Service Capstone Projects in the Spotlight – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Service Capstone Projects in the Spotlight

Following their successful service-learning internships, four 2016 Summer of Service students showcased their capstone presentations during a special gathering hosted by the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL).

Now in its sixth year, Summer of Service is a 10-week program in which selected students are matched with service-learning internships in Geneva and the surrounding area. Summer of Service is made possible through donations made by friends of the Colleges seeking to support civic service.

“The Summer of Service program embodies the ideals of ‘lives of consequence’ in a way that feels tangible for the students,” says CCESL Director Katie Flowers. “It’s another opportunity for students of Hobart and William Smith to see themselves as Genevans, and it allows our community partners to further some of their goals by leveraging the talent of our students.”

The Summer of Service capstone presentations took place on Aug. 4 in Trinity 206. A free lunch from Opus was provided by CCESL.

Graham Hughes ’16 worked with the Geneva chapter of the Boys & Girls Club during Summer of Service. As their food service intern, Hughes oversaw that food was picked up and served for the community lunch program. He also assisted with various other responsibilities, including overseeing clubs. A public policy major with a double minor in history and environmental studies, Hughes says the internship was a great experiential learning opportunity, giving him the chance to see policy in action in a context outside the classroom. At HWS, Hughes has been actively involved both on and off campus, including as an America Reads tutor, a Civic Leader for the HWS Alternative Spring Break program, president and captain of the Hobart club soccer team, and a member of the collective Tools for Social Change in Geneva.   

Lara Johnson ’19 spent her summer as a student worker on HWS Fribolin Farm. Her focus has been on community outreach and caring for gardens focused on “pulse” crops such as beans and legumes, which are both environmentally beneficial and easy to grow. Johnson spoke positively of her experience of becoming more connected with the Geneva community, as well as furthering her own personal development. “The internship has taught me a lot about farming, working with others, and the logistics necessary for actually pursuing your ideas and making them happen.” While Johnson does not yet have a declared major/minor track, she’s interested in sociology, anthropology, environmental studies, and food studies.

Halle Fridman ’18, like Hughes, worked as an intern for the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva. Fridman aspires to be an elementary school teacher, so for her internship she spent mornings teaching “Valuing Differences” to young students and spent afternoons working as an assistant in support of the various clubs hosted on-site. Fridman says that the internship has confirmed her desire to be a teacher, adding that the “hands on experience will give me a point of reference while I am learning and discussing in my teaching courses next semester.” A psychology major with a minor in education, Fridman also is in the HWS Teacher Education Program. On campus, she’s involved in the Pride Alliance and the Budget Allocation Committee.

Lesley Rivero ’17 worked with CCESL to help run the HWS Summer Academy, through which students from Geneva High School are offered the guidance and skills to help prepare them academically and socially for the next step of their educational journeys. Rivero helped to teach classes on studying methods and academic preparedness and assisted with Advanced Placement (AP) summer assignments. This is her second year as the Summer Academy intern. Rivero is double majoring in psychology and sociology, with a minor in social justice studies. At HWS, she’s has performed with the Koshare Dance Collective and the Hip~NotiQs Step Team, and is president of the Latin American Organization, a mental health supporter with the Counseling Center, and a study mentor at the Center for Teaching and Learning.