New class of Weitz Fellows travels to Nebraska
The students selected for the 2022-23 Weitz Fellowships met with current fellows, the Weitz family, President Alison Byerly and members of the Career Center as an introduction to the program and a welcome to Omaha and Lincoln.
Seven Carleton students from the class of 2022 have been awarded a Weitz Fellowship, an opportunity exclusive to graduating Carleton seniors for a year-long job at a Nebraska nonprofit. Six of them traveled over the weekend to Omaha and Lincoln in order to meet the Weitz family and the leaders of the host organizations in person, as well as connect with the current Weitz fellows, who will be in their positions until early summer.
Established by Wally Weitz ’70 P’96 P’99 P’02 and Barbara Weitz ’70 P’96 P’99 P’02 over a decade ago, the Weitz Fellowship Program provides one-year, paid positions for Carleton graduates at multiple nonprofit organizations in Omaha and Lincoln, Neb. The jobs include benefits and funding for professional development and grant practical learning experiences in community engagement, fundraising, marketing and policy work for students interested in arts management, nonprofit management and/or social change. Fellows will also benefit from a built-in support system when they move to Nebraska in the fall with the cohort of other Carls and the Weitz family.
The program is coordinated by Jack Becker ’86, executive director and CEO of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha and one of the hosts for the April/May visit.
“The dinner at Jack Becker’s house [with] President Byerly… is where we begin to build community among all of the people involved with the Weitz Fellowship,” said Associate Director of the Career Center Chad Ellsworth, “including Jack, who serves as a local point person for the fellows and who most years has a fellow at the Joslyn Art Museum; the Weitz Family; the organizations, represented by the executive directors; the current fellows; the new fellows and the Carleton Career Center.”
Becker was happy to welcome the group into his home and begin to introduce them to the local community.
“We were delighted to meet the seven new fellows… this past weekend who were in town to prepare for their fellowship this August,” Becker said. “Each graduate will have a unique experience within a nonprofit in Omaha and Lincoln where they can utilize their skill set they developed at Carleton to advance our community.”
The last few classes of fellows have not been able to participate in this kind of visit before moving to Nebraska, so it was an exciting event for all involved.
“We have not made this trip since May 2019 due to the pandemic,” Ellsworth said, “but this trip is an opportunity for the current fellows to welcome the new fellows to Omaha and Lincoln and to share their insights about living [there] and transitioning from Carleton.”
Meet the soon-to-be graduates selected for the 2022-23 Weitz Fellowships:
Isabel Anderson ’22
Isabel Anderson (she/her) is a cinema and media studies major and creative writing minor from Seattle, Wash. Inspired by her love of film and community building, she is thrilled to be joining the fellowship team next year.
Anderson will spend her time in Omaha with Film Streams, a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to enhancing the cultural environment of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area through the presentation and discussion of film as an art form. The organization oversees two wonderful and distinct cinemas: the Ruth Sokolof Theater and the historic Dundee Theater.
Rebecca Chen ’22
Rebecca Chen (she/her) is double majoring in environmental studies and economics, with a minor in music performance. She applied to the fellowship because she was interested in exploring the nonprofit world and learning how the management and finance of nonprofit organizations work. Music also plays a very important role in her life and she looks forward to contributing to a field that she feels passionate about, especially at an organization that emphasizes music as a force for social change.
Chen will spend her fellowship year with Opera Omaha, an organization internationally known for its productions of eight world premieres and four American premieres of classical masterpieces, and is highly regarded regionally for an extensive education and outreach program that annually reaches thousands from elementary school through adulthood. Chen will work in all areas of arts management, with rotations in marketing, fundraising, production and community engagement.
Clarissa Guzman ’22
Clarissa Guzman (she/her/ella) is a sociology/anthropology major with an educational studies minor from Sunnyvale, Calif. She was excited to apply for this fellowship because she wanted to collaborate directly with the Lincoln community and learn more about community organizing.
Guzman will spend her year with Nebraska Appleseed, an advocacy organization working for justice and opportunity in Nebraska via legal, policy and civic engagement work. With a focus on economic justice, healthcare access, child welfare, immigrants and communities, Guzman will participate in creating active legislation alongside a staff of attorneys, policy specialists and community organizers.
Arlo Hettle ’22
Arlo Hettle (he/him) is a political science major and educational studies minor from Cedar Falls, Iowa. His interest in community organizing and political communications led him to apply for this fellowship. In his free time, Hettle enjoys cooking, going on walks and comedy writing.
He will spend his year with Nebraska Civic Engagement Table, an organization that works with nonprofits to increase voting and build an engaged Nebraska. Hettle will identify readiness for grassroots advocacy efforts, identify and coordinate training needs, and assist with overall strategy and deliverables, while also providing support to Table member organizations in the areas of legislative bill tracking, ballot initiative efforts, unified public policy messaging and digital advocacy.
Tyrone Quigley ’22
Tyrone Quigley (he/him) is a studio art major. He applied for the fellowship because he was excited about the organization’s commitment to the role art plays in social change and about the opportunity to do work in a studio setting next year.
Quigley will spend his fellowship with The Union for Contemporary Art, an organization that strengthens the cultural and social landscape of the community by using the arts as a vehicle to inspire positive social change. The organization was founded on the belief that the arts can be a vehicle for social justice and greater civic engagement and strives to utilize the arts as a bridge to connect a diverse community in innovative and meaningful ways. Quigley will be immersed in all aspects of the organization, including development, operations, programming, grantmaking and community outreach and partnerships.
Ooi Win Wen ’22
Ooi Win Wen (she/her) is a sociology and anthropology major with a cross-cultural studies minor from Penang, Malaysia. Having worked with Carleton’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement as well as local communities and schools back home in Malaysia over the last few years, she is excited to learn more about stakeholder engagement and impactful community-institution collaborations during her fellowship.
Ooi will spend her year with the University of Nebraska at Omaha Service Learning Academy, an office within the university that supports faculty and students, P-12 teachers and students and community partners in the development and implementation of quality service learning courses and projects. Ooi’s work will involve collaborating with partners and projects, assisting with program administration and management, and analyzing data on impact.
Emily Schulenberg ’22
Emily Schulenberg (she/her) is a statistics major from Excelsior, Minn. She is passionate about women’s issues, reproductive justice and working with nonprofits. She is excited to be in this fellowship position for the upcoming year.
Schulenberg will work at the Women’s Fund of Omaha, an organization focused on research, grants and advocacy around issues facing women and girls in their communities. The organization provides grant funding to service providers, advocates for policy change and influences dynamic change within the community. Schulenberg will assist with research, policy development, communications and donor and volunteer relations. Research areas include economic conditions, domestic violence and challenges facing girls.
Erica Helgerud ’20 is the news and social media manager for Carleton College and a former Weitz fellow (2020-21) for Opera Omaha.