Lauren Samuelson ’09 is trying to change the world one step at a time, and she’s starting with her summer internship. The public policy major and development studies minor is interning at the Center of Concern in Washington, D.C.
The Center of Concern is a Catholic organization that draws attention to domestic and international issues of social and economic justice. Working with interfaith networks, the organization launches projects to promote human development.
“The major projects for my summer internship are all related to understanding the linkages between trade, financing and debt,” Samuelson explains. “One of the major issues that the Center is dealing with this summer is the Global Food Crisis, and a lot of the research involves understanding the linkages between international financial conditions and the food crisis.”
While attending conferences on the global food crisis, Samuelson has also been involved in efforts to bring the Jubilee Act to the Senate Floor. This legislation, developed by the Center of Concern and partner organizations, would cancel the debt of the world's poorest nations.
On a project known as “Rethinking Bretton Woods,” Samuelson is working to promote institutional reform of international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. "The goal of the project is to democratize economic policy-making, to endorse human rights and to promote sustainable development,” she says.
A recipient of the Bowman Leadership Grant, Samuelson, who hopes to use her experiences at the Center to guide her honors project in the fall, credits Career Services for the opportunity. “I was looking for an internship that would allow me to work on reforming international economic policies,” Samuelson says. “Interning with Center of Concern has allowed me to have first-hand experience researching and observing the policy process.”
Samuelson recently returned from her spring semester abroad in Maastricht, Netherlands, and spent the fall of 2006 in Washington, D.C. On campus, she serves as a resident assistant, a teaching assistant, a teaching colleague and a tutor at the Center for Teaching and Learning. In addition, she is a member of the Laurel Honor Society and volunteers with Neighbor's Night and Summit Education Outreach.