It was January and Jason Beal looked anxious
. And, of course, excited. And impatient to get answers to so many questions. "I've submitted applications to all the grad schools I'm applying to, so that's a relief," he said. "I've applied to master's programs at Columbia University, SUNY Buffalo, Northwestern and American. I've also applied to a Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Now I'm moving on to Plan B."
Plan B was searching for and applying to jobs or fellowships in areas where Beal and girlfriend Jenny Kalman '04 are interested in living if they don't go to graduate school immediately. So far, two possibilities top his list: the Scoville Fellowship and a job with PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) in Washington, D.C.
Beal's eyes lit up as he explained: "The Scoville Fellowship provides students with six to twelve months of stipend so they can work at internships for organizations that normally wouldn't be able to pay them money. . . . They have a list of organizations they work with, and if you get the fellowship they ask you which five organizations out of their list you would like to work with and why. Then they move you into one of the organizations."
Beal found out about the PIRG program from one of his professors in the Government Department. PIRG has state organizations around the country that work on issues of public interest. It employs campus organizers and researchers and lobbies in Washington. "I'd be most interested in working on campaign finance reform," said Beal, who held an internship at the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Electoral Practices in Augusta during Jan Plan. "It would involve a lot of lobbying, working with senators."
So as of January, Plan A: Beal and Kalman going to graduate school, at schools near each other, right away. Plan B: one or both of them taking a year off first to hold a job or a fellowship.
But then the roller coaster took a turn: Kalman accepted a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health; Beal learned that he'd been accepted to the master's program at American University in Washington, D.C. So with that acceptance, Jenny's fellowship and the PIRG and Scoville opportunities pending, it looked like Jenny and Jason would be in Washington for the next year. A host of questions had been whittled down to a few.