Summer Field School Fellows work with a community, government, or non-profit partner to create and complete projects that will have a positive impact on the Upstate region.

The 2019 Field School Fellows in front of their research posters
Field School Fellows are matched with regional organizations to develop and implement research projects that bolster organizational capacity.

 

A student fellow and a community partner sitting together at a computer terminal.

Field School Fellows

As an Upstate Institute Field School Fellow, students are responsible for building relationships in the local community while completing independent research work on innovative projects that provide a community benefit. Through a Field School Fellowship, students strengthen their skills while building the capacity of the community organization with which they are working. The Field School allows students to develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing Upstate New York and a stronger appreciation for what the region has to offer.

Details

Field School Fellowships are paid, full time research projects for Colgate students in the Central New York region, as well as in the Adirondack Park. Field School Fellows work 35 hours per week for up to ten weeks, and this work often takes place at the organization’s office, under the supervision of the organization’s staff. The Upstate Institute works with students to coordinate transportation. In addition, students meet weekly with Upstate Institute staff, and participate in an eight-week seminar on not-for-profit management and organization, and on the resources and needs of the Upstate New York region. Student researchers receive a stipend of $475 per week. Students working in Central New York have the option of on-campus housing in Drake Hall (with required meal plan), or they may secure private off-campus accommodations. Fellowships in the Adirondacks include housing.


Community Partner Application Process

The Upstate Institute is currently soliciting project proposals from community organizations, nonprofit organizations, and municipalities for the 2020 Summer Field School through the Upstate Institute. We intend to place 25 students in the Central New York region, and 5 students in the Adirondack region, to conduct research identified by the organization. These student researchers, called Field School Fellows, will work in partnership with their host organization to collect data that will belong to the organization at the end of the summer. 

Our application process is outlined in a document that is available below. We ask community organizations interested in hosting a student for the summer of 2020 to return proposals to us by Monday, January 13, 2020.

Application Procedures for Community Partners

Student Application Process

The student application process for Summer 2020 projects in Central New York and the Adirondack Park will be available on Thursday, January 23, 2020. Below are deadlines for the process this summer:

Stages Deadline
Students applications are due to the Upstate Institute February 28, 2020
Decisions will be announced to students via email March 13, 2020
Students reply to accept position and indicate start/end dates March 20, 2020
Summer Housing TBD

Students interested in applying for one of the projects available in Central New York or in the Adirondack Park should complete an application by February 28, 2020. The application consists of a Google form, accessible below, and three attachments:

1. an updated copy of your resume

2. a copy of your Colgate transcript. 

3. a letter that demonstrates your interest in the Summer Field School 

As a part of the application process, students will identify which projects are most appropriate for their skills and interests. A list of available projects is below.

Please feel free to contact Project Director Julie Dudrick with any questions about this process.

Student Application for the 2020 Summer Field School

Central New York Projects

The following are organizations in the Central New York region that would like to host a Field School Fellow this summer. Click on the name of the organization to learn more about the organization's research project and the skills required to complete the work.

In partnership with Waterville First, an economic and community development agency in Waterville, New York, a group of residents is creating the 4-Corners Food Cooperative. A food co-op is essentially a grocery store that’s owned by the people who shop there. Members get to decide what foods and products are stocked on the shelves, where those items are purchased and what quality standards both products and vendors have to meet. Members also vote on standards for negotiating prices, and they choose how co-op employees are compensated. Often, even part-time employees are eligible for health insurance. The 4-Corners cooperative will be a resource for community members living in the rural food desert along the Route 20 corridor between West Winfield, Waterville, and the surrounding areas (spread across 4 counties), and will serve those interested in supporting local producers outside of the seasonal farmers’ markets. A student working with this start-up will conduct research on food cooperatives in general, and will help this team get their idea off the ground. This project is ideal for a student with an interest in food and community development!

Visit the 4-Corners Food Cooperative Facebook page to read more about this idea.

Abraham House is a comfort care home in Utica providing hospice (end of life) care 24 hours a day for terminally ill residents. The house provides guests and their families a safe and loving home, with all the support needed for dignified end of life care, free of any financial burden as their services are provided free of charge. Because this organization does not bill for their services or receive state or federal funding, they survive based solely on donations, fundraisers, and small community grants.

Abraham House has two proposed projects available this summer. Both projects require a student to be able to work independently and effectively, as there are many tasks and few resources at this organization. The student should have strong writing and communication skills, and should be able to use technology and social media to solve problems. In addition to being organized and responsible, the student should be able to meet deadlines and see initiatives through to completion. While students working at the Abraham House do no provide direct patient care, applicants should possess a healthy respect for death and the dying, as opposed to an aversion to it.

A fundraising liaison will help the organization better utilize the resource of community businesses and partnerships to run donation drives and small fundraising activities. The student will develop advertising, partner with community organizations to locate donation boxes in the community, and assist with the planning and execution of fundraisers such as an annual golf tournament. The student will also use social media to help the agency publicize their work, and increase fundraising efforts, and will find ways to use free publicity venues like fliers, ads in church bulletins, announcements in the Town Crier, flyer distribution, etc.

An operations assistant will help the organization better organize their operations, especially at their thrift store, the Bird’s Nest. The student will develop written procedures to help organize what they do and how they do it, and will help to create more streamlined processes. The student will use spreadsheets and Google docs to improve efficiency, develop and improve an online scheduling system, and increase use of the Homebase app to manage employees and communicate with the organization.

A Fellow working in either position will gain an all-encompassing experience in nonprofit operations at the Abraham House, with an opportunity to assist with fundraiser development, donation tracking, newsletter creation, public relations and promotion. The students will also gain valuable experience by participating in the preparation that occurs before board meetings and the reporting process that takes place during board meetings. 

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

The Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc. is a not-for-profit law office which was created in 1952 by the Oneida County Bar Association and local attorneys to provide civil (non-criminal) legal services to low-income people in Oneida County. Throughout the years it has expanded to include thirteen counties in the Central New York region. LASMNY provides legal information, advice and representation to low income clients in civil cases involving public benefits, healthcare, consumer and debt problems, housing, education, employment, family matters and other legal problems. Also provided are community legal education programs for clients, community agencies and the general public regarding legal rights and responsibilities.


A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

The Oneida County History Center in Utica aims to protect and exhibit the history of Oneida County through a museum and research library open to the public.

A description of this project will be coming soon.


Pathfinder Village is a non-profit residential community for children and adults with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Currently, the Village serves the needs of 70 full-time residents, offering a wide range of recreational activities, health care services, and opportunities for community involvement. The village, which has a school, chapel, and dedicated staff, also provides schooling and a range of enrichment opportunities to its residents.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

Southern Madison Heritage Trust works to conserve, for public benefit, natural resources in and around the townships of Brookfield, Eaton, Hamilton, Lebanon and Madison in Madison County, N.Y. The trust strives to protect land, water, unique habitats, scenic landscapes, recreational sites and historic features through public education and support of practices that advance natural resource conservation. 

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

The Young Scholars Liberty Partnership Program is an ambitious collaborative project between Utica College of Syracuse University and the Utica City School District dedicated to motivating disadvantaged students towards, and making possible, a successful academic career both during and beyond the teenage years. Aiming not only to redress the appalling drop-out rate and poor attendance, Young Scholars LPP established itself as a comprehensive program, a source of cultural and social capital for students largely deprived of such support and opportunities. However, Young Scholars LPP does not simply strive for daily attendance or completion of high school, but for academic excellence. Reflecting a belief in the power of the program and the potential of the students, an academic average of a C or better is required to maintain Young Scholar status and students are encouraged to strive not just for a New York State Regents Diploma, but for a Regents Diploma with the Advanced Designation. 

A description of this project will be coming soon.

Adirondack Projects

The following are organizations in the Adirondack region that would like to host a Field School Fellow this summer. Please note that the Fellows completing these projects will receive a research stipend, and will have nearby housing provided to them at no cost. Click on the name of the organization to learn more about the organization's research project and the skills required to complete the work. 

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.

A description of this project will be coming soon.