History of the Purposeful Work initiative

In May 2013, President Clayton Spencer convened a working group of Bates faculty, staff, and students to “develop a conceptual case for ‘purposeful work’ as a core concern of the liberal arts and to create a plan for a specific set of steps we will take as a college to translate that commitment into action.”

The Purposeful Work Working Group met bi-monthly through May 2014, culminating in the release of their Purposeful Work Final Report.

Download Final Report (PDF)

Over the next two years, the Purposeful Work Design Team focused on program design, evaluation, and implementation of the working group’s recommendations. The team continues to be supported and advised by a Purposeful Work Advisory Board of faculty, staff, and students.


Purposeful Work Working Group Members (convened May 2013-May 2014)

Co-Chairs: Darby Ray, Michael Sargent

Lead Staff: Christina Estabrook (Design Team)

Faculty: Rebecca Corrie, Rebecca Fraser-Thill (Design Team), Rebecca Herzig, Emily Kane, Nathan Lundblad, Robert Strong, Paula Jean Schlax, Mara Tieken, Thomas Tracy, Crystal Williams

Staff: Ellen Alcorn, Jeremy Cluchey, Marianne Cowan (Design Team), Colleen Coxe, Kent Fischer, David McDonough, Kevin McHugh, Christina Patrick (Design Team), Carl Steidel, Megan Taft

Students: Tenzin Namdol ’15, Caroline Richards ’14

Purposeful Work Advisory Board Members (September 2014-present)

Faculty: Ryan Bavis, Janet Bourne, Rebecca Fraser-Thill, Margaret Imber, Emily Kane, Michael Murray, Darby Ray, Tom Tracy

Staff: Ellen Alcorn, Marianne Cowan, Julisa De Los Santos, Christina Estabrook, Brittany Longsdorf, David McDonough, Josh McIntosh, Tina Mangieri, Christina Patrick, Kelsy Ross, Peggy Rotundo, Amy Wooldridge

Students: Alyssa Alexander ’18, Maya Cates-Carney ’16, Christopher Crum ’17, Alexander Eaton ’17, Kate Moody ’17, Reed Mszar ’18