The David Mathews Center for Civic Life is pleased to announce our Jean O’Connor-Snyder Internship Call for Proposals for the 2020-21 academic year!

To Apply:

Interested faculty should download the 2020-2021 JOIP Request for Proposals

Once completed, please submit your proposal via email to Haley Pascal, DMC Operations Coordinator:

The deadline to submit a proposal has been extended to Friday, May 1, 2020, 11:59PM CST.

Should you have any questions regarding the program or application process, please contact Gabrielle Lamplugh,

Through this program, we are honored to work with faculty and students from communities across the state. These individuals dedicate their time to working alongside citizens who work to improve their communities for everyone. We are equally indebted to these community partners who welcome students and faculty into their hometowns to practice immersive civic learning together. Immersive civic learning is characterized by active, continuous participation in both formal and informal civic spaces, and through personal experiences with a community and its individuals.

Partnering with Alabama communities offer a unique, experiential learning opportunity to young people who may not have practiced civic engagement beyond voting—or who may even feel their vote does not count. Indeed, one key finding from the 2015 Alabama Civic Health Index is that “Alabamians age 30 and over are nearly twice as likely as 18–29 year old to vote in national (67.2% vs. 40.3%) and local (67.7% vs. 38.5%) elections.” As one intern put it following their experience, “I now see how the decisions of a City Council have concrete effects all the way up to someone’s front doorstep.” It is this kind of learning, and this shift in mindset, that we believe has a lasting effect on a commitment to be part of one’s community, wherever students make their homes.

Since the Jean O’Connor-Snyder Internship Program (JOIP) began in 2008, the DMC has partnered with over a dozen of Alabama’s colleges and universities, nearly 250 students, and myriad communities across the state to create unique community-based learning experiences. These experiences provide college students the opportunity to collaborate with community members in addressing common concerns through the use of deliberative practices. Each internship is a unique partnership between the DMC, an institution of higher education, and a community partner. For information on recent partner projects, visit Auburn University’s Living Democracy blog, and check out the community journalism featured on the DMC’s Civic Dispatch blog series! You can learn more about the program’s namesake—Mrs. Jean O’Connor-Snyder—here. Finally, we encourage you to peruse our 2019 Year In Review, which features two fantastic pieces penned by JOIP interns.