What They Did

By Norman Boucher / September / October 2004
June 15th, 2007
One question that often comes up when people learn I edit a magazine at Brown is whether that means I get the summer off. No, I explain, as a bimonthly magazine the BAM comes out every other month no matter what. If anything, summer means that faculty and students are dispersed and therefore harder to reach, and given staff vacation schedules, getting the magazine out on time during June, July, and August can be a formidable task.

The question is based on the widely held assumption that summer is time off for anyone associated with a college or university. In fact, for many faculty members the season is a time for making uninterrupted headway on research and writing. Some professors, especially those without tenure, can be found all season in their campus offices and labs, assiduously working on even the sunniest days. (To read about two of them, see “Just Thinking”.)

Students are another story. What do they do all summer? We decided to ask them. About forty students responded to our e-mail request, and the answers provided a vivid picture of the spirit and curiosity of Brown students. (Some of their answers can be found in “Labor Days”. All should soon be posted at brownalumnimagazine.com) Naomi Choy Smith ’06, for example, was an intern this summer at the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, a fairly routine job, except that she worked out of the United Arab Emirates office in Dubai, “my favorite city!” she wrote. “The Arabs as usual run a relaxed joint, and don’t wander around behind you telling you what to do.”

Mary Horning ’07 was a resident assistant at the Virginia Governor’s School for German, a state language-immersion program, which brings together the forty-five best German students in Virginia willing to speak nothing but that language for three weeks. “It’s the most rewarding feeling to say good-bye to students at the end,” Mary wrote, “and watch as they struggle with the English language, not German.”

Elizabeth Ssemanda ’05, a Ugandan American who will enter Brown Medical School next year, was an intern at Project EXPORT at the Baltimore campus of the University of Maryland. “For my project,” she wrote, “I created a computer-based educational program for African American women with breast abnormalities. The program aimed to inform African American women of the importance of screening mammography and follow-up care of breast abnormalities.”

Rick Dildine, who is earning an MFA in acting as part of the new Trinity-Brown Consortium, served this summer as associate artistic director of Stephen Foster productions in Bardstown, Kentucky, while Carole Ann Penney ’07 led about 125 campus tours for the Brown Admission Office. Aaron M. White ’08 was a cashier in the Dugout Store at SBC Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, a job that allowed him to see free baseball on his lunch hour. Damian Maldonado ’08 worked at the Gap and Gap Kids (“I love … my employee discount.”) Felicity Rose ’06 raised money in Seattle for the Democratic National Committee, while Ally Ouh ’08 worked from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. catching bats for an environmental-impact project.

For most students, though, all this industriousness still left time for more traditional summertime pursuits.Lisa Dietz ’05, for example, worked as a first mate for Bass River Cruises on Cape Cod. “I am,” she said, “developing quite a suntan.”

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September / October 2004