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Class of 1978 awards six community service fellowships

Across the country and around the world, six University students will be engaging in community service projects this summer, thanks to the Class of 1978 fellowships.

The undergraduates were recently awarded funds by the Class of 1978 Foundation for summer projects intended to improve the quality of life in a community.


"They're all very strong applicants," foundation president Karen Ali '78 said. Grants ranging from $1,000 and $3,000 were given to Bria Coates '01, Benjamin West '01, Dana Satir '01, Jennifer Morton '02, Brooke Kelsey Jack '03 and Helen Beckler Marrow '00.

Three of the six winners will be teaching at middle schools across the country through The Summerbridge Program, which offers summer enrichment classes for seventh and eighth graders who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and exhibit academic promise.

Taught by high school and college students, the program is offered at 32 sites in the United States and at one in Hong Kong, according to Satir, who will be teaching mathematics in Raleigh, N. C. Hoping to devote her career to teaching psychology, Satir said she thinks the program will be good practice for the future.

West, who also is teaching for Summerbridge, likely will be a biology instructor at his old high school in Germantown, Pa. Noting that the student-teacher ratio is about three-to-one, West explained the ideology behind the program. "The idea is to land them in the good public high schools and hopefully see them go off to college," he said.

Morton, an international student from Peru, said she is looking forward to teaching for Summerbridge in San Francisco. "This is my first chance to be a teacher," she said, adding that she is considering a career in education.

The other three winners of the fellowship will be using the grants for community service work abroad.


Jack will spend between 10 and 12 weeks volunteering in Costa Rica at the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center. There, she will work with children on environmental projects in the small village of Chilamate.

"My decision to spend the summer there was motivated by my commitment to the environment," she said. "I hope to gain a greater understanding of how the interests of the people and the forest can be made to correspond."

Marrow will be participating in the Belize Summer Project. "It's an ongoing ecotourism, conservation, teaching camp," she explained.

Coates will use the fellowship to work part-time at a local school and substance abuse program in an aboriginal community in western Australia. The rest of the time she will spend working in Sydney with urbanized aboriginal communities.

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Students applied for the Class of 1978 Fellowship by submitting biographical information, a resume, a project summary and a budget to the foundation. According to Marrow, the process was simple, "especially compared to other projects around here I applied to."