Boston is excited to welcome two new Project 55 fellows for the 2011-12 year: Dinah Chen’11 and Ben Stone ’11. They were formally brought into the fold with a meet and greet of current AlumniCorps area committee members, mentors, and past alumni at Scholars Bistro, a new restaurant in downtown Boston on September 13th. We’re also pleased to announce matching our fellows with not one, but two mentors for the fellowship year to provide our new Bostonians with a rich and diverse set of knowledge and experience.
The first seminar was held September 27th at The Food Project, where fellows learned about the mission of this innovative nonprofit and also literally got their hands dirty helping out on the farm. We’re also looking forward to a continuing partnership with Harvard’s CPIC program, alternating with seminar planning throughout the year.
Our steering committee is pleased to welcome Amy Burghardt Muehlbauer ’05 to Boston, a former NYC Fellow at Education Through Music and welcome back Jen Carpenter ’96. Lizzie Harvey ’06 will be taking over as chair of the area committee after great leadership from Rebecca Nemec ’05.
The eight Chicago Project 55 fellows are off to an excellent start this fellowship year. They all report being extremely busy at their placements and have also begun their weekly seminar series with the fellows from University of Chicago, Northwestern and this year Harvard as well. For the first seminar, John Fish ’55 spoke about the history of Chicago politics, and after becoming better acquainted with their city, the fellows introduced themselves to each other and fellows from the other programs.
Project 55 Fellowship Program Manager Sara McCord also visited Chicago in September to meet with PP55 fellows, partner organizations and alums and brainstorm how we can get more applicants interested in the Windy City.
Additionally, Aiala Levy ’07 will be succeeded as Chicago Area Coordinator for the fellowship program by Vince Anderson ’65, who has been the point of contact for organizations and fellow support in recent years. Founder of the Chicago Project 55 program and local resident John Fish ’55 was elected as AlumniCorps’ new Board Chair on October 1st.
AlumniCorps Board members Tom Allison ’66 and Paula Morency ’77 are working with Kef Kasdin ’85 to gather information and ideas for a potential Community Volunteers initiative reaching alumni from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s in the Windy City.
Harry Berkowitz ’55 recently welcomed the three Project 55 fellows for the 2011-12 fellowship year during a lunch with the directors of their organizations – two agencies which have been long-time partners of the Project 55 Fellowship Program. Julia Kearney ’11 and Michael Belmont ’11 are working at the Norwalk Community Health Center (NCHC), and Tiffany Lee ’11 is at Housing Development Fund (HDF) in Stamford.
Both programs have been expanded this year. Tiffany will be more directly involved with the families seeking loans and will help them qualify at HDF. NCHC has expanded the amount of involvement with patients, the hospital residents and programs that will expose the fellows to the nature of community health care. As always, the Connecticut fellows have also been graciously invited to participate in New York area programming.
The year is off to an excellent start for the New York City area, where all 22 Project 55fellows gathered on September 10th for a local orientation. There the fellows had a productive discussion of what professionalism means in the fellowship context and how to face city life on a tight budget, and several stellar public-transit-related prizes were raffled off. Several fellows also headed together to the Idealist.org Graduate School Fair on September 15th.
Sam Suratt ’55 and Judy Hole Suratt hosted the Welcoming Dinner on September 27th, and the first seminar will be a perennial favorite debate on the criminal justice system between a powerhouse prosecutor and a titan of the criminal justice bar, to take place October 18th. New York alumni Janice Nittoli *85 and Alejandro Perez ’10 joined the Board of Princeton AlumniCorps on October 1st.
The Philadelphia area got the 2011 – 2012 fellowship year off to a great start with a trip to a minor league baseball game featuring the Camden Riversharks. The outing was organized by the Princeton Club of Philadelphia, and Camden Riversharks owners Tony Rosenthal and Ruth Ganister P’07. There, the fellows got a chance to meet alumni in the area and socialize with the PICS summer interns. Later in the summer, fellows welcomed the Class of 2015 at the annual picnic for incoming freshman from the Philadelphia area (many of whom we hope will be future Project 55 fellows!). In September, the local AlumniCorps community got together for a potluck to welcome the Project 55 fellows. The dinner also featured a showing of Waiting for Superman and a discussion about the movie and ways to take action.
San Francisco is home to six Project 55 fellows this year including a new placement at the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, with Executive Director Peter Fortenbaugh ’89. In June, the fellows met at Palomino’s near the Bay Bridge for a small happy hour and will meet their regional TAN fellows of the Stanford SPIN and Harvard CPIC programs in October. The local programming continues to be led by committee, including alums Emily Chiswick-Patterson ’05, Camille Logan-Weekes ’95,
Jessie Garton Szymanski ’05, Helen Amick ’87, Erin Ebbel ’06 and welcomes new members Elisha Smith *09 and Julie Rubinger ’09. Elisha and Julie have fit right in: Elisha planned the closing dinner for the 2010-11 fellows and Julie, who spent the last two years at Education Through Music in New York, is planning the PP55 seminars and coordinating with SPIN and CPIC. Bay Area alumna Leesy Taggart ’78 also recently joined the AlumniCorps Board of Directors in October.
The AlumniCorps DC Area Committee officially greeted our fourteen 2011-12 fellows on July 21st, with a welcome dinner at Zorba’s Café in Dupont Circle. Several weeks later, a group of current and former fellows spent the morning of Saturday August 20th volunteering together at Stuart-Hobson Middle School through the DC Public Schools Beautification Day initiative. In preparation for the first day of school on Monday, our group helped distribute textbooks to classrooms, cleaned the blacktop playground, and swept the sidewalks in front of the building. It was a great way not only for us to become acquainted with one another, but to spend time in the community and meet Stuart-Hobson students and parents working alongside us.
Lisa Lazarus ’02 and Elizabeth Pillion ’05, Mentoring Chair and Vice-Chair, led a successful training session for all new and returning mentors in August. With the help of our mentors, DC AlumniCorps will look to expand the mentors-at-large program this year as well.
The DC Area Committee will be chaired this year by Ari Altman ’97, after a successful year under the leadership of Kate Lewis-LaMonica ’08. Local alumni and a significant number of 2010-11 fellows will be assisting in the leadership effort.
Our pilot year of the AlumniCorps Emerging Leaders Program for professional development continues to be a success!