A letter from Kamilah Briscoe ’00, PP55 alum

Kamilah briscoe '00

I was a PP55 fellow in NYC many years ago and worked at an organization called the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship.  I was there for four years(!) and it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me.  The Watson Fellowship (www.jkwatson.org) is a program for undergraduate students here in the city that was – in large part – modeled after PP55.  One of the big differences was that the colleges that were invited to participate are many of the institutions that educate low-income, first generation college students.  For many students, it helped to clarify a steady, productive, meaningful career path.  It’s made an enormous difference.  Chet Safian played an important role in helping us develop materials, selection processes, internship sites for our students – anything and everything.  That program is now more than ten years old, and has its own really wonderful and diverse alumni.

I left the Watson Fellowship and went to work at a research institute at NYU for six years.  As I was leaving, I came across an open position at the Colin Powell Center which involved directing several scholarship programs for students interested in public service.  During my interview, the director of the Center acknowledged that the Powell fellowships had, themselves, been modeled after the Watson fellowship.  So in roundabout way, I’ve come full circle.  I’m sure you all have a sense of how wide your impact has been on individual fellows like myself, and on colleges involved in TAN – but here’s yet another example of PP55’s wide-reaching influence.  It’s a model that travels well, and that works.  I know I’m now three times grateful for the leadership PP55 has taken in this field – and I know I’m not the only one.

It goes without saying (I hope) that if I can be helpful in ANY way, please feel free to let me know.   I have a lot to be grateful for.

To ensure more PP55 experiences like Kamilah’s, visit www.alumnicorps.org and click the Donate button. Every little bit counts!

Pace Center for Civic Engagement Joins The Alumni Network


Princeton AlumniCorps is proud to announce the addition of Princeton University‘s Pace Center for Civic Engagement to The Alumni Network (TAN), making it the second new affiliate this year! The following interview highlights their approach and dedication to education, innovation, and excellence in public service among Princeton alumni.


Tell us about the Pace Center. What is the overall mission, vision, and strategy of the organization?

The Pace Center for Civic Engagement is the University’s central resource for civic engagement. It supports efforts by undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni to identify and act on the problems of society. The mission of the Center is to integrate civic engagement with the teaching and learning mission of Princeton University by helping all members of the extended Princeton community to identify and address issues of public concern through engaged scholarship, active citizenship, and effective public leadership for the purpose of building stronger communities and societies throughout the world. Pace connects students  with opportunities to thoughtfully address civic problems and have an impact through activities including direct volunteer service, civic action break trips, social entrepreneurship, political action, public service internships and fellowships, volunteer teaching and tutoring, and engaged academics.

The Pace Center manages and support two postgraduate fellowship programs – High Meadows Fellowships focused on the environment and sustainability and the Charles W. Puttkammer ’58 Prisoner Reentry Fellowship.

The High Meadows Fellowships program places recent Princeton graduates in two-year paid positions with three of the nation’s leading non-profit environmental organizations: Environmental Defense Fund, The Food Project, and Vermont Community Foundation. The organizations aim to protect the environment and build environmental sustainability, or bring an environmental focus to building community capacity and increasing the self-sufficiency of community residents.  Generously funded by the High Meadows Fund, Fellows have an opportunity to learn more about the issues these organizations address, while they gain valuable professional experience and explore a career in the public interest. During the course of the fellowship, High Meadows Fellows make a genuine contribution toward advancing the organizations’ objectives and mission. The cohort of fellows is maintained at 8 fellows.

The Charles W. Puttkammer ’58 Prisoner Reentry Fellowship program is a program that places a recent Princeton graduate in a two-year paid position with one of New Jersey’s leading nonprofit organizations, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ). The Institute aims to raise the profile of prisoner reentry issues for state decision-makers and local communities, and to help protect communities from the negative impacts of reentry. The Institute provides job training and appropriate social services to facilitate the reentry of former prisoners into their home communities. Generously funded by the Charles W. Puttkammer ’58 Prisoner Reentry Fellowship program, the Prisoner Reentry Fellow has an opportunity to learn more about the issues the NJISJ organization addresses, while gaining valuable professional experience and exploring a career in the public interest. During the course of the fellowship, the Puttkammer Fellow will take on substantive and challenging work and make a genuine contribution toward advancing the organizations’ objectives. As of 2011, there are two Puttkammer fellows.


Who is eligible to participate?

Current enrolled Princeton seniors in good standing. Depending on the specific positions, non-U.S. citizens may not be eligible to apply.


What are the requirements of the program (s)?

For both the High Meadows and Puttkammer programs, the requirements are as follows:

  • Fulfill the 2-year commitment
  • Mandatory orientation program
  • Participate in requested Princeton-sponsored meetings, conferences, recruitment events
  • Contribute to marketing plan and materials
  • Communicate with Pace Center staff
  • Complete mid-year and end-of-year evaluations


What kind of positions in the nonprofit sector do you offer? (e.g. environment, public health, government, urban development, education) 

Broadly, the High Meadows positions are focused on the environmental sector, and the Puttkammer fellowship positions are focused on the criminal justice sector. Depending on the position, the focus on the work may be on public policy, corporate partnerships, philanthropic grant-making, legislative research, and more.


How long has your organization been up and running?

The Pace Center was founded in 2001. The High Meadows Fellowships have been associated with the Pace Center since 2002. The Puttkammer Fellowships have been with the Pace Center since 2009.


How did your organization begin? What inspired this organization?

The Pace Center was named for John Pace, Jr., a member of Princeton’s Class of 1939. The High Meadows Fellowships were founded by Carl Ferenbach, Princeton Class of 1964, and the Puttkammer Fellowships were founded by Charles W. Puttkammer, Princeton Class of 1958. Both fellowship programs reflect the interest and commitments of the respective Princeton alumni.


How many fellows and interns have you placed in total?

In any one year, there are 8 High Meadows Fellows. The first year of the Puttkammer fellowship program had 1 fellow and in subsequent years, there have been 2 Fellows in a year.


Where geographically do you place fellows/interns?

All High Meadows fellowships are located throughout the U.S.  The Puttkammer fellowship is located in Newark, NJ.


Can you provide an example of a success story within your program?

Sure – visit the Pace Center website to read more – http://pace.princeton.edu


Who is the primary TAN contact for your program/organization?

Elsie Sheidler, sheidler@princeton.edu; 609-258-7260.

Meet our Newest TAN Affiliate – The Princeton Social Enterprise Network

About The Princeton Social Enterprise Network (PSEN)

PSEN is a platform and a resource for Princeton University alumni who are interested or engaged in social enterprise – the use of sustainable, market-based solutions to social and environmental challenges. PSEN connects and activates a broad network of Tigers – currently spread across the Princeton community – by aggregating, coordinating, and distributing social enterprise programming, resources, and networking opportunities.

PSEN achieves this through a two-part model: a simple yet effective online communications platform and a network of regional chapters, which activates the online community with regional events.

By connecting fellow Tigers to the resources, information, and support they need to establish and scale innovative social ventures, PSEN aligns the full energy, capability, and business acumen of the Princeton University community behind a shared goal of service through enterprise.

Who is eligible to participate?

PSEN is an open community for all PU alumni interested or participating in social enterprise. In the coming year, PSEN plans to launch a social enterprise mentorship program that will specifically target recent graduates and budding social entrepreneurs, and match them with accomplished mentors who can offer advice, support, and guidance. Though PSEN exists first and foremost to serve PU alumni, PSEN also intends for its Chapters to be regional resources.

What are the requirements of the program?

There are no requirements to participate in PSEN. However, as a member-driven organization, PSEN aims to cultivate and active member base that is engaged in regional chapter programming; contributing news, opportunities, and resources to our newsletter; and otherwise contributing to building a supportive community around social enterprise at Princeton.

What kind of opportunities in the nonprofit sector do you offer?

PSEN creates and publicizes opportunities for engagement in the social enterprise sector. Social enterprise describes the use of market-based models and strategies to advance a social or environmental mission. Social enterprises may be nonprofit, for–profit, or a hybrid structure (such as a Low-Profit limited liability company, or L3C).  PSEN convenes regional events that focus on special topics or informal networking and info-sharing. PSEN’s seasonal newsletter aggregates all career opportunities, events, announcements, and other resources submitted by members at http://princetonsocialenterprise.org and distributes the content to our national subscribers.  PSEN will also convene an annual Social Innovation Business Plan Competition, in which Tigers can compete for funding and exposure for their social enterprise business plans.

How long has your organization been up and running?

Roughly a year.

How did your organization begin? What inspired this organization?

PSEN originated in 2010 as a “social enterprise track” within the Princeton Entrepreneur’s Network (PEN) annual business plan competition. Princeton University, a world-class institution committed to excellence across disciplines, has yet to emerge as a leader in social enterprise. The founders of PSEN observed a distinct lack of coordinated social enterprise programming, resources, and initiatives within the PU community. Furthermore, PSEN believes that social enterprise is a compelling meeting ground for the Princeton University community and a powerful new channel through which to activate the school motto, “In the Nation’s service and the service of all nations.”

How are alumni involved in your organization?    

PSEN offers programming and resources for:

  • Older Alumni seeking late-stage career change, or opportunities to use private sector skills for social impact
  • Experienced social entrepreneurs who can offer thought leadership, mentorship, and guidance to young Tigers
  • Budding entrepreneurs seeking to launch a social enterprise
  • Recent graduates seeking professional or engagement opportunities that couple private sector models with mission-driven work

 Where geographically do you run programming? 

PSEN is focusing on dense metropolitan regions in the continental United States, Canada, and the UK. Currently there are 4 established chapters in the United States, with launches planned in LA, the San Francisco Bay Area, Montreal, and Boston.

How are you funded?

PSEN is currently funded by corporate sponsorship and expects to gain more sponsors as the program grows. PSEN offers a compelling value to corporate sponsors because of the reach of our newsletter and regional events. Sponsors receive publicity in all of PSEN’s communication channels as well as access to PSEN events.

PSEN has partnered with Princeton Entrepreneur’s Network (PEN) to accelerate the corporate sponsorship effort. PSEN is also exploring a commission-based incentive model to attract and retain volunteer resources in this administrative area.

What is the relationship between your organization and the University/College with which you are affiliated?

PSEN is a member of TAN, but is not yet formally funded or recognized by Princeton University. Rather than take a top-down approach, PSEN has decided to grow organically through our Regional Chapter model. This year, as we strengthen our existing chapters and launch new ones, PSEN will approach the University for official recognition and administrative and/or financial support.

Can you provide an example of a success story within your program?

In little more than 12 months, PSEN has grown from a “social enterprise track” within the Princeton Entrepreneur’s Network (PEN) to an independent organization with founding sponsors, a committed administrative team, revolving volunteers, four regional chapters, and a broad network of participants and newsletter subscribers. The consistent attendance and energy at Chapter launches and regional events has demonstrated a significant demand for social enterprise programming and resources in the PU community. Between 20-30 Tigers attended Chapter launches in each city to network, learn about PSEN, and listen to panel speakers. This summer the PSEN New York held a successful clean tech event with four experienced panelists active in the clean-tech sector.

What has been your biggest challenge or area of concern this year?

PSEN is an entirely volunteer-run, member-driven organization. Coordinating and growing PSEN is a second job for the administrative team. It has been a challenge to recruit and retain committed volunteers while also overseeing all aspects of PSEN’s growth, programming, communications, and funding. The team believes that compensated full or part-time positions are ultimately needed to scale the organization effectively. PSEN is actively seeking funding resources that will enable us to increase our administrative capacity and generate greater value for our members and the PU community.

TAN Affiliate Placements 2011-12

The affiliates of The Alumni Network saw another successful year of internship and fellowship placements. From the programs reporting, more than 720 placements were made for this summer and the coming year. This is by far the most placements The Alumni Network has ever made.

2011-12 Internship and Fellowship Placements

Program Fellows Interns
Active Citizenship Summers: Alumni Network (Tufts University) ** **
Bucknell Public Interest Program 0 40
Center for Public Interest Careers at Harvard 33 57
Colorado College Public Interest Fellowship Program 30  0
Dartmouth Partners in Community Service 11 42
Northwestern Public Interest Program 10 0
Princeton Class of 1969 Community Service Fund / Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) 0 75
Princeton in Africa 34 0
Princeton in Asia 168 0
Princeton in Latin America 27 0
Princeton Project 55 Fellowships (A program of Princeton AlumniCorps) 54 0
Princeton ReachOut 56-81-06 3 0
Princeton University Pace Center Sponsored Fellowships 9 0
Stanford Public Interest Network 11 100
The John and Mimi Elrod Fellowship (Washington and Lee) 6 68
University of Chicago Public Interest Program 12 0
University of Colorado Public Interest Internship Experience (PIIE)  0 9
 ** denotes pending information