New Class Project: Sponsored Internships

The Class of ’85 Executive Committee is pleased to announce our involvement in TWO class projects.  Although similar in nature (supporting students during leave-terms), one program has a successful track record of 20 years (Dartmouth Partners in Community Service) and the other program (Center for Professional Development Student Internship) is brand new.  We are proud to announce that the Class of ’85 is the FIRST class to adopt this program for a class project!

In March, Steve Mandel, Chair of Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees wrote to all alumni via email. He noted,

The two centerpieces of President Hanlon’s academic vision are increasing experiential learning (learning by doing) and driving interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship around a number of the world’s most pressing issues. While experiential learning is hardly new to Dartmouth, both within the undergraduate and graduate school curriculums and through service and extracurricular activities, there will be renewed focus on this form of learning.

The new Center for Professional Development (CPD) Student Internship program is a direct result of President Hanlon’s priorities and we are so happy that our class gets to kick start the program!  In a thank you note to the Class dated April 7th, President Hanlon wrote,

Thank you so much for your wonderful gift to the Center for Professional Development. Your thoughtful generosity will enable our talented students to pursue the best learning experience possible, regardless of their financial need. In support of Dartmouth’s mission to nurture future generations of leaders, I’ve made experiential learning one of my highest priorities. The Student Innovation Center, Rockerfeller Center’s Public Policy Institute, and an ever expanding array of internships, like the one you’ll support, represent just a few of the ways we’re encouraging students to take their learning beyond the classroom in acquiring the skills and experiences that will help them change the world. I’m so appreciative of your support for this crucial area of student learning, and for your dedication and leadership on behalf of our alma mater.

Our Class treasury has donated $4000 to the CPD Student Internship and $3600 to the Dartmouth Partners in Community Service (DPCS) project, enabling us to support one student for each program for one leave-term each.  As we move forward with our involvement in both programs, we hope that class members will opt to make direct donations to our class project funds so that we may support more current undergraduates in exploring and pursuing their passions during leave-terms.  In future newsletters we will profile students who have benefited from these experiential learning programs.  Additional information and details on the each of the programs are provided below, including ways for you to become involved, beyond donating your dollars.

Dartmouth Partners in Community Service

DPCS was begun by the Class of ’59 and is now a project that has been adopted by 20 classes, including the Classes of ’86, ’87, and ’88. Currently ~40 students/year are supported through this program, which is administered by the Tucker Foundation. Undergraduates who plan to spend a leave term engaged in a “direct service project that contributes to the welfare, development, and fulfillment of other human beings” can apply for funding. “The DPCS program allows Dartmouth students to invest in their civic growth, personal growth and liberal education by participation in full-time, leave-term community service internships.”  Information can be found at

In addition to the community service engagement, DPCS interns are also matched with a Dartmouth alum from a participating class to serve as a local mentor.  This is a unique aspect of the DPCS program compared to other service learning experiences at other institutions. Alumni mentors meet with the CPCS intern at the beginning, middle and end of the internship to discuss the student’s internship goals and objectives, their plans, progress and challenges, and evaluate the experience. Mentors provide support as needed, in person, by phone or by email. Mentors need not be involved in the community service agency, but should be located geographically near the site of the internship. Serving as an alumni mentor is a great opportunity to connect with a current Dartmouth student and provide friendly guidance and support.

Past organizations that have hosted a DPCS intern include the Street Level Health Project in Oakland, California, the Staten Island LGBT Community Center, the drug addiction center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Dismas House in Rutland, Vermont which serves as a halfway house for ex-prisoners with histories of drug and alcohol addiction, the Children’s Aid Society in NYC, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, and the Baxter Community Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Are you interested in serving as a mentor to a future DPCS intern? You can find more information at To be added to the list of potential mentors, please contact Linda Blockus until we have identified a classmate to serve as our DPCS point person.

Center for Professional Development Student Internship 

The Center for Professional Development is the new name for what we remember, back in the day, as Career Services (  CPD will be the campus office that will handle the student logistics for the new Student Internship program.

Many undergraduates can find paid leave-term internships in large corporations that have formal (and funded) internship programs.  But what about students who want a real-world work experience with a small company, a not-for-profit, or other organization?  Undergraduates who lack financial resources may not be able to pursue opportunities of most interest to them (eg, doing set design for a small theater company, interning with the CEO of start-up company, working at a community newspaper) without funds to cover living expenses.  The CPD student internship is designed to expand leave term options for students.  Or, officially, the program is described as:

Gaining real-world work experience is a critical part of the educational process for Dartmouth undergraduates, and the flexibility of the Dartmouth Plan allows our students to pursue internships and jobs throughout the academic year.  Unfortunately, not all internships and leave-term job opportunities compensate students at the level needed to cover expenses or to allow students receiving financial aid to contribute the costs of their Dartmouth education. 

Classes who support the funding of internships through the Center for Professional Development (CPD) directly impact the student experience at the college. Class Project support allows current Dartmouth students to pursue fulfilling work opportunities that they would not otherwise be able to consider. Class funds will be distributed through an application process designed to identify students with compelling need for funding and will be used to help students cover travel costs, living expenses while working, educational expenses, and other related expenses.  Applications for funding will be reviewed by a committee comprised of staff from the CPD and the Office of Alumni Relations and will include representatives from other areas of the College. The Office of Financial Aid will serve in advisory role to ensure that distribution of funds complies with all relevant policies. 

As this is a new and developing program, we hope to be working closely with the staff at CPD and the Director of “Dartmouth for Life” in the Office of Alumni Relations Dan Parish ’89 (former Admissions Officer for Dartmouth and brother of our own Beth Parish ’85) to shape and enhance this program and promote it to other Classes for adoption.

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