Program marks fifth anniversary by expanding student opportunities with new funding
Mount Allison University students studying philosophy, politics, and economics, including those associated with the new Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), will have renewed opportunities for internships related to their studies thanks to the generosity of The Wilson Foundation. The Foundation, established by Lynton “Red” Wilson (LLD ’00), recently donated $1 million in support of the L. R. Wilson Internships, which began in 2015. The endowed funds will enable the internship program to expand and be available to students for generations to come.
“The Wilson Foundation is pleased to establish an endowment to support this activity and experience in perpetuity, and look forward to watching the program grow and hearing of the interns’ achievements for years to come,” says Wilson. “Our experience with the student interns to date indicates that Mount Allison’s combination of interdisciplinary study and meaningful work-integrated learning provides a strong undergraduate education and a useful introduction to public and community service. We have been impressed with the quality of students and past Wilson Interns.”
Since 2015, 14 students in philosophy, politics, and economics have been awarded opportunities to work with organizations around the world connected to their area of study through this internship program. The new funding will enable up to four students annually to complete the internships — both student-created and those with ongoing employee partners — and help build new opportunities and a strong alumni network among interns.
Mount Allison Economics Professor Dr. Craig Brett says the internships give students hands-on experiences and opportunities to make great connections.
“We’ve seen Wilson Interns complete placements as close as Sackville and as far away as Africa,” says Brett. “These experiences really create a buzz around the program. Students (and faculty) are excited to hear about what their classmates are doing and what projects they are working on as part of their internships.”
Past Wilson Interns have worked with organizations in Canada and around the world including: Ottawa-based NGO Inter Pares; Policy Horizons Canada; the Government of Canada, the Governments of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; the Town of Sackville; the Green Party of New Brunswick; the Great Divide Trail Association; Montreal-based organization Food Secure Canada; Colombia-based Organizacion Femenina Popular; and Laterite, a research and data analysis organization based in Rwanda. Many interns have gone on to continue their education in graduate or professional programs.
2020 PPE graduate Amira Abouleish worked with the Town of Sackville in 2019 as a Wilson Intern. Abouleish completed an analysis of the economic impact of education/knowledge in Sackville.
“Working with town hall was a really enriching experience. It allowed me to give back to a town I’ve lived in for many years and broaden my horizons in the economics field,” says Abouleish. “The opportunity to have a Wilson Internship helped make my decision to study PPE here. It was so valuable to put the unique experience of studying PPE into the workforce and make up your own internship for the summer.”
Abouleish is currently studying law at the University of Maine School of Law with a full scholarship.
Host organizations have also noted the benefits of the program for both their workplaces and teams. Eric Ward, senior director of Policy Horizons Canada, supervised 2019 intern and fourth-year PPE student John Beasy.
“Simply put, John was outstanding as a colleague and contributor to our foresight activities,” says Ward. “John integrated easily into teams composed of analysts with PhDs and significant experience in various fields. His productivity was excellent.”
Stories about intern experiences, as well as additional information about Mount Allison’s McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics can be found at: https://www.mta.ca/mckennaschool/
About the Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Mount Allison University
Announced in 2020, the Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics seeks to complement new learning, scholarship, and global citizenship initiatives for Mount Allison University students. The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program, established at Mount Allison in 2013, is the only PPE program in Canada east of Ontario, and one of only three in the country. The program offers students the opportunity of a multidisciplinary immersion in these three academic areas, helping to prepare them for myriad career paths.
Photo captions: Mr. Lynton “Red” Wilson (LLD ’00). 2019 L.R. Wilson Interns Amira Abouleish and John Beasy.