For the Good of the Community

UCSB’s Capps Center internship program teaches students the value of public service

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — Laura Barley has always loved the great outdoors, and over the past year, the new zoology graduate had a rare opportunity to share her passion with local elementary schoolchildren. Barley was one of 10 UC Santa Barbara students participating in an internship program sponsored by the campus’s Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life.

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Laura Barley, an intern with the Wilderness Youth Project, is crowned with a sun visor woven from reeds. Photo Credit: Rod Rolle

Known formally as the Sara Miller McCune Endowed Internship and Public Service Program, the initiative enables students to integrate nonprofit engagement into their studies. The yearlong program, which was established in 2008, is open to juniors and seniors. It provides the students with stipends of $2,000 as well as eight units of course credit, the latter they earn through a fall-quarter preparatory seminar that studies the role and value of nonprofits. During winter and spring quarters they serve as paid interns, working 10 hours per week for local nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations.

“The purpose of the program is to give the students an opportunity to learn about work in government and in private nonprofits — what they do, how they do it and the importance of volunteering in a democracy,” said Wade Clark Roof, J.F. Rowney Professor of Religion and Society and director of the Capps Center. Roof teaches the fall-quarter seminar as well as the spring-quarter Independent Studies course all interns are required to take.

Microsoft Word - CappsCenterInternsPressReleasePhotos20132014.doCapps Center intern Rachel Wachtel discusss her work at Pacific Standard magazine. Listening attentively are (l. to r.) Michael Fitzgerald, her mentor at Pacific Standard; Nonie Hamilton, internship program coordinator at the Capps Center; and Clark Roof. Photo Credit: Rod Rolle

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