October 16, 2009

Students create grant organization to facilitate global engagement

Ian Feis ’12, co-creator of the new Global Engagement Board, discusses why he wanted to create a way for students to fund experiential learning opportunities for their peers.
  • Ian Feis '12

As a first-year student at Lewis & Clark, Ian Feis ’12 identified a need in the community; as a sophomore, he is fulfilling it.

A native of Mount Vernon, Washington, dedicated to social justice causes, Feis wanted to find a way for students who value engagement and service to access funds to support their work globally. Given Lewis & Clark’s focus on both international education and community engagement, Feis sought a way for students to unite those experiences.

Working closely with other students, Feis launched the new Global Engagement Board (GEB) based on the belief that that individuals connected to networks of change-makers find it easier to translate their aspirations into tangible career paths that benefit humanity.

Feis and his collaborators modeled GEB after the long-standing Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB). For nearly 30 years, Lewis & Clark College students have dedicated a portion of their student fees to support the work of their peers through SAAB. The student-led grant program provides funds to students to attend conferences, conduct research, bring scholars to campus, and support student art projects.

“GEB has looked at how SAAB functions, and we like a lot of aspects of it,” Feis said. “But, we don’t like is that it’s limited to academics, because students are so much more than just what they’re doing in school. GEB is about experiential learning, because not all learning happens in the classroom.”

Learn more about Lewis & Clark College’s newest board of government as Feis describes his goals for GEB in this podcast (mp3).