Over the summer, we checked in, through photography and interviews, with nine students whose summer jobs had Bates funding, whether through a campus office like Admission, through academics, or through the college’s nationally known Center for Purposeful Work, which provided more than 100 funded internships.

From here on the Bates campus to far-flung Florida, these nine spent their summer doing everything from raking grain in a malthouse, to helping scout the next great baseball player, to assisting a law firm with an international bank fraud case.

They were eager to tell us about what they saw (and smelled), what they did, and what they learned about themselves and their emerging sense of purpose. 

‘A little bit indescribable’

The smell? “It’s as if you took a bakery and soaked it in water for a long time,” says Eli Kushner ’24, describing the odor of the germination room at the Blue Ox Malthouse in Lisbon Falls. “I’m not doing a very good job at describing the smell. I guess it’s a little bit indescribable.”

Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College
Eli Kushner ’24 rakes grains at the Blue Ox Malthouse in a neighboring town, Lisbon Falls, on Aug. 1, 2022. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Over the summer, Kushner used his Bates-funded Purposeful Work internship at Blue Ox to learn a key step in the beer-brewing process: how malts are created.

In beer parlance, malt is a grain that has been steeped, germinated (but not too germinated), kiln-dried, and then delivered to breweries. Blue Ox uses grains harvested on Northern Maine farms to create the flavorful malts that are used by some of the area’s premier craft breweries, including Allagash and Maine Beer Co., among others.

A double major in biochemistry and music from Philadelphia, Kushner put his body and brain to work at Blue Ox. He spent hours raking grains in a room carefully controlled for heat and humidity. In the malthouse lab, Kushner helped with various quality-control processes, such as testing moisture content. 

Eli Kushner ’24, is a double major in biochemistry and music from Philadelphia. This summer he is doing a Purposeful Work internship at the Blue Ox Malthouse at 41 Capital Avenue in Lisbon. Joel Alex is his supervisor. Another employee, Mike Lauter, Assistant Maltster, appears in a few photographs with him.


For interview with Eli about his process at the internship, see this Google doc. Excerpt below.

“Spending my time here I’ve really enjoyed working with the people. It’s a great team here. But also learning how to think about visualizing data which I’ve done a little bit. We take temperature samples periodically — multiple times a day — in the germination room but we haven’t really done anything with that data, so over the summer I’ve been organizing that, which is cool. And also working in the lab pretty independently. There’s not much oversight. I was given general procedures at the beginning but what I do is sort of up to me, which is cool.”




https://www.blueoxmalthouse.com/about-new

Blue Ox Malthouse seeks to push the possibilities of craft beer and spirits and support Maine agriculture by providing high quality Maine-made malt. Reinvigorating a centuries old craft, we are committed growing the connection between brewers and farmers while striving to grow communities and serve as a model for sustainable and environmental practices.

https://www.blueoxmalthouse.com/products-new
At Blue Ox Malthouse, we are committed to helping Maine growers increase their grain growing capacity and produce the best quality barley possible. We take great pride in our dedication to supporting these farms as a mid-size market and through partnering with organizations like the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Grain Alliance, MOFGA, and many others to increase knowledge, capacity, and infrastructure for small grains.
Blue Ox creates flavorful malts that are used by some of the area’s premier craft breweries, including Allagash and Maine Beer Co., among others. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

“And we test friability which is basically how the grain crushes,” Kushner explains. Along the way, he’s been learning how to organize and present data visually, through charts, graphs, and the like. Kushner has been given guidance and training but trusted to do work correctly. “What I do is sort of up to me, which is cool.”

‘Being on campus makes a difference’

Giving Admission tours is more than just a walk on the Quad. There’s also helping to staff information sessions, and contributing to the Instagram account to welcome the Class of 2026.

As an Admission summer intern, Sam Simmons ’24 quickly learned how to weave together personal anecdotes and institutional facts, all while walking backwards. 

Sam Simmons ’24, a neuroscience major from Louisville, Ky., gives a one-hour campus tour on a warm summer afternoon, getting to know a group of adults, and they her, as their prospective students see Bates in a separate walk-through.

“It’s something special about Bates tours and Admissions,” she says of the custom of separating high school students and their parents. It’s a great opportunity for the students to ask questions that they wouldn’t want to ask around their parents and vice versa.”

Simmons, an Admission summer intern, gave her first campus tour in June — you’d never know she’s a newbie as she skillfully walks backwards, and weaves personal anecdotes with institutional wisdom without missing a beat. She’s also staffing information sessions and participating on the social media committee for the Class of 2026 Instagram account.

She enjoys tailoring the walks and talks to the interests of the visitors so that she can point out specific buildings or spots they might be particularly interested in. She thinks tours are great, but “simply being on campus makes a difference. If students can picture themselves sitting in Commons as she did on her high school visit, or walking to the library, “I think it’s the best way to figure out if they want to go to school here, if they can actually see themselves as a member of the Bates community.”
Sam Simmons ’24 of Louisville, Ky., talks to her Admission tour at Lake Andrews on July 19, 2022. across College Street. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Since the early 2000s, Bates has, whenever possible, offered separate tours for parents and prospective students. “It’s a great opportunity for the students to ask questions that they wouldn’t want to ask around their parents, and vice versa,” says Simmons.

While all tours visit campus landmarks, such as Ladd Library, Pettengill Hall, and Gomes Chapel, she learned to tailor her walks and talks to the interests of the visitors, like lingering a little longer in Bonney if the group seems to have a STEM interest.

Sam Simmons ’24, a neuroscience major from Louisville, Ky., gives a one-hour campus tour on a warm summer afternoon, getting to know a group of adults, and they her, as their prospective students see Bates in a separate walk-through.“It’s something special about Bates tours and Admissions,” she says of the custom of separating high school students and their parents. It’s a great opportunity for the students to ask questions that they wouldn’t want to ask around their parents and vice versa.”Simmons, an Admission summer intern, gave her first campus tour in June — you’d never know she’s a newbie as she skillfully walks backwards, and weaves personal anecdotes with institutional wisdom without missing a beat. She’s also staffing information sessions and participating on the social media committee for the Class of 2026 Instagram account.She enjoys tailoring the walks and talks to the interests of the visitors so that she can point out specific buildings or spots they might be particularly interested in. She thinks tours are great, but “simply being on campus makes a difference. If students can picture themselves sitting in Commons as she did on her high school visit, or walking to the library, “I think it’s the best way to figure out if they want to go to school here, if they can actually see themselves as a member of the Bates community.”
Sam Simmons ’24 leads a tour across College Street. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Bates has developed a robust online experience for anyone for whom a visit is not in the cards. But “simply being on campus makes a difference,” Simmons says.

If students can picture themselves sitting in Commons as she did on her high school visit, or walking to the library, “I think it’s the best way to figure out if they want to go to school here, if they can actually see themselves as a member of the Bates community.”

‘Or something!

Less than two hours from campus, nestled in the heart of Unity, Maine, Eli Boesch-Dining ’23 learned how to really compare apples and oranges — well, maybe not oranges, but certainly apples, pears, and the ins and outs of keeping an orchard.

A “fruit-full” summer internship can look like…Eli Boesch-Dining ’23 is an environmental studies major from Concord, N.H., and he’s working as a Purposeful Work summer intern at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association in Unity, Maine.Part of his @mofga job looks a little like this: thinning fruit in the apple trees, of which the orchard is home to over 340 varieties.Under the watchful eye of Laura Sieger, MOFGA’s orchard coordinator, Boesch-Dining determines which unripe fruits to cut from the branches, which helps alleviate pest problems like apple maggots and apple tree borers, and helps the tree determine which fruits should get more auxin, a phytohormone for fruit development.“This is only my second or third day thinning apples, so I'm by no means an expert,” says Boesch-Dining. “I think leaving one every eight inches or so is what we do.”
On July 20, 2022, Eli Boesch-Dining ’23 and Laura Sieger, orchard coordinator for the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association work in the Heritage Orchard. They were thinning fruit in the apple trees, which helps alleviate pest problems. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

An environmental studies major from Concord, N.H., Boesch-Dining was a Purposeful Work intern in the Heritage Orchard, maintained by the state’s preeminent organic farming group, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

The orchard contains more than 300 varieties of apple and pear trees that originate from all 16 Maine counties. Dating as far back as 1630, most of them are on the verge of extinction.

Boesch-Dining has done hands-on agricultural work before, including at a hydroponics facility and a plant nursery in New Hampshire, but this was his first time working for a nonprofit organization, and he liked their focus on conservation and environmental sustainability.

From revamping the orchard’s website, to thinning apples in the orchard, to learning about pest mitigation, the summer was one big learning curve, but he’s thankful for all the skills he gained, and the perspectives of the people he worked with.

A “fruit-full” summer internship can look like…

Eli Boesch-Dining ’23 is an environmental studies major from Concord, N.H., and he’s working as a Purposeful Work summer intern at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association in Unity, Maine.
Part of his @mofga job looks a little like this: thinning fruit in the apple trees, of which the orchard is home to over 340 varieties.

Under the watchful eye of Laura Sieger, MOFGA’s orchard coordinator, Boesch-Dining determines which unripe fruits to cut from the branches, which helps alleviate pest problems like apple maggots and apple tree borers, and helps the tree determine which fruits should get more auxin, a phytohormone for fruit development.

“This is only my second or third day thinning apples, so I'm by no means an expert,” says Boesch-Dining. “I think leaving one every eight inches or so is what we do.”
Eli Boesch-Dining ’23 poses at the entrance to MOFGA’s Heritage Garden, home to more than 300 varieties of apple and pear trees that originate from all 16 Maine counties. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Back on campus, he’s particularly interested in his “Soils” course for how it might connect to his interest in composting. And he wants to learn more about programming through the curriculum, too. He’s got a lot going on, wondering with a laugh if he’s having a “mini quarter-life crisis,”

He’s looking ahead to his thesis, which “is probably going to revolve around different biological inputs in Maine, like the timber industry and seafood, and how those can come together to be composted or anaerobically digested — or something!”

‘In essence, quality over quantity’

Julia Bisson ’23 of North Yarmouth, Maine, headed south for a Purposeful Work internship with a law firm with a claim to fame: one its founders was a lead prosecutor who helped convict the world’s most-wanted drug kingpin, Joaquin Guzmán, the notorious “El Chapo.” 

Julia Bisson ’23 poses in Peacock Park in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, Fla., on Aug. 12, 2022. (Eva Marie Uzcategui for Bates College)

These days, Adam Fels and his firm focus on the defense side of the law, including cases related to securities, banking fraud, national security, and money laundering, to name a few. 

At the firm, Bisson helped do research on a major case involving alleged bank fraud. “Huge and complex,” she says. Not surprising, the entire firm is working on it. There was great urgency, but also “a lot of teamwork and collaborating with the other partners, attorneys, and paralegals. I think that made it less scary for me,” she says with a chuckle.

“I learned the importance of detail and thoroughness. I realized that sometimes it is better to slow down and do more thorough work rather than do faster work at the expense of accuracy and detail. In essence, quality over quantity.”

Julia Bisson ’23 poses with Adam Fels, a founding partner of Fridman Fels & Soto, PLLC, in Coral Gables, Fla. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Along the way, she talked with her colleagues and gleaned valuable advice for her future career in the legal field: take a year or two off after undergrad to experience other things, and get a law clerkship after graduating law school.

“A lot of people do that and they say it gives them a really good perspective once you are a practicing lawyer and attorney,” she says. “Because you got to see things from the perspective of a judge.”

‘Communicate science effectively’

For Rebecca Anderson ’24, panoramic coastal views were a nice bonus as a research fellow at MDI Biological Laboratory, located in Bar Harbor on Maine’s Mount Desert Island .

Funded by an INBRE grant, Anderson, a double major in biochemistry and math from Boone, N.C., studied regeneration and regenerative medicine.

Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College
Rebecca Anderson ’24 had a research fellowship at the MDI Biological Laboratory on Maine’s Mount Desert Island. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

She worked with Joel Graber, Ph.D., a senior staff scientist and director of computational biology and bioinformatics core at MDIBL. With fellow scientists worldwide, Graber is researching the axolotl, a Mexican salamander that has the astonishing ability to regrow limbs and major organs.

Understanding the salamander’s ability to regenerate can help researchers “improve human wound healing and tissue scarring,” says Anderson.

She focused on developing a search tool that allows researchers to identify orthologs, genes that are derived from the same gene in a common ancestor. Specifically, researchers hope to find axolotl genes within the human genome and other commonly studied organisms. 

Bates-funded Purposeful Work INBRE (The Maine IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) intern Rebecca Anderson '24 at MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Her research presentation is titled "Generation of a gene orthology map between axolotl and key model organisms." 

She works under the supervision of Joel H.  Graber, Ph.D., senior staff scientist, director of computational biology and bioinformatics core, at MDIBL. (Read more about what he does here: https://mdibl.org/faculty/joel-h-graber-ph-d/)

Rebecca appears with another student who is working on a separate research project under Dr. Graber’s supervision: Aiden Pike ’23 of Belfast, Maine (wearing baseball cap) a student at UMaine-Orono. They are photographed in Meyers Pavillion, where they along with other members of the MDIBL community listened to a weekly Chalk Talk. This one was presented by Dartmouth professor Bruce Stanton, Ph.D, who covered his life’s work including topics on arsenic poisoning of well water and cystic fibrosis.

She is also shown in Maren Auditorium preparing for an Aug. 5 presentation to be made by each of the MDIBL summer research fellows. And in the Morris Research Building where she and Aiden stop by to check in with Dr. Graber. She appears with her computer on the balcony of the Maine Center for Biomedical Innovation, overlooking the ocean, and on a dock by the ocean with Dr. Graber and Aiden.

Our iconic campus is a gathering place for preeminent scientists, motivated students and engaged citizens where new ideas are sparked, new knowledge is discovered, critically discussed and disseminated to the world. Nestled in the heart of Acadia National Park, our idyllic location serves as constant inspiration, fosters collaboration, and grounds us in an inherent appreciation for the beauty and complexity of nature. 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the Laboratory’s move to Mount Desert Island at the invitation of George Dorr, renowned preservationist and “
Rebecca Anderson ’24 delivers her research presentation on Aug. 3, 2022, on “Generation of a gene orthology map between axolotl and key model organisms” at MDIBL. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Anderson got to talk with faculty and graduate students about their journeys and, at the end of her fellowship, gave a community-wide presentation. That helped her to “communicate science effectively to a lot of different audiences.”

 “It’s been really cool to see all these different areas of science that I can be a part of, and think about what I want to do in the future.” 

‘Feel just more humble’

Miguel Angel Pacheco ’24 of Caracas, Venezuela, reports that he worked with a bunch of clowns  during his Bates-funded Purposeful Work internship. But it’s all good.

Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College
Miguel Angel Pacheco ’24 of Caracas, Venezuela, poses on Aug. 5, 2022, at the famed Celebration Barn Theater in nearby South Paris, where he was a creative producing fellow. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

As a creative producing fellow at the famed Celebration Barn Theater in nearby South Paris, he worked on the Barn’s 50th anniversary celebration, a show that featuring renowned clowns Bill Irwin and Avner the Eccentric, and a one-woman show, Tony Montanaro — A Love Story, an homage to the Barn’s founder, considered one of the great mimes of the 20th century

Pacheco designed the lighting and ran sound and lights for the piece, which was created and performed by Karen Montanaro.

Pacheco was an experienced performer when he arrived at Bates, within theater, dance, installation, and circus. “I’m primarily a performer — that is what most of my training has been over the years,” says Pacheco, who could be found on any given weekend as a sheriff-on-stilts performer at various Maine arts events.

Miguel A Pacheco Gonzalez ‘24
‘24 has a Bates-funded Purposeful Work internship as a Creative Fellow at the Celebration Barn, Maine's Center for Physical Theater Training and Performance, in South Paris, Maine.

He was photographed at Celebration Barn on Friday, Aug. 5, at the light board; adjacent to the stage (with participants in a Celebration Theater “Embodied Writing” workshop led by  Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley of Fake Friends in the background); in the theater’s lobby; and outside in front of the Barn.

His creative brief that appears on the Celebration Barn website is below:

Miguel Ángel Pacheco is an interdisciplinary artist from Caracas, Venezuela, majoring in interdisciplinary arts and performance at Bates College. With a background in theater, he works with a variety of mediums such as theater, dance, installation, performance, and circus. Miguel is devoted to use art as a mean to confront, question, connect, and serve community. His latest projects include Ball Room, a clown routine; To the Sea and the Sun, a devised theater piece produced, directed, and performed by Pacheco, based on the work by Wassily Kandinsky; and, lastly, acting and puppeteering for Anne Carson’s Antigonick at Bates College. He has also recently collaborated with Double Edge Theatre in their last summer spectacle in 2021, Memories & Dreams; and has found his interest in production by working in the theater & dance department of Bates College as carpenter, house manager, and crew.
Pacheco Gonzalez ‘24 works the light board at the Celebration Theater. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

“It’s just recently that I’ve shifted also to theater production,” as a carpenter, house manager, and crew member. “Being able to uplift someone else’s work and collaborate with them in a way that it’s not only my voice, but I’m trying to uplift a different voice.”

The experience “makes me feel just more humble about the space and the work that I’m doing.”

‘Your project and its driving question’

A Purposeful Work intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Casey Winter ’23 of Malvern, Pa., gained an appreciation for two habits of mind that are invaluable to a STEM researcher: troubleshooting and collaboration.

Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College
Casey Winter ’23 poses in the lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston on Aug. 10, 2022. (Ilene Perlman for Bates College)

Troubleshooting, Winter said, “enables you to develop a deeper understanding of your project and its driving question, which is essential in the scientific process and the progression of research.” A spirit of collaboration, she added, is essential to creating a “strong working relationship with your colleagues and fellow researchers.”

Winter is pursuing pre-health studies at Bates with a major in biochemistry and a general education concentration in public health. She worked in the medical research lab of Raymond Manohar Anchan, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School.

Casey Winter ’23 poses outside Brigham’s and Women’s Hospital on Aug. 10, 2022. (Ilene Perlman for Bates College)

The lab’s research includes finding better treatments for gynecological diseases, including endometriosis, a painful but difficult to diagnose condition in which a type of tissue that typically lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. 

It’s difficult to diagnose because of its “variable and broad symptoms,” she explained. “Invasive surgery is the only way to confirm endometriosis.” The lab seeks to develop better treatment plans for patient pain and, ultimately, improved methods for diagnosis.

‘It has been spectacular’

Kendall Williams ’23 of Phenix City, Ala., spent his summer in Texas, in a Purposeful Work internship with the multinational consulting firm Accenture in Houston. He worked in the firm’s Technology Development Program, aligned in Security Practice.

Kendall Williams ’23, poses for a photograph on Aug. 16, 2022. He spent his summer in Houston with the consulting firm Accenture. (Arturo Olmos for Bates College)

“I love the work that Accenture does,” Williams said, and after working remotely for the company’s Detroit office during the summer 2021, he knew he wanted to return as an analyst for them. “But I also wanted to check out what it was like living and working in a new city,” he says.

So he chose to move to Houston for the summer. “It has been spectacular both in my work and personal life,” he said. “I’ve been able to learn new and transferable skills and have really stepped out of my comfort zone being in a new city.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to work for one of the world’s highest ranked firms.”— Kendall Williams ‘23 of Phenix City, Ala., describes his Bates-funded Purposeful Work internships with Accenture, known for its diversified service offerings to help clients form strategy, management, digital technology, and operations consulting.He is posing with the Houston skyline behind him and in Accenture’s Houston office.Williams spent the summer in the firm's Houston office, where he worked in the Technology Development Program, aligned in Security Practice. “I love the work that Accenture does,” Williams said, and after working remotely for the company’s Detroit office during the summer of 2021, he knew he wanted to return as an analyst for them.“But I also wanted to check out what it was like living and working in a new city,” he says. So he chose to move to Houston for the summer. “It has been spectacular both in my work and personal life,” he says. “I’ve been able to learn new and transferable skills and have really stepped out of my comfort zone being in a new city.”
The internship “has been spectacular both in my work and personal life,” said Kendall Williams ’23. (Arturo Olmos for Bates College)
‘This is what I want my future to look like’

Each summer, Major League Baseball scouts descend on eastern Massachusetts to evaluate top college baseball players in the Cape Cod League, widely considered the best amateur league in the land.

And when they attend a Yarmouth–Dennis Red Sox game, they seek out Amanda Taylor ’23, the team’s Major League Baseball scouting liaison.

Amanda Taylor
Amanda Taylor ’23 looks out from the bench during a game between the Yarmouth–Dennis Red Sox and the Chatham Anglers on Aug. 3, 2022. (Photograph by Sadie Parker)

The scouts want answers that will help their clubs make multi-million dollar decisions in the amateur draft every year. As a scouting liaison, Taylor makes sure the scouts get the information they need to correctly evaluate the talent they see on the field.

She works closely with the players, spending the majority of each game in the Y-D Red Sox dugout and sometimes throwing batting practice. A psychology major who understands the game (she’s a Bates softball player), Taylor is able to provide insights to the scouts beyond the metrics.

Befitting the goal of Purposeful Work internship, the experience helped her discover more about herself.

“Taking into account what I study at Bates, and what I like to do, and how I want to live my life, I started to really look into it and became really invested in it,” Taylor said. “I came to realize this is what I want my future to look like.” 

Amanda Taylor ’23 and players toss baseballs into a bucket after batting practice prior to the team’s Cape Cod League game vs. the Cotuit Kettleers on July 21, 2022. (Aaron Morse/Bates College)
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