The Community Outreach & Opportunity Project (COOP) employs senior fellows each year to help make the COOP an accessible place for service and learning in the Hamilton community and greater Clinton Area.
The 2016-17 senior fellows are Natalie Adams, Bryan Ferguson, Emma Feitelson, Paul (Poppy) Green, James Hunter, and KaraLin Pintye-Everett. The tasks for the coop fellows range from big-picture tasks such as creating internships to attending to logistical details such as transportation and public relations. On all sides of the spectrum, the fellows believe their work contributes to the success of the COOP.
Adams is the liaison between the College and local schools, coordinating events and programs such as Study Buddies. She has been involved with the COOP all four years combining her communication skills as a comparative literature major and her community service experiences as an OA leader and COOP Service Intern (CSI).
Adams notes that her “appreciation for Clinton, Utica, and Central New York grows each time I meet with the principal of a local school or talk to a young student about their goals. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stay connected with the community of the hill.”
Her COOP experiences have taught her how to communicate successfully and professionally, and she hopes to take these skills to a future career in policy and communications, and stay involved in community service.
Ferguson is the science liaison fellow, a newly-created position to facilitate the science outreach programming and faculty with local schools. He is currently working to connect science outreach visits for next semester, ideally with schools in under-served communities. As a biochemistry major, Ferguson has a strong science background and in combination with his additional Hispanic Studies major he has merged his interests in social justice with the local communities, and hopes to pursue a career where he can continue to “stand-up for what’s right.”
Feitelson is the internships coordinator, primarily working with CSI but also with upperclassmen internships. This role has her working closely with Amy James and Jeff McArn to hire new interns and create programming for the CSI students. She also has helped to create some short-term internships for upperclassmen and hopes to build this program further.
Feitelson has been involved with the COOP as an OA leader, a CSI participant, and an Outreach Adventure intern. A psychology and Hispanic studies major, she hopes to take her leadership experience to the nonprofit sector, ideally working with volunteer coordination. Feitelson notes that she has gained professional skills as a senior fellow, and adds that in her position she has learned to “work first to understand others’ needs.”
Green, a neuroscience major, coordinates service projects between athletic teams, student groups and Greek societies. His position fosters sustainable connections between these groups and the community. Through this experience Green comments that he is “continually impressed by students’ desire to help make a difference. We truly have a campus that is concerned with larger issues like food security, educational opportunities, domestic violence, refugee rights and socioeconomic inequality,” among others.
He says being a part of this community is “inspiring,” and hopes to pursue similar work post-graduation with a non-profit specializing in health care or water security.
Hunter is the public relations fellow, which includes publicizing COOP events and strategizing how to better reach the community. Hunter, double majoring in math and economics, enjoys the creativity and problem solving through this position. His current position draws on his experiences with the COOP as a HAVOC veteran and public relations fellow and he is similarly looking to combine his quantitative and communication skills after graduation.
Like many of the fellows, Pintye-Everett was introduced to the COOP as a first-year student in OA and was a COOP service intern in a special needs classroom at New Hartford High School her freshman and sophomore year. She is currently transportation coordinator and attends to the behind-the-scenes needs of the internships, scheduling drivers and events.
She also coordinates the Holiday Gift Drive, where she unites community partners with the Hamilton community to provide gifts during the holiday season. Pintye-Everett’s wide experiences in the COOP and her psychology major have encouraged her to pursue a job working with people. She credits the COOP community to “blend her role in the Hamilton Community with the surrounding community in a meaningful way.”