Fall 2022 CEL Opportunities

Please click on the links below to read more about the positions. More to come! Click here to review the process to register.



Environment, Sustainability, and Farming

Law and Politics

Public Health and Mental Health

Social Services/Social Justice

Urban Planning

Zoo & Veterinary

Parking Study Assessor with Arlington Business Improvement District

This opportunity is available during the Fall 2022 semester. Parts of this position can be conducted remotely.

The mission of the Arlington Business Improvement District is to continue on our path of revitalization, beautification, and the creation of business and people friendly environment. We will constantly reassess our plans, efforts, and strategies so that we may successfully bring local residents and local businesses together for their mutual benefits.

Position Description: 

  • Students will learn assessment tools used by county and town planning departments to evaluate parking needs of communities.
  •  Student will have opportunity to help develop solutions to address parking needs in the BID. 
  • Students will also be helping to formulate the five year master plan for the BID.
  • The parking study is needed to help plan for future business growth in the BID and available parking for increased visitors to the area. The findings and proposals will become part of our on going master plan
  • Students will use parking study material from county and town to complete study.

Desired Skills:

  • Students will need to be able to read maps and fill in count information.
  • Will need willingness to learn some basic analytic and urban planning tools.
  • ArcGIS Online account
  • ArcGIS Field Maps app (free download)
  • Smartphone or tablet
  • GIS skills would be helpful but are not necessary. The Dutchess County Transportation Council will provide a how-to-guide, training, and technical support.

Hours: There will be 2 Saturdays needed for vehicle counts 2:00pm to 4:00pm and a 6:00pm to 8:00pm on separate days. Students can register for either 0.5 unit or 1.0 unit of credit ( min. 40 hrs with org over the semester for + 30 hrs of academic work OR min. 80 hr over the semester with org  + 60 hours of academic work)

To Apply:  Please email a statement of interest and your resume to OCELapplication@Vassar.edu

Sidewalk Talk: Creative Placemaking

Arts and culture are an important component of a thriving main street. One method for supporting and celebrating the arts is through local events and festivals. Join Pattern for Progress for a discussion with the organizers of O+, a longstanding festival in the City of Kingston, and the Phoenix Festival, a new event debuting this year in the Village of Nyack. Register here!
In this webinar you will learn from presenters with first-hand experience about establishing and running an event, creative ideas for celebrating the arts, and how to connect an event to the community where it takes place.
SpeakerS: Joe Concra, Organizer, O+ Festival and  Craig Smith, Organizer, The Phoenix Festival
O+ EMPOWERS COMMUNITIES TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR COLLECTIVE WELLBEING THROUGH THE EXCHANGE OF ART, MUSIC AND WELLNESS. O+ (pronounced O Positive) supports the health of underinsured artists and musicians through festivals at which they exchange art-making and performances for wellness services: the art of medicine for the medicine of art. O+ helps strengthen community wellbeing with Narcan and CPR trainings, expos of local health-and wellness-related nonprofits, cycling events, classes in the healing arts, mural tours and healthcare forums. 
Nyack joins the roster of world class arts events with the launch of The Phoenix Festival: Live Arts in Nyack — an annual celebration of classical theater, music, local culture and the creative spirit of community. For the inaugural year, the event will span five weekends in September and October 2022. All performances will be presented live and outdoors against a backdrop of majestic Hudson River vistas and Nyack’s lively, jazzy riverside village.
The Festival is hosted and produced by the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, an internationally recognized leader in creative contemporary theater and winner of multiple prestigious awards for excellence in theater arts. Founded in New York City in 2004, the Ensemble makes Rockland County its second home.
Ensemble artistic directors Elise Stone and Craig Smith lead the Festival creative team, engaging local, county and New York State institutions, educational organizations, businesses and non-profits in support of this exciting event.
“The Festival offers joy to audiences of all ages, while at the same time bringing visitors to Rockland, new revenues for local businesses and workers, a spotlight for non-profits and educational opportunities for young people who want to get up-close and hands-on with live performance.” –Craig Smith, Executive Director

Sustainability Intern with Harriet Tubman Apartments

This opportunity is available during the Fall 2022 semester. Parts of this opportunity can be conducted remotely.

The Harriet Tubman Terrace Apartments (Tubman) is a non-profit, 200 unit apartment complex on the West side of the City of Poughkeepsie. The mission of Tubman is to provide clean, safe, rent-subsidized apartments to qualifying low-income residents of Poughkeepsie. It can be said, generally speaking, that the resident population of Tubman represents a high-needs community with limited financial resources.

The overall management of the Tubman Apartments is the responsibility of the Board of Directors who are the fiduciaries of the complex. The Board wants to start additional programs that would help Tubman as a whole become more environmentally responsible in its operation. To that end, one of the projects that would help would be to perform a feasibility study for, and implementation of, a recycling program on site. 

The main deliverables of this opportunity are:

  • A report detailing the infrastructure needs of a recycling program for a residential apartment setting.
  • Implement and support a community-based program that would initiate the recycling program.
  • Engage resident community in education regarding recycling and provide program information.
  • A final report at the end of the opportunity on progress and deficits of project implementation including, if possible, estimates of waste diverted.

In this assignment, the applicant will  be working with the Board, staff of Tubman and contractors. Direction and oversight will be done primarily by an outside contractor that will provide subject matter expertise in the area of waste management and recycling. In regards to day-to-day operations, physical recycling needs and anything else needed regarding on-site work, the applicant will address these concerns to Tubman’s property manager, Ron Traudt.

Hours: Students can register for either 0.5 unit or 1.0 unit of credit ( min. 40 hrs with org over the semester for + 30 hrs of academic work OR min. 80 hr over the semester with org  + 60 hours of academic work)

To Apply:  Please email a statement of interest and your resume to OCELapplication@Vassar.edu

GIS Intern for Town of Gardiner Natural Resource Inventory

This opportunity is available during Fall 2022 semester. This opportunity can be conducted virtually and is only available for CEL credit.

The Gardiner Natural Resource Inventory Interactive Mapper was created in conjunction with a Vassar CEL student and completed in December 2021. In the winter and spring of 2022, additional action was taken by the Town to implement a Water Resources study and create new maps, while separately and concurrently developing a Community Preservation Plan with associated maps also created with a Vassar CEL student. These efforts were initiated through a multi-agency effort of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), representatives of the Town of Gardiner Boards and Commissions, representatives of the Public and the New York Rural Water Association. The current iteration of the webmap is accessible at  https://tognri.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.htmlappid=316635524fec43afa6367bb21c2c10c4

Position Description:

This project is proposed on behalf of the Gardiner Town Board, by the Gardiner Environmental Conservation Commission (ECC) together with the Gardiner Open Space Commission (GOSC). The ECC and GOSC are seeking continued support to revise and update our NRI interactive web map created in conjunction with the Vassar CEL in the Fall of 2021. The Town would like to update this set of web maps and layers allowing the ECC, GOSC, Planning Board, and other users, as well as the general public, to interact with the data more easily and to update some of the unfinished aspects in more depth.

As part of the learning experience provided by this project, at the completion of the project, the student may make a presentation to the Town Board, Planning Board, GOSC, and/or the ECC separately or jointly, to introduce the new features and functionality to potential users, the overall benefits and use of the Interactive Mapping as well as review the updated tutorial which will be completed as part of the project (see below.) Ideally this would be an in-person presentation, however, this can be completed virtually if conditions require. The deadline for completion of the project including presentations and tutorial is December 15, 2022.

Roberta Clements, former ECC Chair and present ECC member, will serve as the student’s mentor (SM) and liaison between the CEL student (the student) and the Town. Laura Rose, member of the GOSC, will provide support, review and back up for the project as needed. Neil Curri, of Vassar College, will be also be advising and supervising the student.


  • The online NRI interactive mapper updates will include of  adding a series of new web maps under an additional “Water Resources” tab using the ESRI ArcGIS Online Story Map tool and the maps provided by the Town’s Water Resources consultant. The maps will be developed under the supervision of the college’s supervising consultant (Neil Curri) using the town’s dedicated ESRI ArcGIS account.
    ● The student, under the supervision of Vassar College adjunct and GIS consultant, Neil Curri, will provide multiple updates and revisions to the existing mapper features
    ● In addition, the Town envisions a short (about 10 minutes) updated video tutorial overview to replace the existing outdated tutorial.
    ● Research feasibility of “parsing out” data layers from the 2014 “Sisson Habitats Map” and if possible create separate habitat layers as delineated in the data.
    ● Create two new maps related to the Community Preservation Plan data: one that highlights, in 5 layers, the parcels that score in the top 5% of “most important to preserve,” and one (also in 5 layers) for the top 20th percentile.

To Apply:  Please email a statement of interest and your resume to OCELapplication@Vassar.edu


PK 4 Keeps Comprehensive Plan Public Meeting

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to the Charter and Codes of the City of Poughkeepsie, Administrative Code, Section 14.04, a Common Council Public Hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 6:00pm and will be held in the Common Council Chambers, for the purpose of receiving comments on the on the draft, Comprehensive Plan PK4Keeps: A Comprehensive Plan for Poughkeepsie.

 If you are interesting in commenting during Public Participation, please email DDeluca@cityofpoughkeepsie.com before 4:00 pm on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

All are welcome to comment and provide feedback.

Summer 2022 CEL Opportunities

Please click on the links below to read more about the positions. Click here to review the process to register.







Public Health and Mental Health

Social Services

Urban Planning

Public Participation Plan Intern for Dutchess County Transportation Council

This opportunity is available during the Fall 2022 semester. 

The Dutchess County Transportation Council (DCTC) serves as the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Dutchess County. Federal statutes require that urbanized areas with over 50,000 people be represented by an MPO. The main duty of an MPO is to ensure that federal transportation funds are committed through a locally driven, comprehensive planning process. Since 1982, we have provided a forum for state and local government to solve transportation issues and reach consensus on federally-supported transportation plans and projects in Dutchess County.

Position Description:

This is a 4 hr/week unpaid internship to help DCTC update our Public Participation Plan. The intern would review best practices from similar organizations, and help develop a framework for an updated plan. Other tasks could include data management, some GIS work (if desired), reviewing our recent long-range plan for needed updates, and others.

Desired Skills:

  • GIS, MS Office (word, powerpoint, excel); excellent writing, communication, and data analysis skills.


Students are required to sign an internet and email use policy (for use of the office and County email and internet.)


Anytime between 8:30-4:00 pm, M-F.

To Apply:  Please email a statement of interest and your resume to OCELapplication@Vassar.edu

PK4Keeps Open House (in person)

Attend the third open house for PK4Keeps on March 24th and be part of the effort to create Poughkeepsie’s new comprehensive plan and zoning code. Learn about PK4Keeps, talk to project representatives, and contribute your voice to the development of community strategies. Register here!

Join us for the March Open House