Christine Bryan, a junior at Keene State College, is a non-traditional student with a passion for working with under-privileged and marginalized populations. A long-time community volunteer, Christine is using her return to higher education as an opportunity to gain a broader view of social issues, non-profit and government organizations that align with her aspirations for the future. She is currently engaged in research that explores correlation between legislation and delivery of social services to populations including persons experiencing homelessness, immigrants and refugees. She is seeking a grant to support further research on attitudes of legislators and providers toward those needing social services, and the type of programs that result. Her engagement also includes serving as a case worker for short-term assistance programs with the City of Keene where she offers instruction, ongoing support, and increased caseworker access.
As a nontraditional student, I bring to my studies decades of prior community experience. I am privileged to attend Keene State College which has an active focus on civic engagement, and this environment of commitment and rich resources allows me to explore and experience a broader view of social issues than I'd previously had access to. I currently have an internship with the Human Services Department of the City of Keene, New Hampshire. I am responsible for follow-through casework with municipal short-term assistance clients, am involved with volunteer training for the Greater Keene Housing Coalition, and attend City Council meetings. Keene is a unique community with a dedicated volunteer population and a heightened awareness and sympathy for persons who have been marginalized in society. I believe that community organizations represent the most humane and effective avenue for the utilization of available services and for policy reform. I am particularly interested in the link between attitude and program design and will continue my research in this area. I am excited about the opportunity to learn from other Newman fellows, from Campus Compact and to develop a wider network.