Choice Program Director LaMar Davis Speaks Out on Youth Violence through WYPR, Baltimore Sun

LaMar Davis, director of The Choice Program at UMBC, visited Midday with Dan Rodricks on September 11 to remember four Choice Program participants who were killed in Baltimore this year and discuss youth violence. The Choice Program works with youth who have been in contact with the juvenile justice system, providing intensive mentorship and teaching job skills.

In the interview, Davis reflected on the tragic deaths of Najee Thomas, 14, Keith Powell, 17, Timothy Hall, 15, and Adrian Gilliard, 17, remembering their lives and dreams, and describing their involvement with The Choice Program. He also discussed the systematic social and economic inequalities that lead to violence and how communities need to work together to solve these complex issues.

Davis also wrote an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun about the tragic deaths and called for holistic interventions to combat youth violence.

Click here to listen to the interview and here to read the op-ed.

UMBC Featured in The Baltimore Sun’s Special Section on Education

The Shriver Center’s Governor’s Summer Internship Program (GSIP) and the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems’ Costa Rica Field Course were featured in The Baltimore Sun‘s September special section on education.

Collin Wojciechowski ’13, political science and media and communication studies, and Michele Wolff, Director of The Shriver Center, were quoted in an article focusing on a hands-on approach to learning politics and government. Wojciechowski, who is currently special assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff in Governor Martin O’Malley’s office, said part of his experience that led to his job came thanks to GSIP: “It gives you a chance to directly shadow a whole range of people and specifically people who are higher levels directly,” he said.

The program introduces Maryland college students to the unique challenges and rewards of working within state government and interns work for ten weeks during the summer in state government agencies. Wolff said, “it’s really important for students to see the relevancy of what’s happening around them while they are in college,” adding, “through programs like this they see the relevancy of what’s happening outside the college experience. They see that not only does it have an impact on them, but they can have an impact on what’s around them.”

In an article focused on experiential learning, Maggie Holland, Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems, and Honors College student and environmental science major Clare McCauley were quoted about UMBC’s Costa Rica Field Course. The course provides students with service opportunities and field experience while being immersed in another culture.

“As I understand experiential learning,” Holland said, “it’s the whole toolbox. It’s about linking the classroom outward.” In describing her positive experience in the program, McCauley noted, “If I can’t plant some trees and get along with my neighbor, then all these sustainable, conservatory actions really mean nothing.”

To read complete versions of both articles, click below:
Learning politics and government hands-on
Experiential learning

Governor’s Summer Internship Program Holds Closing Ceremony Celebration

O'Malley with students 2

Gov. O’Malley meets with GSIP students after their presentations.

Another successful summer for the Shriver Center’s Governor’s Summer Internship Program (GSIP) came to a close with a celebration at the Maryland State House in Annapolis on Thursday, August 7. Student interns who participated in the program presented policy papers on significant issues in Maryland government to Governor Martin O’Malley and received feedback from the governor and his staff.

The Governor’s Summer Internship Program introduces Maryland college students to the unique challenges and rewards of working within state government. Interns work for ten weeks during the summer in state government agencies doing substantive tasks ranging from drafting speeches and correspondence to researching policy options and assisting with constituent case work. The program is led by the Shriver Center in partnership with the Office of the Governor.

O'Malley with Hannah, Michele and Roy

Gov. O’Malley with UMBC’s Roy Meyers, Hannah Schmitz and Michele Wolff

Colby “Ricci” Conley, a political science major, represented UMBC in the program and worked at the Maryland State Department of Education in the Division of Academic Policy and Innovation. At the closing ceremony, his team presented a policy paper that advocated for use of multi-tiered systems of support to address the emotional and psychological needs of students in Maryland. Other presentations from program participants included incentivizing energy efficiency in state buildings, bringing awareness to labor trafficking, improving secondary land use leasing contracts, and local growth for sustainability. UMBC Political Science Professor Roy Meyers worked with the students to develop their policy papers.

Other Shriver Center Public Service Scholars Programs came to a close at the beginning of August, including the Walter Sondheim Jr. Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program, which offers summer internship opportunities in the nonprofit sector to college juniors, seniors and graduate students attending Maryland institutions.

Several UMBC students were participants in this year’s programs. For a complete list of UMBC students and their mentors, click here. You can learn more about the Shriver Center Scholars Programs by clicking here.

2014 Shriver Center Public Service Scholars Programs

The 2014 Shriver Center Public Service Scholars Programs have all been launched within the last several weeks. This year’s programs, The Governor’s Summer Internship Program (GSIP), the Sondheim Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program and MDOT Fellows Program have a total of 50 participants from institutions across the state of Maryland, as well as some out of state institutions. With all of the programs, students are placed with senior-level officials in government agencies and nonprofits across the state.

The Governor’s Summer Internship Program introduces college students to the unique challenges and rewards of working within Maryland state government. Interns work for ten weeks during the summer in state government agencies doing substantive tasks ranging from drafting speeches and correspondence to researching policy options and assisting with constituent case work. Students develop policy papers on a significant issue facing Maryland and present their findings to Governor O’Malley in person. The program is led by the Shriver Center in partnership with the Office of the Governor.

The Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program offers summer internship opportunities in the nonprofit sector to college juniors, seniors and graduate students attending Maryland institutions. Interns work for ten weeks during the summer and participate in bi-weekly seminars in non-profit management. The Shriver Center coordinates the program in conjunction with the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations and the Office of the Governor.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Fellows Program introduces college students to working within Maryland’s integrated transportation system. Interns work in policy development, engineering, planning and financing, neighborhood conservation, and computer networking, among other areas. The Shriver Center leads the program in conjunction with Office of the Secretary of Transportation.

Several UMBC students are participants in this year’s programs. The complete list is below, along with the intern’s mentors. You can learn more about the Shriver Center Scholars Programs by clicking here.

Governor’s Summer Internship Program

Colby Conley
Major: Political Science
Mentor: Mary Gable/Danielle Susskind
Assistant State Superintendent/Education Policy Specialist
Division of Academic Policy and Innovation
Maryland State Department of Education

Walter Sondheim Jr. Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program

Katharine Evans
Major: Psychology, Sociology
Mentor: Kim Sauer
Legal & Medical Coordinator
Baltimore Child Abuse Center

Katia Fortune
Major: Psychology
Mentor: Dionne Waldron
Program Manager
Operation HOPE

Ibitoye “Kathy” Tokunbo
Major: Economics
Mentor: Joe Brown
Site Coordinator
College Gardens

Rachel Thomas
Major: Political Science, Psychology
Mentor: Michelle Sardone
Legalization Program Director
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

MDOT Fellows Program

Jordan Weddington
Major: History, Asian Studies
Mentor: Michele Gardner
Title VI/ADA Coordinator
Maryland Transit Administration

Jeanie Lai
Major: Environmental Science
Mentor: Benjamin Chin
Director, Office of Design and Construction
Maryland Aviation Administration

Benjamin Loeb
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Mentor: Kevin Pippin
Manager, Division of Utilities
Maryland Aviation Administration

Choice Jobs Flying Fruit Fantasy Fruitshakes – OPEN FOR THE SEASON

FFF IS OPEN FOR THE SEASON – Choice Program’s Flying Fruit Fantasy Fruitshakes opened for the 2014 season on April 1st!

Springtime brings forth a time of growth, awakening, and for UMBC’s Choice Program, springtime also brings FRUITSHAKES! For over 20 years, UMBC’s Choice Program has been serving up Fruitshakes at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. In 2011, the social enterprise expanded to the Inner Harbor and has seen substantial growth in community impact! Each year, 50 young people from Baltimore City and County receive on-the-job-training while developing the skills needed to blossom into wonderful employees.

Following a Supported Employment Model, AmeriCorps Community Service Learning Fellows cultivate a space for the young people to learn about teamwork, customer service, communications and dependability!

Visit Flying Fruit Fantasy Fruitshakes today for a Fruitshake, Smoothie, or Frozen Yogurt and receive a dollar off any FFF item by mentioning this Insights Weekly Post! We are located on the main concourse at Oriole Park, section 28, and in front of the Science Center in the Harbor.

Shriver Center Peaceworker Fellows Meet With City Council

P1060529The Shriver Center’s Peaceworker Fellows recently met with City Council President Jack Young and City Councilman Jim Kraft to discuss their history of public service and their vision for moving Baltimore forward.

UMBC’s Peaceworker Fellows have worked in public service internships at City Hall with Councilman Kraft for nearly a decade. This partnership has allowed Peaceworker alumni to hold positions in various City Hall offices.

The above photo features the current cohort of Peaceworker Fellows at Baltimore City Hall on March 28, joined by Peaceworker alumni Kristyn Oldendorf from Councilman Kraft’s Office, Lisa Fink from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, Cailin Benson from Council President Young’s Office and Brian Greenan from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Neighborhood Development.