go on to Ph.D. programs, with the long term goal of decreasing racial disparities in college and university faculties.

Celeste Prince ’10, a Creative Writing major and one of the five fellows, will conduct research on the experiences of black students in normatively white educational settings. Prince said she plans to use interviewing as one research method, and will complete the project with a piece or compilation of creative works. The other sophomore fellows accepted this year are Wes Alcenat, Elyse Dempsey, Lara Adekola and Tiffany Stoddard.

Similarly, the McNair Grant, a program through the neighboring University of St. Thomas, aims to increase the number of Ph.D. students of color by supporting undergrads of color, is open to Macalester Students. This summer, Chris Glass ’10 will be among the contingent.

Rising junior and senior students will conduct research and complete internships throughout the Twin Cities through the Lily Summer Fellowship. Jointly administered by the Civic Engagement Center and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, the Lily Fellowship also provides students with collective summer housing, creating an intentional community.

Across the way in Olin-Rice, the Biology Department houses the Taylor Fellowship, which supports students interested in entering a healthcare field. Students spend three weeks in intensive internship at a healthcare site, and write a lengthy paper about their experiences. Biology Professor Liz Jansen advises the fellowship.

Housed in the Political Science Department, the Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellowship is likewise open to all juniors and seniors. Named for Political Science Professor Emeritus Chuck Green, the program brings students together for a seminar on urban political change during spring semester. This summer, students will work with partner nonprofit and government organizations on large-scale projects.

History and Political Science Major Fiorella Oremno Incio ’09 will partner with the Citizens League, facilitating a relationship between the organization and Native American organizations in the Twin Cities.

“The Chuck Green Fellowship has provided me with the opportunity to link my biggest interests and passions in support of communities at disadvantage,” Ormeno said.