The Course of Reason

Internship Update: Stef McGraw

June 7, 2012

I’m here to give you all an update on what I’ve been doing as CFI On Campus intern, and what it’s like to work here.

I arrived in Amherst about three and a half weeks ago. Luckily for me, I already knew CFI on Campus Coordinator Debbie Goddard, Campus Organizer Dren Asselmeier, Director of Outreach Lauren Becker, and former UNIFI President/new Outreach Assistant Cody Hashman, so it wasn’t a difficult transition into the office environment. There are too many names, but there are several other people in the office I’ve gotten to know as well. It’s a great environment to work in, knowing that no matter where you go in the building, everyone is working towards progressing a more rational, skeptical, and secular society. And you might even run into Joe Nickell, if he isn’t busy investigating UFOs, or something.

My day-to-day tends to focus on the upcoming Leadership Conference. Aside from big-picture planning meetings and taking care of small event details, fellow intern Tony Lakey and I are tasked with contacting campus group leaders, letting them know about the conference, and trying to get them to come. Not that I’m completely guilt-free, but that’s easier said than done—college students on summer vacation tend to be bad about checking their email, replying to Facebook messages, and answering phone calls. Nonetheless, we already have a good group of student leaders registered from all across North America.

Just expressing how much we love CFI.

As I alluded to before, I love the CFI work environment. I still can’t believe I’m getting a stipend to contribute to a cause that I do anyway in my free time. Also, unlike many jobs, you definitely don’t have to worry about people finding out you’re an atheist, or about bringing up a topic that some find taboo, like religion or politics. We have a lot of interesting conversations; most evenings, you can find Tony, Debbie, and I working late while simultaneously discussing some social issue. I doubt that happens in places where people aren’t this passionate about the work they do.

The upcoming two weeks will be hectic, making sure everything is good to go for a conference that will feature three days of speakers and interactive workshops. However, I love every minute of it. I love that I can give back to the conference that was in large part responsible for igniting my passion for the freethinking movement.



About the Author: Stef McGraw

Stef McGraw's photo
Stef McGraw is a Campus and Community Organizer at the Center for Inquiry. She has degrees in philosophy and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa, where she first got involved in the freethought movement through the University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers and Inquirers


#1 Jessika (Guest) on Monday June 25, 2012 at 12:46pm

I gotta say, my favorite part of Debbie's building tour was "And this is the intern's desk... which is why there's red bull"





Guests may not post URLs. Registration is free and easy.

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Enter the word that goes in the blank: CFI is short for "Center for _______"

Creative Commons License

The Course of Reason is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

CFI blog entries can be copied or distributed freely, provided:

  • Credit is given to the Center for Inquiry and the individual blogger
  • Either the entire entry is reproduced or an excerpt that is considered fair use
  • The copying/distribution is for noncommercial purposes