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Students Land Selective Summer Internships & Fellowships

Biomedical Ethics Research

David Robinson '17
David Robinson '17

Vann Fellowships in Biomedical Ethics Research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, go to David Robinson '17 and Maggie Stalker '17. Funded by Jim '50 and Lee Vann, students on this 10-week fellowship will participate in a biomedical ethics summer curriculum.

Robinson, from Tallahassee, Florida, is a philosophy major also enrolled in the pre-medical program. He is a Chidsey Leadership Fellow at Davidson.

"I applied to this position because bioethics lies at the intersection of my philosophy and pre-medical coursework at Davidson," Robinson said. "While medical school is definitely still a possibility for me after graduation, I am open to other ways to create effective change in healthcare space aside from the direct care of patients through the practice of medicine.

Maggie Stalker '17
Maggie Stalker '17

Regardless of where the road may lead, I am excited for the opportunity this summer because of the ubiquity and fundamental importance of ethical issues in medicine. I hope to focus my research in genomics/personalized medicine, an area in which the Mayo Clinic is a leader."

Stalker, also a Chidsey Leadership Fellow, is from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She is majoring in Hispanic studies and minoring in chemistry.

"As a Hispanic studies major and pre-med student, I plan on using my Spanish-speaking abilities to bridge the language gap between doctors and the growing Hispanic population," she said. "The Vann Bioethics internship at Mayo Clinic provides an outstanding opportunity to not only shadow some of the brightest minds in medicine, but also to study ethical questions challenging doctors today. I plan to use my language skills to study the disparities in access to quality healthcare faced by much of the Hispanic population today."

Human Rights Watch Internships

Cate Dorigan '17
Cate Dorigan '17

Ethics Internships at Human Rights Watch in New York City go to Cate Dorigan '17 and Patrick Spauster '17. The two students will be mentored by alumna Zama Coursen-Neff '91, executive director of HRW's Children's Rights Division, in internships funded by the Vann Center.

"Our New York children's rights team is looking forward to Cate and Patrick's arrival this summer," said Coursen-Neff. "We work on some of the worst things happening to children around the world–children forced to fight in wars, work in highly dangerous jobs, denied an education–and the talented interns we've had from Davidson in the last few years have been a great help."

Spauster, from Danbury, Connecticut, is majoring in economics and in public policy studies.

"I have been blessed with many opportunities in my life," said Spauster. "I grew up with opportunities to get a good education and pursue my passions. Much of the world is not fortunate enough to have these same opportunities. I see it as my duty to use the access I have to give back. I want the children of tomorrow all over the world to have the same opportunities that I had.

Patrick Spauster '17
Patrick Spauster '17

Securing basic needs and rights is the first step toward developing the kind of social, economic and political opportunities we in the developed world enjoy. Human rights form the foundation for creating global political and social equality, and the tools for human progress across the world."

Dorigan, a Chidsey Leadership Fellow at Davidson, is from Washington, D.C. She is double-majoring in economics and political science.

"Nonprofit work has always been a field I've been interested in," said Dorigan. "Last year I took ‘Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector,' a class funded through a grant from the Sunshine Lady Foundation to educate college students about the nonprofit world through hands-on learning. Since then, I've been exploring the intersection between my interests in nonprofit work and economics. I've written about various human rights issues, and wanted to explore the field further. I've studied abroad twice during my time at Davidson, and working internationally after graduation is something I'm very interested in. One field I'm interested in exploring further would be development economics. This fellowship is a unique opportunity to work for one of the world's best nonprofit organizations, and I'm incredibly excited."

Donchian Research Fellowship

Riley League '18
Riley League '18

A Donchian Research Fellowship in Ethics, funded through a grant from the Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation, will support Riley League '18 in summer research on campus under the mentorship of Assistant Professor of Philosophy Daniel Layman.

League, a class of 2018 Bryan Scholar and member of the Davidson men's swimming and diving team, hails from Rock Hill, South Carolina. He is double-majoring in economics and philosophy.

"When my adviser told me about this opportunity to do research in ethics, my first thought was ‘Research? In ethics? Reading a bunch of books and articles and stuff?'" said League. "My second thought was ‘Sweet! Reading a bunch of books and articles and stuff!' My research is going to focus on liberty and what it means to be free, so I'm looking forward to being free all summer to learn about freedom."