Welcome Our New Fall Intern

Madeline Severtson

Join us in welcoming Madeline Severtson, who joins us this fall as the Development and Communications Intern. This spring, she graduated from St. Olaf College with majors in mathematics and religion. Read on to learn a bit more about her.

1. Where are you from?

I grew up in St. Anthony Village, which is a very small first-ring suburb of Minneapolis located between NE Minneapolis and Roseville. A surprising number of people in the Twin Cities don’t know that it exists.

2. How did you end up as an intern for the Charities Review Council?

During my last year or two at St. Olaf, I started exploring career paths in the nonprofit sector. I was intrigued by development work, so I was excited when the opportunity arose for an internship with the Charities Review Council. I had not heard of the organization, but I believe the Council plays an important role in the sector, both for nonprofits and donors.

3. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

A beloved Christmas tradition in my family is to eat copious amounts of See’s chocolate while opening presents on Christmas morning. Last year, I was on a semester-long study abroad program that had me spending Christmas in China. My parents surprised me by sending a box of See’s, and it meant so much to me to be able to continue the tradition even though I was far from home.

4. If you could go back in time or leap ahead to the future, which would you choose and why?

I would choose to go back in time because I am always curious about the way things used to be. Books, photographs, and other historical documents and records help to some extent, but they can never fully communicate what life was like in the past. I have often thought about the possible consequences of time travel, and I think it would be best if only observation were possible. It might be tempting to interfere in certain historical situations, but it would be impossible to know whether that interference would cause more harm than good.

5. What are you currently reading?

I’m reading The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family, by Mary S. Lovell, which is a biography of the six Mitford sisters. They were prominent in England during the early- to mid-20th century, and the family was divided when each sister chose a different political ideology. I’m also re-reading one of my favorite books, Life of Pi by Yann Martel because it contains beautiful passages about religion and the nature of God, and the story as a whole challenges the definition of truth and reality.

6. What are you most excited about learning/experiencing during your internship?

So far, I have enjoyed experiencing the inner workings of a nonprofit organization in general, and I look forward to learning more about the development process. I am also excited to understand more about the issues surrounding nonprofit accountability.

7. Do you have a favorite cause that you support?

I am passionate about interreligious dialogue because I believe there is a deep need for understanding and acceptance in American society. I have not yet determined what role this cause will take in my life, but I hope to help create a culture in which all religions are valued and celebrated.

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