Swarthmore College Awarded Call to Serve Innovation Grant by Partnership for Public Service
by Michael Lott
Swarthmore College has been awarded a $5,000 Call to Serve Innovation grant by the Partnership for Public Service to promote federal job opportunities on campus and help students find jobs and internships in fields deemed "mission-critical" by the government. Career fields heading that list include cybersecurity and information technology, medical and public health, engineering, and accounting.
Professor of Biology Amy Cheng Vollmer and Career Services Assistant Director for Public Service and Internships Marissa Deitch will coordinate grant-funded activities on campus to inform students of relevant job opportunities. Vollmer is positive about student interest, saying, "I think that applying their knowledge to positions in the government will appeal to many Swatties."
Vollmer added, "I think it is an important part of my job to learn about career opportunities for our students. I also look forward to learning about the jobs, networking with alumni who are working in government jobs, and establishing new contacts with others in the Partnership."
The Partnership for Public Service will be offering professional development training on campus this spring to equip faculty, deans and other advisers with the knowledge and resources to effectively advise students on the federal job search and application process. "Since deans, faculty and other administrators serve as informal career counselors with students," Deitch says, "it is important that we have cross-campus collaboration to better inform students about federal opportunities."
Career Services currently offers a career development workshop each semester to students on the topic of finding federal opportunities and offers connections with government agencies through its Extern Program, alumni presentations, EXPO career fair, and federal agency visits to campus. Through support of this grant, Vollmer and Deitch will be expanding their public service career campaign in the fall with an event specifically designed to highlight mission-critical opportunities.
To be eligible for the grant, institutions are required to have a least one academic department that could prepare students to pursue jobs in the mission-critical fields and a commitment from a staff or faculty member in that department to assist in promoting federal service.
Four additional schools were named recipients of the Call to Serve Innovation grants: University of Chicago, University of South Carolina, Stony Brook University (NY) and the University of California-Davis.
The Partnership’s Call to Serve initiative is designed to educate a new generation about the importance of a strong civil service, help strengthen links between federal agencies and campuses and provide students with information about federal employment. The Call to Serve network consists of more than 700 colleges and universities and 75 federal agencies. The Partnership for Public Service works to revitalize the federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works.