Hello from AICL’s new Executive Director!

I’m honored and thrilled to serve as AICL’s inaugural Executive Director. I have a general passion for summer camps, for fostering motivated children in unique and impactful ways, and for the Blue Ridge mountains. AICL provides a much-needed space for children to be expressive and to belong to something special. I’ve been impressed with AICL’s mission since my oldest daughter first attended camp in 2016.

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My advocacy for work like that of AICL’s extends beyond my parenthood into my professional life. A lifelong love of imagining, exploring, and learning has led to a variety of professional experiences with camp. My earliest employment was leading summer enrichment programs for economically disadvantaged youth in South Carolina and later as the director of a summer day camp in the mountains of NC. From 2006-2010, I served as a graduate fellow and Project Manager for a National Science Foundation project designed to introduce K-12 students to STEM. I oversaw teacher trainings, program development, and graduate student fellows responsible for converting their STEM expertise into accessible and engaging classroom content. This content was delivered in expos and lessons across the state of Wyoming, as well as during our annual Exploring Science Summer Camps.

Since completing a PhD in Developmental Psychology in 2011, my professional focus has been as a tenure track professor at Georgia State University in the College of Education and Human Development’s Educational Psychology program. I teach human growth and development, cognition, and facilitating college teaching courses. I also secure internal and external grants to fund research targeting learning and learning environments in K-16 populations. In a current project, colleagues and I are introducing urban youth to computing skills with the help of mentors recruited from Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark University.

Camp, and the learning opportunities it fosters, continues to be a theme in my work as an academic scholar. Now, I’m committed to applying my expertise to benefit AICL’s programs and their growth and development. I look forward to getting to know AICL board members, staff, students, alumni, parents, and volunteers better over the next year. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly as we embark on this journey together.

Sincerely,

Maggie Renken

maggierenken@gmail.com