Justine Gambale ’15 is majoring in sociology at Colgate, and has taken courses in research methods to develop skills that she is putting into practice this summer as a Field School Fellow. She is working with the Multicultural Association of Medical/Legal Interpreters of New York (MAMI Interpreters) to help them integrate their services into the larger community and to build a sense of community among the interpreters that are providing services in the Upstate region.
She is conducting interviews with interpreters and community members this summer to learn about the needs of various national and cultural groups in Syracuse and Utica, and to gauge opinion about how interpreters can develop a better relationship with MAMI and with each other. Her research will help the organization to better understand the needs of the diverse members of the communities it serves so that it may continue to align services to meet those changing needs.
She is also conducting research that will support MAMI’s grant writing activity and will help to develop a strong web-based presence for the organization. She is researching the use of social media for non-profit organizations, and using the data to and develop a grant application that will allow MAMI to improve its website and social media presence in the future.
By the end of the summer, Justine will have helped to craft several grant applications for MAMI Interpreters. This will undoubtedly help build capacity for the organization but will be critical for Justine as well, who is considering a career in the nonprofit sector. By working on various grant applications this summer, she has refined her writing skills. By conducting interviews with interpreters and community members from many national and cultural backgrounds, she has improved her communication skills and her confidence in facilitating discussions with others, especially those from other communities and cultures.