woman working on a project in a greenhouse

Field Work Term Fellowships in Social Change

Overview

Field Work Term fellowships are selective programs that offer funding, mentorship, and the opportunity to be part of a cohort of students working in a particular focus area. The Fellowship programs below focus on equipping students to make social change through various lenses: environmental protection, food insecurity and population health, public action, and entrepreneurship.

Fellowships are open to returning students (3rd-term through 7th-term) who meet a minimum need threshold and demonstrate strong merit in their applications. Fellowship recipients are not eligible to receive other College stipends or grants for the same FWT. Awards typically range from $1,000-$3,000.

Application

Applications for all Field Work Term Fellowships in Social Change are due October 9, 2020 at 5 pm via Handshake. Please note that some of the programs are specific to the winter Field Work Term period; others are also available for the summer, but still require an application by October 9.

Details on each fellowship are available in their respective Handshake listings, and are also listed below.

Endeavor Foundation Environmental Action Fellowship

Through the Endeavor Foundation Environmental Action Fellowship Program, selected students are placed into internship positions at nonprofits with a focus on environmental justice. In addition to their internships, Fellows develop together as a peer-supported cohort through pre- and post-Fellowship coursework and mentorship, led by Judith Enck, Senior CAPA Fellow and founder of the Beyond Plastics project. By combining hands-on work experience with education and mentorship, this new Fellowship aims to equip participants with the experiences, skills, and capacities to advance environmental justice causes, address complex societal challenges, and become effective changemakers in the world.

Eligibility Criteria:
The Endeavor Fellowship will launch in the Winter 2021 Field Work Term, with a required 1-credit Pre-Fellowship Course in Fall 2020 and a required 1-credit Post-Fellowship Course in Spring 2021. The Fellowship is available to 13-20 returning students (3rd-term through 7th-term). Fellows are selected based on need and merit factors.

Remote Internship Sites:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all internships for the 2021 Endeavor Fellowship will be conducted entirely via remote work. Selected Fellows will be matched with a remote internship at a participating nonprofit, based on each student's skills and interests as indicated in their application. Internship sites for Winter 2021 will include:

Program Details:

  • Students with eligible financial need will receive need-based living stipends. For Winter 2021, travel stipends may be reduced given the remote setting, so awards will typically range from $1,000-$2,000. Fellows are not eligible to receive other College grants for the same FWT.
  • Internships will take place remotely during the 6-week Field Work Term period, which runs from January 4 through February 12, 2021. Fellows will complete 200 internship hours and all other FWT criteria.
  • Fellows are required to participate in a 1-credit Pre-Fellowship Course in Fall 2020 and Post-Fellowship Course in Spring 2021. Course meeting times will be chosen based on the selected Fellows’ schedules. Additionally, Fellows will participate in group mentorship activities during the Field Work Term period.
  • Fellows are expected to give a formal presentation about their work at Field Work Term Night in Spring 2021. (This presentation meets the FWT Reflective Project requirement.)

Application Instructions: 
To apply for the Winter 2021 Endeavor Foundation Environmental Action Fellowship, submit the following via Handshake by Friday, October 9 at 5:00 pm:

  • Your resume
  • A one-page cover letter, clearly indicating your areas of interest within environmental justice, and the experiences and skills you have relevant to these interests.
  • The "FWT Budget and Site Preferences" form provided in the Handshake listing. Complete this form to indicate your anticipated FWT costs, and any personal and/or family resources you are able to contribute to your FWT costs.
  • Contact information for two references, such as supervisors who have overseen your work or faculty members who are familiar with your work.

Food Insecurity & Population Health Fellowship

Through the Food Insecurity & Population Health Fellowship, eight students will be selected for remote, winter Field Work Term internships focused on various dimensions of population health, with a special focus on food insecurity. Population health is an interdisciplinary approach that leverages non-traditional partnerships across various sectors of a community to achieve positive health outcomes. As access to nutritious food is one of the key social determinants of health, many of the eight Fellowship roles will be specifically focused on food insecurity.

Eligibility Criteria:
The Food Insecurity & Population Health Fellowship is available to 8 returning students (3rd-term through 7th-term) for the 2020-2021 Field Work Term cycle. Fellows are selected based on need and merit factors.

Program Details:
Fellowship positions will be paid the equivalent of Vermont minimum wage (TBD for 2021, approximately $11/hour) for a total of 200 hours over the winter Field Work Term. Fellows are not eligible to receive other College stipends or grants for the same FWT.

Fellows are expected to participate in a series of two FWT preparatory meetings, and to give a formal presentation about their work at Field Work Term Night. (This presentation meets the FWT Reflection Project requirement.)

Fellowship Positions:
Population health emphasizes an ecosystem of health-support organizations across a community. As such, Fellowship roles will be situated with organizations across the Bennington community working on various dimensions of population health and food insecurity. Each Fellow will primarily be engaged in work with their particular site, but will additionally have weekly Zoom meetings with the entire Fellows cohort to learn with and from one another.

Fellowship roles will include:

  • Food Insecurity Intern, Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (2 Openings). Work with teachers and administrators in Bennington's K-12 school district, developing and implementing primary resources and activities to support the nutrition curriculum to address local food insecurity.
  • Food Insecurity Intern, Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services (1 Opening). Work with GBICS Director Scott Winslow in support of work serving people living in and near poverty, including advancing access to food, shelter, and health care.
  • Food Security and Wellness Trailblazer, SVMC (1 Opening). Work with Tiffany Tobin, SVMC's Director of Hospitality Services, and Rory Price, SVMC's Director of Volunteer Services & Community Engagement, to help create, sustain, and evaluate collaborative programs to educate, feed, and support our community along with many organizational partners.
  • Population Health Community Resilience Coordinator, SVMC (1 Opening). Work with Jim Trimarchi, SVMC's Director of Planning, and Lindsay Spitz, Community Health VISTA, to leverage healthcare data in support of a community health needs assessment, advanced healthcare payment models, and projects focused on community resilience.
  • Opioid Response & Social Determinants of Health Advisor, SVMC (1 Opening). Work with Kristi Cross, Director of Bennington Blueprint for Health, and Alex Figueroa, BluePrint Care Coordinator, on implementation and evaluation of Bennington's Community Action Grant, involving various community-wide strategies to address opioid use in the Bennington Health Service Area.
  • Food Insecurity Intern, Meals on Wheels of Bennington County (1 Opening): Work with work with Ilsa Svoboda, Executive Director of MOW of Bennington County, on programs that advance access to nutritious and healthy food for senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Fellowship work will be conducted on a fully remote basis. Cohort meetings for the Fellowship will be held via Zoom.

Application Instructions:
Click on the links above to apply for one or more positions within the Food Insecurity & Population Health Fellowship. Applications are due October 9 at 5 pm, and require the following:

  • Your resume
  • A one-page cover letter (see each job listing for details)
  • The FWT Budgeting Form provided in the Handshake listing. Complete this form to indicate your anticipated FWT costs, and any personal and/or family resources you are able to contribute to your costs.

Newman and Cox Public Action Student Fellowship

Through the Newman and Cox Public Action Student Fellowship, selected students complete an FWT position or Independent Study focused on public action, either domestically or internationally, each supported by a grant. Work may take place anywhere across the globe. The Newman and Cox Public Action Student Fellowship is made possible by the generous support of the Jerome A. and Estelle R. Newman Assistance Fund and the Spencer Cox '90 Field Work Term Fellowship for Student Activists.

This opportunity is available to 5-10 returning students (3rd-term through 7th-term) who meet a minimum need threshold and demonstrate strong merit in their application. Grants typically range from $1,000-$3,000. Fellowship recipients are not eligible to receive other College stipends or grants for the same FWT. Fellowship funds must be used for the FWT plan proposed; if your FWT plans change after being awarded a Fellowship, you will be asked to submit a revised budget, and your award may be reduced or rescinded.

Fellows are expected to participate in a series of two FWT preparatory meetings, and to give a formal presentation about their work at Field Work Term Night. (This presentation meets the FWT Reflection Project requirement.)

To apply for the Public Action Student Fellowship, submit the following via Handshake by Friday, October 9 at 5:00 pm:

  • Your resume
  • A cover letter explaining in 1-3 paragraphs (approximately one page) your proposed FWT plan and how it is associated with responding to a pressing world issue and/or to advancing the quality of public life.
  • The FWT Budgeting Form provided in the Handshake listing. Complete this form to indicate your anticipated FWT costs, whether your proposed FWT provides compensation (and the amount, if applicable), and any other personal and/or family resources you are able to contribute to your FWT costs.

Iftekhar Entrepreneurial Fellowship and the Entrepreneurial Option

The Entrepreneurial Option is available to students interested in learning how to start and run their own business or nonprofit, and/or launch themselves as an independent artist or freelancer. Returning students with demonstrated need may also apply to the Iftekhar Entrepreneurial Fellowship.

Through the Iftekhar Entrepreneurial Fellowship, selected students receive funding and mentorship to spend their FWT pursuing an entrepreneurial venture, such as starting and running their own business or non-profit, or launching themselves as an independent artist. Work may take place anywhere across the globe. This opportunity is available to 1-2 returning students (3rd-term through 7th-term) who meet a minimum need threshold and demonstrate strong merit in their application.

Grants typically range from $1,000-$3,000. Fellowship recipients are not eligible to receive other College stipends or grants for the same FWT. Fellowship funds must be used for the FWT plan proposed; if your FWT plans change after being awarded a Fellowship, you will be asked to submit a revised budget, and your award may be reduced or rescinded.

This fellowship is made possible by Adnan Iftekhar '97, who is committed to helping students design their own jobs and advance their business ideas. Fellowship recipients agree to:

  • Participate in a preparatory meeting;
  • Give a formal presentation about their work at Field Work Term Night (this presentation meets the FWT Reflection Project requirement);
  • Complete regular mini individualized coaching assignments over FWT, given by Adnan;
  • Meet weekly with their business mentor who has agreed to oversee their entrepreneurial project.

Since the Entrepreneurial Option and Fellowship require exceptional planning and commitment in order to be successful, the following criteria must be met:

  • Students must have successfully completed at least one FWT job in a prior year, and must be in good academic standing.
  • Students must secure a business mentor who possesses demonstrated knowledge and ability to guide and advise the student in their entrepreneurial endeavor. Your mentor must be willing to meet with you at a minimum of every two weeks either virtually or in person to discuss your progress, offer feedback, and to review the content of your work at the conclusion of your project. They must also complete an online evaluation provided by the FWT Office by the last day of Field Work Term. A mentor may not be a parent, other immediate family member, or a spouse/partner. The FWT Office can help match students to mentors; email fwt@bennington.edu for more info.
  • Entrepreneurial FWT experiences cannot be used exclusively for creating work to be sold, but must encompass the greater aspects of running one's own business/organization or launching oneself as a working artist in a professional and fiscally sustainable way.

To apply for the Iftekhar Entrepreneurial Fellowship, submit the following via Handshake by Friday, October 9 at 5:00 pm:

  • Your resume
  • A cover letter addressing the following in approximately one page, or one paragraph per question:
    • What is your proposed entrepreneurial venture or freelance project?
    • How will this project advance your work as an entrepreneur and/or artist?
    • What key goals do you have for this project over FWT, and how you will measure success? What key milestones (deliverables, meetings, events, and/or actions) will need to happen over the seven weeks of FWT, and by when, in order to reach your goals?
  • The FWT Budgeting Form provided in the Handshake listing. Complete this form to indicate your anticipated FWT costs, whether your proposed FWT provides compensation (and the amount, if applicable), and any other personal and/or family resources you are able to contribute to your FWT costs.

Students interested in applying to the Entrepreneurial Option without the Entrepreneurial Fellowship should register their proposed project via Handshake as an "FWT Entrepreneurial Option" by the FWT registration deadline. Detailed instructions are available for registering an FWT Entrepreneurial Option.