Summer at Swearer

Swearer Center students are spending the summer engaging in local, national, and global programs.
by Susie Pentelow, Communications Coordinator
July 24, 2019
The 2019 Community Sport fellows pictured with program directors in from of the Swearer Center.

The 2019 cohort of Community Sport fellows in front of the Swearer Center's new building at 2 Stimson Avenue.

As our staff settles into the Swearer Center’s new home at 2 Stimson Avenue, hundreds of students are spending the summer engaging in Swearer Center programs both local and global.

The Swearer Center remains a home base for our Rhode Island-based programs and fellowships, as well as for student staffers who are helping us to plan for our Fall programs and prepare for our upcoming pre-season.

Through the Community Sport Fellowship, eight Brown University student-athletes are working in schools and community organizations around Providence to coach and mentor Providence-area youth in water polo, football, volleyball, lacrosse, soccer, rugby, and basketball. 

“We’re very fortunate to be working with the Hassenfeld Institute at Brown to examine the relationship of access to sport and children’s health,” said Kerri Heffernan, Director of Engaged Sport at the Swearer Center. “The Brown student-athletes are coaching kids and mapping sport opportunities in local communities; it’s work that can make such a difference in kids’ lives.”

Many Swearer Center students are staying in Rhode Island for the summer to work with local organizations through the Off-Campus Federal Work Study program, which provides funding for Community Corps students to work in local nonprofit organizations and government departments, and the iProv Summer Fellowship, a six-week funded internship opportunity run in collaboration with CareerLAB

iProv summer fellows are placed with non-profit organizations in the Greater Providence area, where they gain valuable work experience while participating in regular workshops to build skills and competencies for community engagement. Yvonne Wingard '20 is working with ONE Neighborhood Builders, an organization based in the Olneyville/Central Providence area that focuses on housing equity through affordable housing access, community safety, and public health.

“My experience with iProv and ONE Neighborhood Builders has been eye-opening,” said Wingard. “I have been learning so much about the city of Providence, and the ways in which many inequalities continue to persist throughout the city's different communities. I am thankful to be working with an organization that seeks to bring about positive community change and equity, while still centering the lives, experiences, and diversity of Providence neighborhoods.”

Meanwhile, three Brown University undergraduates – Tyco Mera Evans '20, Ashley Leiva '20, and 'Renita Johnson '21 – are spending the summer working as Matriculation Coaches, part of the College Advising Corps program. Following intensive training, workshops, a college visit, and team building, the three Matriculation Coaches will be working with recently graduated students from high schools across Rhode Island to provide support and guidance as the students prepare to matriculate into their chosen college or university in the fall. 

The Swearer Center administers several fellowships that offer students the opportunity to live and work in cities across the United States. The Brown in Tulsa Kaiser Fellowship, a partnership between the Swearer Center and the George Kaiser Family Foundation, provides undergraduate Brown University students with an 8-week summer internship opportunity in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This year, the cohort of four are exploring and engaging with issues that affect the region through placements at local non-profit organizations such as Women in Recovery and the Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa (BEST).

“Tulsa is such a great city,” said Patrick Nugent '21, who is working on healthcare, transportation, and criminal justice policy research at the George Kaiser Family Foundation for the summer. “The program has allowed me to both meet incredible people and help them with impactful work. I’d highly recommend the program to any Brown student interested in public service!”

In Washington, D.C., 10 students are participating in the Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship, a funded opportunity that allows undergraduate students to spend the summer living and working in Washington, D.C., where they participate in internships at public agencies and think tanks such as the Bureau of Land Management, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Democracy Collaborative, and the Truman National Security Project. Four Arthur Liman Public Interest fellows are also participating in public interest law projects across the United States.

Further afield, the 2019 cohort of Royce fellows is mid-way through the research phase of their fellowship. Established in 1996 through the generosity of Charles Royce '61, the Royce Fellowship supports Brown undergraduates as they carry out independent engaged research projects of their own design in locations across the United States and around the world. This year, the cohort of 27 will undertake projects in locations ranging from Providence, Rhode Island, to Tokyo, Japan; Mexico City, Mexico; and Seoul, South Korea. 

Royce fellow Babette Thomas '20 will spend the summer conducting archival research in black radio archives in Indiana and interviewing black social activists and radio producers. Thomas’s project, “Run It Back: A Black Digital Radio History,” seeks to highlight the history of Black radio production as a form of critical resistance within the United States.

“Through my research, I'm going to be creating a chronology that documents the rich history of black radio in the United States, and contextualizes it in the current political moment,” Thomas said in a recent interview about her project. “I'm hoping that this work can serve as an educational tool, but also a reference point for generations to come.”

The Royce fellows will return to campus in the fall to reflect on their findings and expand on their experience through cohort-based activities including a retreat, workshops, and public presentations of their research.

With students undertaking placements, programs of study, and independent research through Swearer Center programs in Providence and beyond, the Swearer Center remains a hub of activity in our local, national, and global communities throughout the summer months.