In June, four summer interns and two new professional staff members joined the Gephardt Institute team. Mindy Bernstein, Karina Carcamo, Shannon St. Louis, and Claire Warhover are undergraduate students; Tory Scordato and Nichole Murphy are graduates of the university. This group of highly talented and civic-minded individuals has increased the institute’s capacity for engagement of other students, faculty, alumni, and partners to foster a vibrant university-wide civic engagement culture and impact. Over the course of the summer, they have developed quality student outreach programs, researched best practices, and expanded the institute’s communications and marketing reach.
Mindy is a rising junior majoring in chemistry and minoring in educational studies and women, gender, and sexuality studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is coordinating Meet St. Louis, which takes over 200 first-year students off campus to learn about St. Louis, connect with community members, and explore social and civic issues through unique excursion experiences led by staff, faculty, and student group leaders. While she has enjoyed planning for the program, she is particularly excited to see all of the pieces come together when excursions take place on Saturday, September 1. Prior to this role, Mindy participated in Meet St. Louis and Leadership Through Service, the Gephardt Institute’s annual pre-orientation program. One of Mindy’s favorite summer activities was a weekend trip to Johnson Shut-Ins State Park.
Karina is a rising junior majoring in Spanish and minoring in philosophy-neuroscience-psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences. As our Leadership Through Service (LTS) Coordinator, she has planned all aspects of the four-day pre-orientation experience, including 15 service projects, 11 participant activities, guest speakers, and more. Once LTS begins in late August, she will continue alongside two other coordinators and work behind the scenes to ensure the program runs smoothly. In addition to working as the LTS Coordinator, Karina has served as an LTS counselor and tutor for the institute’s signature tutoring program, Each One Teach One. When asked about summer highlights, Karina specified seeing fourth of July fireworks by the Arch: “The amazing view was worth braving the crowds!”
Shannon is a rising senior majoring in sociology and educational studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. As Alumni Civic Engagement Coordinator, she collaborates with staff in the Gephardt Institute and Alumni Relations to plan WashU Engage events and other ways for alumni to stay involved with WashU and their local communities. Shannon has been particularly excited to research and plan an upcoming alumni day of service event in Chicago, Illinois as part of WashU Engage: Chicago. Outside of work, Shannon loves photography. She recently visited the St. Louis Art Museum with friends to take pictures on Art Hill.
Claire is a rising junior majoring in communication design in the Sam Fox School of Art and Design and minoring in writing in the College of Arts and Sciences. As our Marketing and Communications Assistant, she has designed and distributed promotional materials for the institute’s 2018-2019 programs. She has also collaborated with our Marketing and Communications Manager to streamline and redesign the institute’s website. She is excited for the launch of the new and improved website and to see her designs come to life across campus this fall. Claire’s summer highlights include attending a music festival with her friends and seeing several of her favorite bands perform.
Tory graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and international and area studies. As the institute’s full-time Voter Engagement Fellow, she is leading WashU’s efforts to register students to vote, connecting students to nonpartisan resources and campus-wide events, and encouraging them to vote on primary and midterm election days. She has enjoyed reaching out to different student populations over the course of the summer, including graduate students at the School of Medicine, Brown School of Social Work, and School of Law. Earlier in the summer, Tory saw Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare in the Park and shared a picnic dinner with friends.
Nichole received a Bachelor of Arts in 2014 and a Master of Social Work in 2018, both from Washington University. As Coordinator of the Goldman Fellows Program, she works with a cohort of 10 undergraduate fellows who have secured unpaid summer internships at nonprofit, community, or governmental organizations in the St. Louis region. She has guided fellows through individual meetings, group discussions, community events, and St. Louis immersion experiences. She has also helped them navigate professional development opportunities and their role as citizens of St. Louis. Her favorite aspect of the position has been the ability to introduce fellows to St. Louis communities that she is passionate about, such as The Ville neighborhood. Prior to this role, Nichole served as the institute’s Graduate Assistant for Campus and Community Partnerships. She has enjoyed staying in St. Louis and checking summer activities off of her to-do list. She has tried several new vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the area.
In addition to their substantive responsibilities, the team has received routine access to coaching, training, mentorship, and professional development opportunities. The Gephardt Institute professional staff is grateful for the energy, talent, and professionalism that the team has brought each day. “Our student staff contribute so many creative ideas and work hard to ensure that our programs are planned and successfully implemented,” said Cara Johnson, Assistant Director for Student Engagement and Service. “Their contributions have a lasting impact and will reach students and alumni for years to come.”