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SMU students spending this summer learning value of community service

Maguire and Irby Foundation Public Service Internships

July 21, 2013

DALLAS (SMU) — Eight SMU students are spending their summers as close as Dallas and as far away as Uganda learning first hand the value of helping people and communities in need — and many are blogging about their experiences.

Spencer in UgandaThe Maguire Ethics and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Internships are sponsored by SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility. Each intern is responsible for finding agencies to sponsor their projects, which ultimately are selected for their proposals’ ethical and social justice merits.

“These students are setting the course for the rest of their lives and are an inspiration to those who teach and support them. As their efforts show, they are indeed world changers,” says Maguire Ethics Center Director Rita Kirk.

Such public service internship grants “help students like me pursue internships in the nonprofit and public sectors,” says Rahfin Faruk. “With increasing financial pressures, I’m extremely thankful the Maguire Center has helped me gain development and international relations experience, first at Grameen Bank and now at the U.S. Department of State.”

The 2013 Maguire Ethics and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Interns and their service projects are:

Spencer Bogle (religious studies, Ph.D.): Conducting research with the Kibo Group to explore local perception of its water project work in Jinja, Uganda. (Read his blog.)

Kerri Brown (anthropology, Ph.D.): Working as a research assistant for CRIOLA to identify health disparities among Afro-Brazilian women in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Read her blog.)

Rahfin Faruk (economics, math, political science, public policy, ’15): Working for the U.S. State Department at the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in Washington, D.C. (Read his blog.)

Danielle Katz (Spanish, ’15): Volunteering in the classrooms of public schools with UBELONG in Cusco, Peru. (Read her blog.)

Julia Maddalena (religious studies, Ph.D.): Collaborating with the Dallas Women’s Foundation and Dallas Habitat for Humanity to conduct ethnographic field research in Dallas. 

Nayeem Mohammed (law, business, J.D./M.B.A.): Working as an enforcement attorney investigating possible federal securities laws violations for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Fort Worth. (Read his blog.)

Kyle Nakatsuka (anthropology, biology, Latin American studies, ’15): Observing, conducting and contributing research at Ka Ola Mamo Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems clinic serving native Hawaiians in Honolulu. He also will be conducting research in Taos, N.M., at the Taos County Economic Development Corporation

Elizabeth Ricketts (mechanical engineering,16): Coordinating educational workshops with the Water Literacy Project in Bangalore, India. (Read her blog.)

For the past 16 years, Public Service Internships have been awarded to nearly 140 SMU students who have served in more than 100 agencies in more than a dozen countries.

“By providing students cash awards for public service and ethics research projects, these SMU students can commit to the public service projects they always wanted to do, but didn’t have the financial resources to make possible,” says Candy Crespo, assistant director of the Maguire Ethics Center.