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Fellowship offers insights on activism

Erin McNamara, a senior from Poughkeepsie, is well on her way to being an activist.

She was a Global Leadership intern for Americans for Informed Democracy this summer and worked as a conference assistant at Binghamton University. She is also campus coordinator for Americans for Informed Democracy and one of six Binghamton students in the Young People for Fellowship program.

“I applied for the fellowship on a whim my sophomore year because I am interested in social issues and justice,” McNamara said.

The program looks for students who are interested in social activism, involvement on campus and proof of leadership skills, McNamara said.

In 2005, she traveled to Washington, D.C., with 125 other fellows for leadership and advocacy training. As a senior, McNamara was chosen to be on the steering committee for the program and named a senior fellow.

“The program really is so beneficial because you learn leadership skills and about issues, such as campaign financing,” McNamara said. “It’s a good way to begin activism, and is a good starting block for networking and building your resume because it leads to internships and scholars programs.”

Through the fellowship, McNamara began the Progressive Student Coalition to provide a network of communication on campus, and is holding a conference in November, “Beyond Corporate America: Turning Passions into Successful Careers.”

McNamara, who is double majoring in women and human rights (IMP) and English, with a concentration in global culture, and a minor in international studies, is also a resident assistant in Onondaga Hall.

“Erin is an exceptional and self-directed student,” said David Cingranelli, professor of political science. “She made every class of mine a pleasure because she was always well-prepared with intelligent questions.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08