Levett Career Center

Nonprofits: Ways to Contribute to Society

October 27 , 2015

Return to Alumni Panels page

Elizabeth Dewes '14
Audience Research Associate, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Development Associate, Herron High School
AmeriCorps - Oaks Academy, Indianapolis 2014
BA, Major: Art


During Elizabeth's time here she had a foreign student mentor who was curious about the US and asked professors about their lives. Because of this, Elizabeth became comfortable becoming friends with professors and learning more from them than class material. She encourages learning about other countries. She received a $5K Richter Grant to travel to East Africa to learn more about ethics and the art and antique trade. She traveled frequently and worked as much as possible, but wishes she could have traveled more. She encouraged students to take opportunities to travel. She also encourages going to the resume building workshop. There are six sessions, but it helps greatly build resumes. Elizabeth's time with AmeriCorps was good but she has also heard of bad experiences. She recommends doing research to make sure students are not volunteering for a floundering organization. That way, your skills can be used and developed more fully so that you and the organization will benefit. Elizabeth really wanted to work at the Indianapolis Museum of Art which is difficult to break into, so she used a contact who works there that she knew from her work at Herron High School. She recommended networking as a way to break into the jobs you want.

Caroline Gleason Dutkanych '98
Development Director
Women's Fund of Central Indiana, A CICF Fund, womensfund.org
AmeriCorps - Peace Learning Center and Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management 2000
Graduate Certificate, Nonprofit Management, IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs
BA, Major: English


Caroline shared that the writing skills honed at Hanover, specifically persuasive writing skills, came in handy for grant writing. Caroline took advantage of the Richter Grant at Hanover as well. She used it to travel to Eurasia, traveling a pilgrimage trail - comparing the journey with one from the 12th century. She advises taking advantage of the Richter Grant program. She works for the Women's Fund of Central Indiana, which is a part of the CICF Fund, a funding organization that awards grants to make a difference in central Indiana. One of their goals is to make sure there are options and opportunities for girls and women. It places an emphasis on those who have dealt with domestic violence, caregiving, and live in low-income homes. While working for AmeriCorps, Caroline built a national conflict resolution model. She worked for a business after that moved to nonprofits because that is her passion. While this field doesn't always require a master's degree, the field is getting more professionalized and the requirements may change. Not many current managers have MSWs, but there are several people joining the field with MSWs. Several good nonprofits will help people get master's degrees with the expectation that those people will work for them. A student should network with alumni, professors, and volunteer to increase the chance of finding a job in nonprofits since 80% of jobs aren't posted. Other good resources include talking to professors and the career center.

Jennifer (Hill) Mervis '05
Unit Manager, Seven Counties Common Ground
Peace Corps in Tanzania, Education Volunteer 2005-07
MSSW: Social Work, Women and Gender Studies, University of Louisville
BA, Major: Philosophy, Minor: Math
Greek affiliation: Chi Omega


Jennifer encouraged students to study aboard, take part in intensive inquiries, or any opportunities outside of classes. During her time with the Peace Corps, she taught math and chemistry to high school students in East Africa. With every job she applied for, she always knew someone in the organization who recommended her to the employer - recommending networking. She said that the liberal arts give a person flexibility and the ability to prioritize and to focus. She also encouraged students to do mock interviews and learn to sell themselves.


Aubrey (Harshey) McClure '14
CCDF Case Manager, River Valley Resources
Youth Care Staff, Pathways Youth Shelter
BA, Major: Anthropology


Aubrey was a part of the Student Senate, Step Team, and went to Mexico. Her first job was found by meeting the Director of a Clearing House in Madison. She took an internship there and worked nights at a hotel to earn money. The internship eventually led to a full time job. She said that after working 10 years for a nonprofit, student loans are forgiven. Internships increase a student's chance for a first job. She encouraged students to volunteer and help the community now. If you are an introvert like her, she advised thinking of networking as making new friends.

  return to top