Nine Loomis Chaffee alumni have rejoined the Island community as interns this fall to help support faculty with the additional demands of providing a boarding school learning experience amidst the pandemic.
As teaching faculty are delivering Loomis’ academic curriculum on campus and online, synchronously and asynchronously, the interns are helping with some non-teaching supervisory duties, many of which are related to COVID-19 safety.
Grace Denny ’13, Taylor Douglas ’19, John Fiallo ’18, Shelley Fickett ’19, Isaac Guzman ’17, Jason Liu ’17, Mike Matteo ’18, Aidan Murphy ’18, and Will Thramann ’18 have taken on the faculty intern roles this fall. Elaney Ortiz, who is not a Loomis alum, has also joined the intern cadre. She is a current senior at Scripps College.
Several of the interns are attending their colleges and graduate schools remotely during the pandemic, so they are living nearby and available to commute to Loomis for the intern jobs.
Jason, who is completing his bachelor’s degree online at Dartmouth College, said he appreciates being back on the Island.
“Some things have changed drastically since I was a student (the SNUG is not underground anymore!), but others have not,” he commented. “It's great to see some familiar faces and sights — the Quad, the Meadows, Mr. Pond's yellow Crocs — but more importantly, it's reassuring to be among Pelicans once more. I feel like I'm back home with close friends and family, and this reminiscent sensation of belonging is something that I'm cherishing as a Loomis intern."
Having elected to take a year-long pause before her sophomore year at Colby College, Taylor said she is thankful to have the opportunity to be back on the Island as an intern.
Grace decided to join the faculty intern group because her law school program is remote this year. She said she is glad to help on campus during a challenging moment for the school.
“I love working in the dorm once a week. It's a nice distraction from my schoolwork, and spending time with the girls is so much fun,” she said. “I also really enjoy being a part of the team in the dorm. The rest of the dorm faculty are incredible to work with.”
Overseen by Jim O’Donnell, who brings his experience leading interns as director of the Loomis Chaffee Summer Program, the faculty interns are on duty for up to 20 hours per week in various roles, including supervising public areas around campus throughout the day and serving as assistants and adult mentors in the dorms. They help supervise weekend activities and assist the Athletics Department with coaching, and with health, wellness, and fitness programs. They also proctor study spaces in Katharine Brush Library and Gilchrist Auditorium and lend a hand with a variety of residence life needs.
According Jim, the interns bring much-needed support to teachers and students during these trying times, and contribute to the community spirit on campus.