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News from the Hilltop

May 22, 2017

Birmingham-Southern College announces 2017 class of Hess Fellows

Hesws Fellows 2017

The 2017-18 Hess Fellows, along with two of the program’s sponsors, are (front row, from left): Carter Hancock, Tatiana Neuman, Ronne Hess, Donald Hess, Chaise Sanders, and Divya Desai; (back row, from left): Emily Thronton, Ashu Mukkavilli, Kelsey Peake, Krishna Patel, Cayla Bush, Caleb Walden, Thomas Mitchell, Desi Owens, Juliana Schock, Caroline Grove, Aditi Prasad, Dr. Kent Andersen, and Katy Smith. Not pictured: Drew McDonagh.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--A group of Birmingham-Southern College students are spending eight weeks this summer tackling projects such as researching predatory lending laws in Alabama and coordinating lobbying activities on Capitol Hill as part of the 2017 class of Hess Fellows.

The Hess Fellows program, part of BSC’s Krulak Institute for Leadership, Experiential Learning, and Civic Engagement, places students at leading nonprofit advocacy agencies in Birmingham and across the United States, including the Virginia-based Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) and Bread for the World in Washington, D.C. The rising sophomores and juniors will spend this summer serving as full-time staff members with their organizations, building agency capacity, engaging in advocacy, and assisting them in addressing community needs.

Since the Hess Fellow program’s inception in 2006, Birmingham-Southern has placed students with agencies focused on community engagement and advocacy. For the first time this year, the program is partnering with SHECP to provide five internships focused on poverty, for a total of 15 placements this summer.

The Hess Fellows are a rise3 designated project. To enhance students’ learning, the program includes three phases: this spring, student interns attended a pre-internship workshop focused on advocacy and critical reflection; throughout the summer, they will complete critical reflections about their internships in writing and through visits with a Hess Center staff member; and when they return to the Hilltop this fall, they will reflect on how their experiences can inform their work on campus and in their future professions. The poverty fellows will also attend pre- and post-conference sessions with poverty interns from the 22 institutions in the SHECP.

The 2017-18 Hess Fellows are:

  • Cayla Bush, a junior sociology major from Prattville, Ala., who will work with the Atlanta Mission.
  • Divya Desai, a sophomore economics major from Birmingham, who will work with Bread for the World in D.C.
  • Caroline Grove, a junior biology major from Macon, Ga., who will work at Trinity’s Table, Covenant House, and Manna Meal in Charleston, W.V.
  • Carter Hancock, a sophomore political science major from Birmingham, who will work with the National Alliance to End Homelessness in D.C.
  • Drew McDonagh, a junior business administration major and Distinction in Leadership Studies student from Germantown, Tenn., who will work with the Global Campaign for Education in D.C.
  • Thomas Mitchell, a sophomore history major from Dothan, Ala., who will work at the Public Defender Service in D.C.
  • Aishwarya Mukkavilli, a sophomore economics and Spanish double major from Hoover, Ala., who will work at the House of Ruth Maryland in Baltimore.
  • Tatiana Neuman, a sophomore business administration major from Snellville, Ga., who will work with Alabama Possible in Birmingham.
  • Desi Owens, a sophomore human rights major from Selma, who will work with YWCA of Central Alabama in Birmingham.
  • Krishna Patel, a junior chemistry major from Hoover, Ala., who will work with Collat Jewish Family Services in Birmingham.
  • Kelsey Peake, a junior political science major and Distinction in Leadership Studies student from Vestavia, Ala., who will work at the Legal Aid of West Virginia in Charleston.
  • Aditi Prasad, a junior economics major from Hoover, Ala., who will work with Bread for the World in D.C.
  • Chaise Sanders, a sophomore business major from Birmingham, will serve with REV in Birmingham.
  • Julianna Schock, a sophomore history major and Bonner Leader from Hoover, Ala., who will work with the General Board of Church and Society in D.C.
  • Caleb Walden, a junior religion and history double major from Mount Airy, Ga., who will work with One Roof in Birmingham.

About Birmingham-Southern College:
Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Ala., founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It enrolls about 1,300 students from more than 30 states and 15 foreign countries. Learn more online at www.bsc.edu.