Monthly Archives: March 2014

Ernest and Betty Singer Scholarship Winners Announced

The Consensus Organizing Center (COC) is thrilled to announce the 2013-2014 recipients of the Ernest and Betty Singer Scholarship, Alicia Morris and Anne Vollman. While honoring the late Ernest and Betty Singer, the purpose of the scholarship is to provide scholarship support for students enrolled in the Community Development/Administration track of the Masters of Social Work program at San Diego State University (SDSU), and seed their initial work in community practice.

Alicia MorrisAlicia Morris is currently a graduate student in the one year Advanced standing MSW Program and has been working as an agency capacity intern with Feeding America San Diego (FASD).  A dynamic project she has been coordinating with FASD is implementing the FASD Capacity Self Assessment Tool (CSAT) to their partner network. The tool allows each distribution partner to recognize the current capacity of its food program. From the CSAT data FASD will be able to evaluate their own success in building their partner network capacity thus far and shape it for the future.  She also visits partners in the community to monitor food safety practices and assess partner needs all related to ensuring clients are receiving safe food in a respectful manner. Lastly, this spring she will be engaging the community to lobby on behalf of anti-hunger legislation at the state capital through participation in Hunger Action Day. Staff, interns, partners, and community members all travel together to make their voices heard on food policy topics. After graduation Alicia will be moving to Los Angeles where she aims to bring her community organizing dreams into practice. She is currently researching opportunities where she could employ her Consensus Organizing skills in projects that are looking for a community organizer. Her spirit and can do attitude have her ready to take on the challenge!

Anne VollmanAnne grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio in the community of College Hill.  Anne attended the University of Cincinnati, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Upon graduation Anne moved to San Diego and began her Master’s at San Diego State. Anne has always had an avid interest in underserved and stigmatized populations, which brought her to the community development track after completing her first year at SDSU in the clinical track. Through her work with the Consensus Organizing Center, Anne has developed a passion for addressing change on the macro level. Managing the Step Up Program has been an incredible experience, allowing Anne to connect with the high school students individually and navigate the group as a whole to develop and succeed. Seeing the impact on the high school students in just one semester convinced Anne to pursue community development in her future career. Accompanied with her passion for research, Anne’s overarching career goal is to work with communities to develop and implement effective programs to target teens affected by the social issues within the community. Anne also plans to pursue clinical licensure in order to continue providing individualized care and interventions to those in need.

The COC is extremely proud of the accomplishments of Alicia and Anne. When speaking about our newest scholar, Executive Director Jessica Robinson said, “We are so proud of the hard work and dedication Alicia and Anne have displayed this year. I can’t think of two more deserving students to receive this honor.”


Interns Need Love Too!

IMG_2677 IMG_4992The New Year has been a whirl wind of activity for many social work interns placed through the COC. My placement with Feeding America San Diego (FASD) has been equally dynamic and full of activity! FASD takes great pride in their intern program. Our intern office, as we sometimes call the “bull pen”, is jammed with students working on nutrition education, prepping for healthy cooking demos in the community, and CalFresh case management. FASD definitely takes time to appreciate and recognize how many dedicated hours of work each intern puts in that directly supports our mission to “Feed the hungry. Advocate. Educate.”

On February 14th to “show love” for all the interns we had a big meeting where they provided professional development tips, interns shared about the programs they are working on, and various awards were handed out. We were also given a full spread lunch from Chipotle and dessert from Yogurtland…yum. To my surprise I was given the “Up For Anything (with Relish) Award” in which they wanted to show appreciation for diving in and trying anything that needed to be done. I want to thank FASD who has provided a learning environment that gives us interns the liberty to be able to just “dive in” and try new experiences.

For example, I got to perform a live healthy cooking demonstration at one of our monthly food distributions! This is where we prepare a simple healthy recipe with ingredients that individuals receive in their food bags. We also provide the recipe in the food bag in Spanish and English. I had a blast making apple oatmeal and chatting about how whole grains are nutritious for various health reasons.

Our interns are loved and I am excited for the next community development intern that has the opportunity to work with this amazing organization next year!

Alicia Magallanes
COC/Feeding America Intern