Editor’s Letter: Expanding the Network

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Some things never change. Students need opportunities to learn by doing and to apply their talents in the workplace, perhaps even more now than they did when I was gaining invaluable experience as an intern at a newspaper, behavioral health facility and for my alma mater’s environmental studies program.

Those experiences—perhaps with the exception of having to appear in a parade as the health facility’s mascot, Hula the (pink) Hippo—were essential; without them, I would have entered the world of work with many skills but far less focus.

In a packed Town Hall Meeting earlier in the fall, President Carol Quillen outlined Davidson’s priorities—among them, developing further the college’s extensive alumni and parent career network, and preparing students to lead through internships, community-based learning programs and post-graduate opportunities.

The good news is that Davidson already has a network of dedicated alumni who are eager to partner with the college, and that the college has already bolstered career transition services in the way of staff and  programming.

More good news—we’re only limited by our own creativity. For example, Davidson alumnus Vincent Benjamin ’04 worked with the college and his peers to bring a great idea to fruition—the 100 Internship Challenge. Now in its second year, the college is seeking alumni, families and friends to join the third annual Davidson Internship Challenge, with a goal of encouraging applications for 150 internships during the upcoming academic year. (See “Wanted: Davidson Grads” on pg. 28).

An innovative new post-graduate fellowship initiative pairs Davidson graduates with high-level leaders in non-profit organizations that affect social change. The Davidson Impact Fellows program
allows newly minted alumni to contribute to these organizations, and to their communities, in meaningful ways (see “A World of Good” on pg. 32).

These off-campus experiences are welcome and exciting additions to the overall Davidson experience. They strengthen connections between Davidson alumni and students, and prepare alumni and students for lives of leadership and service—that’s better news still.

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About Author

Lisa A. Patterson

Lisa Patterson is editor of the Davidson Journal. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Ohio University, and holds master’s degrees in English and public health.

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