Internship w/ Campus Election Engagement Project

As mentioned, our national non-partisan Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) is making a full-scale push to help college and university faculty, administrators, and staff get their students involved in the 2014 election, helping them register, volunteer, learn about the issues, and turn out at the polls. Our main approach is to pull together the best ideas from schools throughout the country and compile them in resources like our Six Key Ways to Engage Your Campus in the Election, which we just sent you separately. And then to raise money to hire energetic outreach staffers who work though partners like the state Campus Compact affiliates in as many states as we can. We’re still hoping to raise more of this through grassroots donations, which would help us expand our outreach to more states and schools.


But there’s also another way you might be able to help. By finding an exceptionally energetic, responsible, and self-starting student for whom you or one of your colleagues could arrange an independent study, practicum, or service learning credit, or a school-funded internship to participate with our project. They would help spearhead one of our state-wide nonpartisan campus election engagement efforts, under the supervision of one of the state Campus Compact affiliates or one of our other partners. We’re thinking primarily of grad students, but highly organized undergrads could work as well, although they’d have to really be good. We would then connect them with one of our state initiatives, possibly beginning in spring, but definitely working in summer, and for a lesser number of hours in fall. You could also potentially draw on work study funds to make this happen, although students receiving money from Americorps/VISTA or the Corporation for National and Community Service are ineligible because we promote voter registration.


Supervised by the staff of whatever state Compact or allied project you’d be interning with, and supported by weekly coaching sessions and conference calls run by CEEP’s national staff (including CEEP founder and Soul of a Citizen author Paul Loeb), they’d reach out to your Compact’s contacts at colleges and universities state-wide, and help them engage their students.  They’d distribute the lists of effective engagement approaches that CEEP will provide, like Six Key Ways, and then brainstorm with the schools on how to most effectively apply them. They’d begin by finding out what efforts are already going on at a given campus and who is already involved. They’d then want to identify gaps in current efforts, share relevant resources as CEEP provides them, and find key individuals or groups to help engage each of the schools they approached. Coached by the CEEP staff, they’d then talk the schools through how to assemble a broad enough and energetic enough team to be able to contact all key departments and offices. And they’d keep following up to ensure each school’s election-engagement efforts keep moving ahead. You can get a sense of the process from our state-by-state summary of creative approaches that CEEP made possible in 2012 and from this wonderful video from 2012 Ohio outreach staffer Coral Breuer, describing her experience working with the project.


Because they’d be contacting senior college administrators, faculty, and staff with effective ways for them to engage their students, they can have an amazingly powerful impact on what happens on the campuses you work with. But they’d need to feel comfortable in that role—approaching college Deans and other senior administrators, as well as community service directors and key student leaders. If they aren’t, but would still like to participate in engaging students electorally, you could connect them with whoever is working to engage students on your own campus, and try to find ways to give them credit for joining a team engaging other students in a nonpartisan effort. That’s still a very valuable role, as described in our Six Key Ways document, but a bit less daunting.


To sum up their role: We’re looking for passionately engaged students who are looking to foster student electoral involvement through our state-wide networks.  But they really have to be ones that you’d consider stellar in their outreach capabilities. This isn’t a situation where we’d want to put out general postings, like on service center or career center listings. Instead we’re looking for students who you know personally and where you feel confident in their ability to do a top-notch job.


If they apply and are accepted for internships with the participating state Compacts or other allies, they’d work on engaging the schools in these states, working with faculty, administrators, and staff to help them involve their students in every possible way. Either way they’d be trained, coached, and supported by the local Compact staff and the national CEEP staff.  CEEP will support them through conference calls, webinars, and resource materials. But they’ll need initiative, persistence, and professionalism, and an ability to be respectful but not intimidated when talking with people in a high position at a given school.

Internship Benefits include:

  • Helping fellow students make a major difference by turning out to vote;
  • Being supervised provided by excellent Campus Compact staff;
  • Participating in conference calls and being coached and mentored by CEEP founder and  Soul of a Citizenauthor Paul Loeb and CEEP national field director Sam Menefee-Libey
  • The chance to learn valuable skills from the lessons and examples of a high-functioning team.

Desired Qualifications for a Spring, Summer or Fall Intern

  • Motivated self-starter comfortable working via online and email formats and with telephone outreach–including with college and university faculty and senior administrators and professional staff
  • Top notch organization, written and oral communication skills
  • Effective time management skills;
  • Experience in grassroots organizing, ideally including some successful campus organizing
  • And passion for social justice, service, and civic engagement.

So if you know any really terrific students who might want to work with one of our local Compacts in engaging schools this summer or fall, and where you think you could help them arrange enough academic credit or other kind of compensation that they’d be able to participate, please have them email our Associate Director Marcie Smith-West with their resume and the state or states they’d be interested in working with. Marcie will then go through the resumes and pass on applicants who seem a good match to the relevant state directors to consider.  You can contact Marcie at


Please make sure that the resume students send includes experiences where they’ve functioned as an organizer, reaching out to involve community, college, or high school groups in worthwhile projects, and bringing people together to get involved. Experiences working with college administrators or student leaders would be particularly helpful. As the list below details, we’d encourage them to consider opportunities not just in their own state, but also in other interested states as well. Examples of interns who’ve really helped us include a George Washington University Senior who played a key role in our Virginia off-year elections pilot project this past fall and a young woman who’d just graduated from Pennsylvania’s Millersville State, had served on the state system’s board as a student trustee, was heading off to higher ed grad school in South Carolina, and who ended up working from South Carolina with Montana schools. She did a terrific job and we ended up finding a modest stipend for her during the fall home stretch.  Again, Marcie will go through and match applications with potential interested host states, so she’s the person to contact on this, not me. And because we have such a small staff, we may not be able to get back to all the applicants, just those we match up.


Because not all our states have the staff time to supervise interns, here’s our list of states that might be interested, and their geographic requirements.

Alaska Associate Director Marcie Smith West will be working with Alaska schools.[Also if you’re an interested faculty member, please contact her]

Arkansas Associate Director Marcie Smith West will be working with Arkansas schools.[Also if you’re an interested faculty member, please contact her]

Colorado Campus Compact- Office is in Denver’s Regis University, might consider an intern, would prefer working from Denver, but with possible flexibility. Will also work with schools in Nevada and New Mexico

Florida Campus Compact-Office is at Florida State. Would want person to work from Florida.

Georgia Campus Compact-There is no Georgia Compact, but we may be putting together a Georgia team

Illinois Campus Compact– Office is in Chicago, and would prefer students work out of there for the summer, then remotely. Could possibly work out of the University of Illinois Springfield.

Iowa Campus Compact– Office is in Des Moines. Could work remotely, but would like someone to be working from within the state.

Kentucky Campus Compact– May consider an intern. Office is in Northern Kentucky University, by Cincinnati, but could probably work from anywhere in the state.

Louisiana- Associate Director Marcie Smith-West will be working with Louisiana schools. [If you’re an interested faculty member, please contact her]

Michigan Campus Compact-Interested, would prefer working out of their office in Lansing, but some flexibility within the state.

Maine Campus Compact Interested, ideally someone who could check in occasionally at their offices out of Bates College.

Maryland/DC Campus Compact-Interested, would want to be somewhere in the Maryland/DC area.

Massachusetts Campus Compact– Would want someone interning in Boston in the summer, and then could volunteer remotely.

Minnesota Campus CompactPossible, depending on the person. Would probably want to work from Twin Cities
Missouri Campus CompactWould want person to work from Missouri.

Montana Campus Compact. Office is in Missoula, but could also work from anywhere remotely, including from any other state.

New Mexico– see Colorado Campus Compact

New York Campus Compact – Based at Cornell University but you could potentially work out a long-distance internship, from NY or elsewhere.

North Carolina Campus Compact– Possibly interested. Office is out of Elon University in Raleigh, but could also work remotely from elsewhere in the state.

Ohio Campus Compact– Office is in Columbus but can work remotely elsewhere in the state.

Oregon Campus Compact- Could work from Portland office or potentially from another state.

Pennsylvania—Coordinatedby Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development. Could potentially work from elsewhere within the state.

Rhode Island Campus Compact-Could work remotely, from anywhere.

South Carolina Campus Compact– Could work from anywhere in the state but would want some contact in the Columbia office.

South Dakota Associate Director Marcie Smith-West will be working with South Dakota schools. [If you’re an interested faculty member, please contact her]

Texas –No Texas Compact but Might bepossible through one of our allied networks, so check if interested. Probably easiest from Dallas, Houston, or Austin.

Vermont Campus Compact-Possibly interested, would prefer working from Vermont.

Virginia Campus Compact– No Virginia Compact, but we had a great 2013 experience engaging Virginia schools directly, and might be able to connect someone with the Virginia Engage group.

Washington Campus Compact– Might or might not be able to take an intern. Based in Bellingham, might be able to work from elsewhere in the state

West Virginia Campus Compact Office– Works out of West Virginia University in Morgantown, but may be able to work from elsewhere in the state.

Wisconsin Campus Compact– Would prefer to work out of in Madison office

National Campus Election Engagement Project– Might be receptive to an intern, helping support the rest of the states. Prefer strong research and writing skills, or strong web and social media skills. Potential tasks would include working with state networks, researching non-partisan voter guides, helping with fundraising research, working on our materials, working to develop social media outreach. They’ll also help and with other tasks, including possibly fundraising. If they’re near Washington, DC, they can work face-to-face with National Field Director Sam Menefee-Libey, and if near Seattle, with Associate Director Marcie Smith-West or founder Paul Rogat Loeb. But with the right skills people can potentially work from anywhere.


We’re setting a high bar, but we found a couple of great people in 2012 who really helped our project. If we can again, we’ll consider this outreach a success.


Thanks again for all you do

Paul Loeb, Founder Campus Election Engagement Project, author Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While. New edition of the latter out in May.