Olson headshot

Emerson Fellow

Maryn Olson

9th Class, 2002-2003

Maryn is a 2002 graduate of Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, where she majored in political science and humanities, and minored in social work and gender studies.  She studied in Namibia for one semester.  Maryn was active in the Honors College, Alliance, chapel activities, and the organization of a semester-long series of seven events focusing on issues relating to women.  Maryn was also an intern with the Aliveness Project, which serves persons in northwest Indiana who are HIV positive or living with AIDS.

Field placement: Hunger Free Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

Maryn worked with the Food Stamp Outreach Project and her projects included the development of a guide to becoming an authorized food stamp retailer for grocery store owners throughout the state currently not participating in the program, and an evaluation of the environments of food stamp offices around the state.  Her work culminated in the creation of a report highlighting overall trends and good practices, and making recommendations, to be submitted to the department of PATH (which administers the Food Stamp Program inVermont).  Maryn also had an editorial published in the Burlington Free Press based on her experience at a local food pantry.

Policy placement: US Department of Justice Executive Office for Weed and Seed

Washington, D.C.

Maryn's policy placement work included sharing information and resource materials about federal feeding programs with communities participating in the “Weed and Seed” Program, which works to link law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization in select communities around the country.  She also developed a "best practices" publication about seeding programs that address hunger and poverty issues and assisting in interagency coordination efforts on behalf of the Executive Office for Weed and Seed.