This blog will highlight Baylor students participating in 8-10 week summer internships with established non-profit organizations and civic groups. Students are chosen for their commitment to create systemic social change and for their ability to connect their placement to their discipline of study. These are the future movers and shakers of the non profit and for profit world. Join the dialogue.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Paul Baumgardner, August 1

This past week, I concluded shooting the last educational video for the Constitutional Rights Foundation. The video provides students with humorous vignettes that explain how to connect issues in their communities with policy actions. I will be doing some editing on the video this week so that CRF will be able to give the video to local high schools by the beginning of the year.
I am also filling out applications for the National Service-Learning Conference, because CRF would like to have me present their service-learning work at the national conference in April (I am excited for this opportunity).
My last responsibility before I leave will be finishing the last draft of "St. Augustine, and the Role of Religion in the State". This will be the headline article in the September edition of BILL OF RIGHTS IN ACTION, the Constitutional Rights Foundation's political science publication for public schools.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Paul Baumgardner, July 25

This past week I was in northern California conducting interviews and doing research on a free exercise of religion Supreme Court case. In addition to working in Los Angeles to assist in constitutional literacy programs and service-learning practices in public schools, I have also used my BIPI fellowship to further my research of one of the most important, yet little known, free exercise of religion Supreme Court cases.

In 1988, three northern Californian Native American tribes argued that a proposed U.S. Forest Service road construction and logging plan would trample sacred burial grounds and also eviscerate the tribes’ most significant religious practices. The proposed plan would essentially eliminate the practice of Indian tribal faiths. The Supreme Court, however, ruled on behalf of the Forest Service.

So what happened after the case? Were the religions eliminated? Did the faiths evolve in order to survive (are they even adaptable faiths in the first place)? Over twenty years after the Supreme Court ruling, little research has been done to follow up on the aftermath of Lyng v. N.I.C.P.A.

Over the past three months, I have read as much as possible concerning the Lyng case. I have plowed through the majority and dissenting opinions of the case. I have read the transcripts of oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court, and I have read articles in federal Indian law journals concerning the precedents of the case. In addition, I have spoken with tribesmen and attorneys who were parties in the 30 year legal struggle.

My trip to northern California--a 16 hour bus ride--was motivated by my effort to better understand the territory at issue in the case and also to conduct interviews with Native American chiefs who were active in the legal proceedings. My trip was worth the multi-hour transport: I unearthed invaluable information from the interviewees and also from the local Native American library, which housed government documents concerning the case.

Jake Abell, July 25

This past weekend, AWF hosted a 50th Annual Celebration at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo. I didn't attend, but I had a big hand in preparing for it. Given all the levels in which I participated, the zoo event represents the most impact I've been able to have here as an intern. I was responsible for the social media push leading up to the weekend which involved reaching out to a variety of common interest groups in the Chicago area (where the zoo is located). I also drafted a press release, media advisory, and media listing for the event which was an awesome crash course in journalism. I also hand packed about 700 lanyards with various animal fact cards and an AWF info card, both of which I helped write. In the end, the different ways in which I helped prepare the event called upon and sharpened my skills in journalism, social media, and composition. I even got a brief exposure to graphic design when I worked with a colleague here on designing the animal fact cards. In sum, preparing for this event was a great exercise in synthesizing and developing skills in all aspects of media and marketing. It was a great way to wrap up the internship experience which is in it's last week.

Marissa Moschetta, July 25

It is absolutely insane that this is my last week of work; and it isn’t even a full week! I’ll be starting the 14 hour drive to Lexington on Thursday with the rest of my Shepherd Intern roommates. I am really excited to be hosting a community potluck tomorrow night, where I will be giving my presentation about the importance of summer and after school programming in child development. Just a few more little projects to wrap up and my time here will be done. This summer has flown by and the regrets are pouring in. Wishing I had gotten to know some people better, wishing this summer would decide my future career (it has helped me process through it, but no decision made), wishing I felt more prepared for my upcoming social work field internship at Talitha Koum (still nervous), etc. But I have realized that amidst all of my uncertainty, I really have had a fantastic summer experience. I have had the privilege of not only working at a multi-faceted non-profit, but I have been able to be immersed in the community that it serves. I may not feel like I am leaving here with a specific “skill set”, but I have learned things about myself and about community that I could never learn from someone else. Experience is everything. With every volunteer opportunity I have had working alongside the poor; more faces are added to my definition of “poverty”. With each face I meet, my perspective molds, changes, and further connects the issue to my heart. I truly believe that is necessary for all people, especially those claiming Christ. My summer experience has solidified that value in me-to never stop considering the poor in all that I do.    

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lindsey Warner, July 15

This summer has been one huge lesson on responsibility. Living in a city outside of Baylor world where I am responsible for being an active citizen and for paying lots of bills and for arriving to work on time and then making sure I get my work done once I get here. It’s all part of growing up and has been the most wonderful and safe way to dip my feet into Post Grad world. More than these responsibilities, I have also been learning what it truly means to be a “global citizen.” I first heard this term in May when I was studying abroad in Rwanda from my new friend Stephen who I met working at the hotel where I was a guest. He used the phrase throughout our brief conversation and when I had to run off, he shook my hand saying “we met as strangers but leave as friends.”
This instilled a new responsibility in me, the responsibility to be a global citizen. This is something I never really thought of until that meeting. I always felt the responsibility to be a good daughter and sister and friend, even student but never really thought of myself as a citizen of this much bigger place I live in. I have become pretty passionate about the responsibility we all have as global citizens. As trendy as it may be to purchase eco-friendly products or “go green,” it means a lot more when the decision to be a conscious consumer is because you have a desire to fulfill a responsibility as a global citizen, and to help your fellow man more than to buy into the latest trend. Responsibility like deadlines, meetings, goals to follow through with can sometimes be scary. But it’s so hard to remember in all of the busy-ness that we as interns are involved in that we are fulfilling a much greater responsibility to be a global citizen.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Marissa Moschetta, July 18

I really can’t believe that my time at the BGACDC is quickly coming to a close. I only have eight days of work left! It really blows my mind that time can crawl and go by so rapidly all at the same time. Part of me is obviously ready to go home and see my friends and family, but part of me is really going to miss my time here. I have learned a lot about the world of non profits, a lot about community, and a lot about myself. One of my projects has been to help host a “Policy CafĂ©” run by the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families-basically a community meeting focusing on teaching the residents how to be better child advocates. Long story short, it fell through and I spent a couple days being upset and really wanting to contribute. One of the hot topics here at the BGACDC is the lack of parental involvement, and a pretty layered issue. Although I can’t fix the problems going on, I decided that it would be beneficial to research the effectiveness of summer and after school programs to make a presentation to show to the parents and community here. Hopefully we will be able to host a community meeting to discuss the issues, but attendance is the precise problem, so we shall see if it works out. Even if recruitment isn’t successful, at least they will have all the information to present at a later date.  I’m excited to get to contribute in a tangible way!