Benjamin Thompson
Benjamin Thompson, MSU senior majoring in social work, interned with the CSLCE in 2016-2017.

As we wrap up the academic year, we sat down with Benjamin Thompson,  social work intern with the MSU Center for Service-Learning & Civic Engagement (CSLCE) and asked him a few questions. Ben’s answers reference Steve Carell, the Spartan Marching Band, and more! Enjoy this feature on Ben, a much appreciated intern who committed the past year to working with us!

1. Tell us about your internship year.

I am a fourth-year social work student interning with the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (CSLCE). This school year, I have worked on the Reflection Circle program. This has been my first experience working with college students and helping connect their service-learning experiences in the community through reflection activities. I couldn’t have asked for a better senior intern experience.

2. What is the best part about interning at the CSLCE?

The best part about the CSLCE is the friendly staff. Each member of the office comes to work with a passion to help link students to volunteering placements. Throughout my time here, I have developed strong friendships with each member of the staff. They’re all so friendly, I feel free to ask them any question I have, no matter how mundane.

3. What is your favorite memory of your time at the CSLCE?

I enjoyed getting a chance to participate in the Reflection Circle program myself . As a student intern, I’ve had the benefit of being on both sides of this program, both as a student volunteer at two local K-12 schools and being a facilitator in the program. When facilitating Reflection Circles, I was able to connect my own experiences as a volunteer in the community to help other college students think more deeply about their involvement. These experiences helped me see deeper into the role that volunteerism and reflection have in the complete student experience that we offer here at MSU.

4. Which three people (living or not) would you most like to invite to a dinner party and why?

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt- The 32nd President of the United States that brought the U.S. from the Great Depression to WWII. He was a man of great reform and courage of his time.
  • Alice Paul- As a powerful feminist and social worker, Alice Paul spent her life fighting for equal protection under the law for women. Her peaceful advocacy (which included picketing the White House) led to jail, hunger strikes, and eventually, the passage of women’s suffrage and the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • Leonard Falcone- The prominent MSU Spartan Marching Band director from 1927 to 1967 who brought the band from a khaki-wearing military band to the uniformed group that would look similar to the Spartan Marching Band today.
Ben assists a faculty member at the Curriculum with a Cause event held in November 2016.
Ben assists a faculty member at the Curriculum with a Cause event held in November 2016.

Ben assists a faculty member at the Curriculum with a Cause event held in November 2016.

5. What is your favorite Steve Carell movie?

Easy. The only correct answer to this question is Dan In Real Life. In the movie, Carell plays a bumbling advice columnist and father who’s trying to deal with the passing of time (the passing of his wife, his daughters growing up, and interest in a new woman). I can very much relate to his experience trying to avoid change. By the way, did I mention that I’m graduating next week?

6. What are you doing after college?

I will be serving in the Lansing’s City Planning office as an AmeriCorps VISTA member through Cities of Service. I will work with the Neighborhood Resource Team to build the capacity of Lansing’s neighborhood and community organizations, apply and implement grants, and cultivate partnerships with stakeholders to empower community members economically. I’m very excited to start this summer. I am looking forward to putting the skills that I’ve learned here at MSU to good use.

7. What is your big takeaway from your experience at the CSLCE?

Honestly, put the time in. If you have a cause that you are passionate about, throw yourself into it completely. If someone is benefiting from your actions, it doesn’t matter how stressed, tired, or frustrated you are. The activities that give you that warm and fuzzy feeling of a good job well done is what will keep you going.

Many thanks and congratulations to Ben! We have enjoyed your energy, shared love of coffee, and commitment to the notion that Spartans Will. Serve. We wish you the best as you graduate, start AmeriCorps, and build your career in social work!