Working Hard or Harward-ly Working? An Interview with Ashleen O’Brien, Student Project Coordinator at the Harward Center for Community Partnerships.

Ashleen O’Brien, a Sophomore at Bates College, has been working as a Student Project Coordinator at the Harward Center for Community Partnerships since the beginning of second semester this year. Ashleen learned about the position from the SEO list serve and has been working at the Harward center four hours a week since then.

Ashleen applied for the Student Project Coordinator job because she thought it would be valuable to become involved in facilitating interactions between Bates and the larger Lewiston-Auburn community. “I had worked with the Harward center for a community placement for my Developmental Psychology class first semester and had found the resources there to be abundantly helpful”.

Ashleen’s primary task is greeting and directing people who come to the Harward center for various meetings or events. However, Ashleen also carries out a number of odd jobs that Harward Center staff need help with. “These can vary a lot. Last week on Tuesday I helped the director move her office upstairs, while on Thursday I researched the pathways of efferent and afferent neurons through the LNS and primary visual cortex.” Ashleen also adds that she often makes copies and is currently making a poster to be used for tabling to inform students about opportunities at the center.  She’s ratger excited about the creative freedom she will be given in creating it.

Working in the Harward center has been useful to Ashleen because “it is nice to gain insight into the day-to-day operations of service learning projects.” Ashleen believes the most personally rewarding part in her job is getting to talk to people in charge of or working with different community projects or engagement projects on campus. “It gives me a greater knowledge of what’s occurring locally.” 

Working at the Harward Center has been useful for Ashleen due to the fact that she is “interested in working with community development and environmental nonprofits, both of which I have learned more about through my interactions at the Harward center.” Since the Harward center is very involved with the education and social science departments, many of which require courses with service learning components, the center is an important link between Bates and the surrounding city. “This program is really very integral in fostering relationships between both students, faculty and the community of Lewiston as a whole and I’m happy to be a part of that.”