Welcoming Our Associate Director for Faculty & Academic Engagement 

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Cathleen (Cassie) Power as our first Associate Director for Faculty & Academic Engagement. Cassie will start on August 21 and will serve as the Gephardt Institute’s lead on the vision, strategic expansion, and impact of academic community engagement. She will be available to work with faculty and leadership across […]

Casey Knotts Bridges Theory & Practice to Strengthen the Health of Communities

Casey Knotts is a passionate and action-oriented civic leader dedicated to empowering women and reducing health inequities in communities. She demonstrates leadership through her involvement in organizations such as the Girl Scouts of America, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, and most recently as a program leader for the Metro St. Louis YWCA’s Future Leaders […]

Next Steps for Civic Scholars Program Graduates

Over the past two years, the Civic Scholars Class of 2018 completed four semesters of academic coursework, received multiple levels of mentorship, and developed substantial summer civic engagement projects. Like the 40 program alumni who have come before them, they acquired advanced civic leadership skills and demonstrate a significant commitment to civic engagement post-graduation. Learn more about their current and […]

Gephardt Institute Receives Major Gift to Enhance Civic Scholars Program

Mickey and Debbie Stern, longtime supporters of Washington University in St. Louis, have made a $1 million commitment to the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement in support of our Civic Scholars Program. “For more than two decades, Mickey and Debbie Stern have been tremendous volunteers and benefactors of Washington University,” said Chancellor Mark […]

Marissa Lerner ’19 on Cultivating a Sense of Civic Leadership

Civic Scholar Marissa Lerner ’19 (pictured left) considers how her experiences with Leadership Through Service (LTS) and the Civic Scholars Program have influenced her conception of her role as a civic leader on campus and as a citizen more broadly. She also reflects on her work with Urban Harvest STL, grappling with understanding her place […]

Heart for the Homeless: Serving, Listening, Learning

The student volunteers who work with Heart for the Homeless know the importance of listening with intention and having their preconceptions constantly challenged. Heart for the Homeless is “an undergraduate student group from Washington University in St. Louis that aims to improve the health of the St. Louis homeless community through medical education and connection to […]

Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Cohen

What does it mean to feel heard​, to be truly listened to? This is one of the crucial questions that alumna Sarah Cohen (AB ’11) considered throughout the stages of her project, Mi Voz, Nuestra Historia (My Voice, Our Story). The project, first implemented in fall 2017, aimed to train 50 pre-service teachers in creating inclusive and […]

Finding Common Ground through Interactive Art

The Community Art Wall is strategically positioned along the construction wall between the Kemper Art Museum and Steinberg Hall so that passersby in this heavily trafficked area are confronted with the prompts and encouraged to respond. The interactive wall was inspired by a lecture given by artist Candy Chang. Lyle Hansen and Eve Wallack (pictured left) […]

Enright Community Butterfly Garden Fosters Collaboration

The Enright Community Butterfly Garden envisions a new kind of socially and ecologically engaged public space for the Enright neighborhood. The project’s collaborators are the neighbors of the Enright Block Unit, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, and Micah Stanek, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at WashU. The three groups are working side-by-side to create a beautiful, natural, […]

Announcing 2018 Goldman Fellows

Congratulations to the 2018 Goldman Fellows! The Goldman Fellows Program, funded by the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation, is a competitive fellowship that provides $5,000 summer stipends for continuing undergraduate students who secure unpaid internships at nonprofit, community, or governmental organizations in the St. Louis region. Through the program’s cohort experience, Goldman Fellows are […]

Michael Gendernalik: Theorizing an Educational Framework

Michael Gendernalik combines their* professional passions and personal interests in their work to help create a defined standard for the Gephardt Institute’s educational practices. Michael is a second-year graduate student at the Brown School and Gephardt Fellow for Civic Education. Their work with Theresa Kouo (Assistant Director for Civic Engagement Education) centers around the pedagogical […]

A Personal Perspective on the Urgency of Blood Donation

Jennifer Greenberg ’18 (left) knows that donating blood doesn’t always feel like an urgent responsibility. “When people think about giving blood, they don’t necessarily think, ‘I’m going to save a particular person’s life,’” she said. However, as a member of the Blood Drive Leadership Team and a recipient of a blood transfusion herself, Jennifer realizes […]

Maya Coyle Reflects on Intersectional Community Building

Maya Coyle ’19 considers the various communities that have influenced her life and the ways in which her perspective on civic engagement has been shaped by her experiences at the intersection of those communities. Maya has served as a counselor and coordinator for the Gephardt Institute’s Leadership Through Service program. Her involvement with the institute […]

Heather O’Leary: Equipping Students as Scholar-Activists

Heather O’Leary, PhD, describes herself as an “environmental anthropologist with deep commitment to teaching students about power disparities, natural resource distribution, and intersectionality.” Her research explores the cultural dimensions of the technologies of legitimacy in India’s water allocation through engaged ethnography. She considers the impact of infrastructural, economic, and gender disparities within a rapidly changing urban […]

Introducing the Class of 2020 Civic Scholars

We are pleased to introduce the class of 2020 Civic Scholars cohort, who will begin this fall! The Civic Scholars Program provides a rigorous, in-depth curriculum for undergraduate students who exemplify future potential for civic leadership. Sophomores are selected in a competitive merit-based process and learn together through their junior and senior years. The program […]

Fostering Campus and Community Partnerships across Disciplines

Effective community engagement requires mutual trust, reflective dialogue, and enduring roots in community. The Gephardt Institute values and advances this process through the development of Community-Engaged Teaching and community partnerships. In her role as Assistant Director for Campus and Community Partnerships, Stefani Weeden-Smith leads the institute’s strategy and vision for community engagement models that are […]

Science Fair Workshop a Powerful Learning Experience

On a Saturday afternoon, local elementary school students and their families filed into a classroom for the “Getting Started with Science Fair” workshop, ready to spend the next few hours preparing to apply the scientific method to a question that interested the students. The group listened intently to the opening presentation on science fair registration, project […]

Mike Jones Champions Student Learning and Leadership

When asked for his definition of civic engagement, Dr. Michael Jones’ answer was both deeply personal to his position and broadly applicable to the goals of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement: “To me, civic engagement means viewing yourself in relation to everyone in the world around you. It means feeling a sense […]

WashU Engage: Deepening Civic Involvement Where We Live and Work

Alumni Engagement in the Windy City In recent years, Washington University has deepened its commitment to galvanize and foster the civic involvement of alumni in addition to students, faculty, and staff, with the goal of building stronger communities across the nation and world. The Gephardt Institute partnered with the Alumni Association to launch WashU Engage […]

15th Annual Ethic of Service Award: Nominate Someone You Admire

Do you know someone who exudes passion for service as a way of life, actively contributes to the St. Louis community, goes above and beyond the call of duty, and inspires compassion and action in others? Nominate them for a 2018 Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Award! The Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic […]

Full-Time Position Opening: Associate Director of Faculty and Academic Engagement

The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement is pleased to announce an opening for a new full-time position. The Associate Director of Faculty and Academic Engagement will be responsible for leading the vision, strategic expansion, and impact of community engagement in academic spaces at Washington University in St. Louis. This position will foster and […]

Gephardt Institute Joins the Green Office Program

WashU’s Office of Sustainability coordinates the Green Office Program, which provides a framework and set of resources that empower office teams across all campuses to reduce their environmental impact and costs. The program features a self-assessment checklist with seven categories that offices use to evaluate their current practices, set goals, and track their progress. As offices […]

Alumnus Connects People to Causes in the Digital Age

On October 23, alumnus Greg Perlstein ’08 reflected on his background, professional path, and civic engagement commitments during a special “Meet the Leader” session at the Gephardt Institute. Greg serves as Senior Director, Growth & Marketing, at DoSomething.org. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and MBA from the University of […]

Lu Oros: Putting a Face to Poverty and Homelessness

How will I get to work? Did the kids get to school on time? Do we have enough money for food this week? The Faces of Poverty, formerly known as Poverty TRAP, has been a powerful component of the Gephardt Institute’s Leadership Through Service (LTS) pre-orientation program for many years. During the session, first year students […]

Marissa Lerner ‘19 Prepares for Life-Long Citizenship

The Gephardt Institute catalyzes WashU students to become actively engaged citizens. Civic Scholar Marissa Lerner ‘19 reflects on the impact of Gephardt Institute programs throughout her three years at Washington University. In addition to her participation in the Civic Scholars Program, she has served as a counselor for Leadership Through Service. When I first arrived on Washington University’s campus, I instantly […]

A message from Chancellor Wrighton: Voicing your Opinion

On November 17, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton shared resources for learning more about proposed legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and getting in touch with elected officials to voice our opinions. His message is reprinted below.  To our Washington University community: Like many of you, I have been following the course of the […]

Behind the Scenes with the Blood Drive Leadership Team

Blood drives are a life-saving tradition at Washington University. Sponsored by the Gephardt Institute in partnership with American Red Cross and Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, drives take place four times a year at multiple locations across campus. Although they have become a routine part of the university’s culture, few people realize that a majority […]

Isha Khanna: A Brand Ambassador

Isha Khanna, a junior double majoring in marketing and psychology, serves as a Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the Gephardt Institute. A veteran of the institute since her sophomore year, Isha is on the communications team, working to build awareness of institute initiatives through a variety of social media platforms, e-newsletters, and print materials. “The […]

Full-Time Position Opening: Student Engagement & Service Manager

Join the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement team as our Student Engagement and Service Manager, cultivating student leadership and learning through community service opportunities that foster thriving communities and a life-long ethic of civic engagement. This full-time staff position will oversee volunteer and leadership programs that partner with K-12 schools, youth-serving organizations, and other […]

Tutoring the Tutors: Growth of Each One Teach One

Since its launch in 2000, the Each One Teach One (EOTO) tutoring program has become an integral part of the WashU community. Each One Teach One provides WashU students with a high-quality tutoring experience while offering St. Louis students mentors throughout their K-12 years. The program partners with KIPP: Victory Academy, the Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls, […]

Community Partner Spotlight: Erise Williams

The Goldman Fellows Program, funded by the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation, supports undergraduates who secure unpaid summer internships at nonprofit, community, or governmental organizations in the St. Louis region. Fellows receive a $5,000 stipend and meet regularly as a cohort, learning about St. Louis while contextualizing and reflecting on their summer experience. Jada McDonald, […]

A message from Chancellor Wrighton: Continuing support for those recovering from disaster

On September 26, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton shared ways to provide support to ongoing emergency response and relief efforts in areas impacted by recent natural disasters. His message is reprinted below.  To our Washington University community: Twice since the beginning of the school year, I have reached out to you to express concern about hurricanes […]

Students “Meet St. Louis” on City-Wide Excursions

During their first week of college, new students encounter many exciting firsts. In addition to experiencing first classes and on-campus activities, many students start to explore their new city through Meet St. Louis, a program that provides a unique opportunity to discover, engage, and reflect on community development efforts and service opportunities in St. Louis. Meet St. […]

Leadership Through Service: A Foundation for Engagement

For over 20 years, Leadership Through Service (LTS) has introduced new Washington University students to St. Louis, pressing social issues, and opportunities for civic engagement during college. This annual three-day program takes place before new student orientation and includes a variety of speakers, community service projects, and St. Louis excursions. This year, 66 first-year students […]

WashU Sees Growth in Voter Registration and Voting Rates

In August, Washington University in St. Louis received exciting news about our 2016 student registration rates, voter turnout, and how we compare to similar institutions across the country. The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), part of the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University, compiles data on both undergraduate and […]

Apply to the Environmental Justice Initiative Steering Committee 

The Office of Sustainability is partnering with Environmental Studies to create a steering committee of faculty, staff, and students to help move the WashU community closer towards the goals of WashU’s Environmental Justice Initiative. Steering committee members are seeking additional support from motivated students who will work with faculty and staff to create action items involving around […]

Attend Environmental JustICE Cream Social

As a part of WashU’s Environmental Justice Initiative, the Office of Sustainability is hosting an ice cream social to enhance collaboration between students and foster awareness of environmental justice work on campus and in the community. The event is open to all students and will feature ice cream from Clementine’s Creamery. To RSVP to the […]

Crystal Ellis Expands Food Access through Practicum Project

Crystal Ellis is a Newman Civic Fellow and graduate student in the Brown School’s Master of Public Health program. She is currently working on a practicum project that she believes “encompasses what the public health field is about – advocacy for health equity by providing needed resources, in this case fresh produce, directly to a […]

Installation Address: Stephanie N. Kurtzman

Stephanie N. Kurtzman was installed as the Peter G. Sortino Director of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement on September 11, 2017. Her installation address is reprinted below. View a video of the event here. Chancellor Wrighton, Senator Danforth, Congressman Gephardt, and Mrs. Sortino: I am honored and humbled that you have entrusted me to lead […]

Bob Hansman Engages Medical Students in Heart of St. Louis

Bob Hansman is an Associate Professor of Architecture at Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and a Community Engagement Faculty Fellow at the Gephardt Institute. He was recently featured on St. Louis Public Radio for his involvement in one of the School of Medicine’s most significant traditions. Every year for the past […]

Looking Beyond the “Whats” to the “Hows”

Molly Brodsky, a senior and Stern Family Civic Scholar, delivered a powerful speech to first-year students and their families at convocation in August 2017. Brodsky is double majoring in anthropology: global health and the environment, and women, gender, and sexuality studies. I love semi-colons. I think the semi-colon does something pretty magical. It takes two […]

Pruitt-Igoe: A Tribute to the Lived Experience

Bob Hansman is a Gephardt Institute Community Engagement Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. As Faculty Fellow, he serves as a resident expert on the St. Louis region, providing guest lectures and tours of St. Louis as a “divided city.” In addition to teaching […]

Celebrating New Staff and Roles

We are delighted to introduce three new staff members and a new role at the Gephardt Institute. These highly talented and civic-minded leaders increase the institute’s capacity for engagement of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners to foster a robust university-wide civic culture and community impact.  Theresa Kouo started in July and serves as the Assistant […]