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JULY 2013
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Columbia University MPA Offers Big Incentives For AmeriCorps Alums

Over the past 11 years, more than 600 students have graduated from Columbia University’s Master's of Public Administration (MPA) in Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) program at the School of International and Public Affairs. This one-year program combines the study of earth systems with public policy in a unique way to train a new kind of policy maker. Among its graduates are a number of AmeriCorps alums who have continued on to make a difference in their communities in a variety of capacities. As a program that values public service experience, AmeriCorps alums members are ideal candidates.

Through its program, AmeriCorps alums are awarded fellowships ranging from $6,000 to $20,000 to be applied to their tuition.

The one-year MPA program emphasizes integrated thinking and learning so that graduates will see beyond linear and fragmented approaches to coping with environmental problems. Columbia's goal is to cultivate a new profession that manages earth systems in ways that will ensure the long-term viability of life on our planet. To learn more, please visit Columbia's website here or contact Sarah Tweedie at
st2745@columbia.eduLearn what AmeriCorps Alums are saying about their experience at Columbia's MPA ESP Program below.


Emily Soergel '11
AmeriCorps '09
Read her story here
Erica Helson '14
AmeriCorps '08
Read her story here
Jillian Theibert '14
AmeriCorps '12
Read her story here

Ask The Career Coach: Shifting Career Fields 

by Denise Riebman, AmeriCorps '94

Each month Denise takes questions from the AmeriCorps Alums LinkedIn Group and responds in our "Ask the Career Coach" column.  If you have a question for Denise, you you can submit it here.

Question:  Do you have any advice for changing career fields?


I have managed an urban adult computer literacy program, led environmental education in the Montana woods, coordinated a state government youth development initiative, filed briefs for a law firm, organized corporate days of community service, taught English in Nepal, trained on food security issues and launched a graduate school career center – I think this gives me just a bit of credibility on how to effectively shift fields and sectors.  And while you may wonder if I suffer from PSHAW (Professional Short-term Hopeless Attention Wanderlust), I’m going to share what I’ve learned on how to build a fulfilling career that adapts as your interests evolve.

Reality Check

Early in my career, when I couldn’t get urban adolescent boys to stop throwing frogs against trees, I decided to shift from teaching about the environment’s potential to teaching youth about their own potential.  I realized that unless they respected themselves, getting them to respect nature was going to be nearly impossible.  After this "ah-ha moment,” I started volunteering with youth development organizations to better understand the field, gain hands-on experience and see where my strengths would be best applied.  Volunteering, informational interviewing and job shadowing can open your eyes to reality rather than having an idealized view and can also help you assess if your abilities are the best fit for the field. For example, I almost went back to get a second master’s degree in education until I spent the day with a high school social studies teacher where I learned that, while I love teachING youth, I would not be a good teachER – slight difference in language, but big difference in my career choice.

Continue Ask The Career Coach here

AmeriCorps Alums and BoardSource Launch Partnership

AmeriCorps Alums and BoardSource believe a partnership between our two organizations can directly impact the diversity and quality of nonprofits. The partnership will specifically target woman and persons-of-color who have national service experience.  Our efforts will provide national service alumni with resources, intensive trainings, and opportunities to connect with organizations in their community as prospective board members, which we believe can improve the quality and balance of boards across the country.  To register your interest in this program, please click here now.

In this issue

Columbia University
Ask The Career Coach
BoardSource Partnership

July Career Webinar

July Career Webinar: Post-AmeriCorps Opportunities In Social Justice & Human Rights

If your AmeriCorps service sparked an interest in social justice and human rights, then you won't want to miss this July's professional development webinar.  We'll convene an all-star cast of AmeriCorps alumni panelists with post-AmeriCorps experience in social justice and human rights.  From continuing education opportunities to employment options, we'll discuss the options that are available to you in the area of social justice and human rights. Register here

Recent Job Postings

Clinical Social Worker
Atlanta, GA

Senior Director, Development
Dearborn, MI

Director of Volunteer Services
Honolulu, HI

Programs Coordinator
Sugarland, TX

Chief Executive Officer
Tucson, AZ

Senior Philanthropic Services Officer
Hartford, CT

Media Manager
Houston, TX

Manager, Public Relations
Memphis, TN

Looking to lower your insurance premiums? Find out about special insurance discounts exclusively for AmeriCorps Alums! Click the GEICO logo below for more information.

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