Skip to Content
June 23, 2015


Contact: Carol Harmon or Dan Sharpe, The Columbus Foundation, 614/251-4000,,

The Columbus Foundation Announces 2015 Summer Fellows


Columbus, OH (June 23, 2015)— The Columbus Foundation is pleased to announce participants in its 2015 Summer Fellowship Program. Now in its sixth year, the program provides college students and recent college graduates with the opportunity to work with central Ohio nonprofit organizations for a 10-week period.

The Foundation’s Summer Fellows Program was launched in 2010 to engage the next generation of young leaders in the nonprofit sector through career-related work. Funded by The Columbus Foundation and its donors, the program offers hands-on experiences that allow fellows to support the work of the host organizations.

The 13 individuals chosen to participate this summer will be supporting a variety of projects with local nonprofits, from researching current IT workforce trends and future needs of employers, to educational programming on the importance of good dental health. Nonprofit organizations and prospective fellows submit applications and go through an interview and review process before being chosen for the program. Each fellow receives a $5,000 stipend for their work.

2015 Summer Participants include:

  • Actors’ Theatre of Columbus—Sarah Levitt of Owings Mills, MD, and a graduate student at The Ohio State University, will serve in a production management liaison role to assist during performances, coordinate volunteers, manage social media, and administer audience surveys for the summer programming in Schiller Park and additional collaborations.

  • Clean Fuels Ohio—Matthew Shomo of Akron, and attending The Ohio State University, will support the Ohio Green Fleets program through outreach, education, and certification—aiming to reduce the emissions, petroleum, and overall fuel use of government and business vehicle fleets.

  • Columbus Early Learning Centers—Alex Downie of Boardman, and attending The Ohio State University, will develop a robust volunteer program by creating and implementing policies, procedures, and engagement strategies to ensure a valuable volunteer experience while recruiting, training, and working with these volunteers.

  • Economic and Community Development Institute, Inc.—Bryn Webster of Columbus, and a graduate student at The Ohio State University, will support the department of development with its core functions while providing opportunities for grantwriting, interpreting requests for proposals, conducting literature reviews, and concisely describing program plans in an effort to secure additional program support.

  • GroundWork group—Sylvia Collard of Powell, and attending The Ohio State University, will support the exploration of the GroundWork group process, information management system, and projects that provide solutions for the needs of central Ohio nonprofit organizations.

  • Habitat for Humanity–MidOhio—Oliver Rouch of Grandview Heights, and attending Capital University, will conceptually develop, film, produce, and edit a series of four to six videos that explore the mission of Habitat from the lens of the Fellow and stakeholders, such as a partner family or construction volunteer.

  • KidSMILES Pediatric Dental Clinic—David Danesh of Dublin, and attending The Ohio State University, will develop a comprehensive awareness and education program on the importance of good dental health that encourages families to seek affordable dental care at the KidSMILES clinic.

  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of Ohio Kentucky and Indiana—Kalin O’Conner of Homewood, IL, and attending The Ohio State University, will conduct a wish cost analysis as a way of learning and studying the costs and activities associated with granting wishes.

  • Per Scholas Inc.—Ashley McIntosh of Westerville, and graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University, will support Per Scholas’ workforce development goals through research on current IT workforce trends, future needs of employers, capacity of the market, and defining skills gaps of the education supply and training demand.

  • The Pizzuti Collection—Jessie Crawford of Pittsburgh, and a graduate student at The Ohio State University, will expand educational programs to low-income youth through the development of an outreach initiative to schools and faculty, development of a Junior Docent Program, and a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus.

  • Shepherd’s Corner—Shakita Kabicek of Brook Park, and attending Ohio Dominican University, will update and administer the 1997 survey “Ask the Land,” a comprehensive environmental survey for the 160 acres that includes Shepherd’s Corner.

  • Vineyard Community Center—Abdulrahman Alwattar of Dublin, and graduate of The Ohio State University, who will be attending University of Pennsylvania Law in the fall, will increase the capacity of the Vineyard Immigration Counseling Services through utilization of LawLogix software, volunteer recruitment, effective case management, and implementation of monthly client screening and assessment clinics.

  • YMCA—Erika Nigh of Mount Cory, and attending Franklin University, will develop additional family-friendly programs at targeted YMCA branches, while surveying parents of camp children to determine what type of family programs are needed and wanted in central Ohio.

Stay up to date with the students’ experiences by reading the Fellow’s Blog.


About The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to more than 2,000 individuals, families, businesses, and communities that have created unique funds to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for 70 years, The Columbus Foundation is the seventh largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s online giving marketplace, PowerPhilanthropy®, makes it possible for everyone to access valuable information about nonprofit organizations in central Ohio.