Summer Intern Series: Joe Carpenter Edition

10473428_828720987138991_8193594159903520663_nMy name is Joseph Carpenter and I am a graduate student at Brandeis University in the Coexistence and Conflict Program at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. I attended Clark University for my undergrad in my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. A lot of the past work I have done revolves around activism and community organizing. Representing and rebuilding disadvantaged communities has been my passion since I was 18 years old. I have worked for politicians and non-profits alike. I’ve even represented Clark Universities minority population as the Minority Representative in student government. I was also a part of numerous advocacy groups on campus whose main activities were civil disobedience and sensitivity training.

My summer research revolves around studying peace building tactics in post-conflict environments. The environment I’m studying is Rwanda, and I am recording the impact that Shooting Touch has in Rwanda with their youth post-genocide. As the Monitoring and Evaluation Intern for Shooting Touch’s G3 program, my responsibilities involve measuring the impact of our program and identifying ways to make the program stronger. What I have been working on recently has been data inputting and analysis from the M&E (Monitoring and Evaulation) system in the Rwanda program. One of the things that Shooting Touch needs in order to grow is an effective M&E system. My goal for my time here is to establish a working and sustainable system that can be easily used even after I am gone.

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Three positive things that should be known about myself outside of academics and professional credentials, is that I love playing basketball, I love Thai food, and my favorite player is James Harden. I’m probably the most laid back person you will ever meet, and I try not to stress too much. The sole pet peeve that I have is close minded people. I like to think that I am open minded individual and nothing irks me more than having a conversation with someone that has little or no concern with thinking outside of what they believe.

I chose to work with Shooting Touch for a number of reasons. I love basketball (watching and playing) and I love development (social and personal) so Shooting Touch on the surface seemed like the obvious choice. But my interest goes deeper than that. Sports intrinsically has underlying values that foster environments of coexistence, and understanding the impact of sports can be a valuable tool. Shooting Touch is an organization that acknowledges at-risk communities and uses sports to improve the quality of their lives. The ability of sports to build peaceful communities is largely an unknown commodity, and my goal is to add to the information that we already have and grow the community of sport for development practitioners.

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