Three classes of Civic Scholars gather to celebrate, advise, build community

The Gephardt Institute celebrated three classes of Civic Scholars last month during the annual “All Civic Celebration” event.   Held on Sunday, April 21 in Umrath Lounge, the annual program brings together graduating seniors, juniors who are about to begin their Civic Summers, and sophomores who are new to the Civic Scholars Program to celebrate their […]

Student artists selected for inaugural Atkin Residency in the Art of Democracy

Two rising seniors earned the distinction of being named the first recipients of the new Atkin Residency in the Art of Democracy.  Madison Brown ’25 and Atalya Magdalena ’25 were selected through a competitive application process to be the inaugural Atkin Residents.   The yearlong Atkin Residency in the Art of Democracy provides a platform […]

Yelamali brings healing through the arts program to Children’s Hospital

During the COVID pandemic, Aditya Yelamali ’24 was worried that patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital lacked interaction and stimuli that could help them heal. Yelamali, a 2023 Fandos Fellow in the St. Louis Fellows program, created Hearts for Arts as a patient-driven solution that would transcend the pandemic.   “We coordinated with Melody Deweese, a […]

Spring trainings equip St. Louis Fellows with community-engaged best practices

The 2024 St. Louis Fellows have completed their spring training, immersive and experiential symposia that help equip them with the community engagement tools and knowledge to contribute to change efforts in the region this summer.   With the program expanding to a record 40 Fellows this year, Community Engagement Manager Sarah Nash was grateful that the […]

Institute announces new classes of Civic Scholars, St. Louis Fellows

A record number of WashU students committed to leading change now and throughout their lives by joining the Gephardt Institute’s Civic Scholars and St. Louis Fellows programs.   The announcement of the new cohorts of civic leadership programs follows a recruitment cycle that began last fall and saw more applications than ever before.   “We’re particularly excited […]

Gephardt, university partners host WashU’s first Municipal Election polling place

The Gephardt Institute hosted WashU’s first-ever Municipal Election polling place this month, advancing the institute’s commitment to drive voter participation in every election.  With support from a growing number of university partners and voter engagement efforts from the WashU Votes student group, Missouri’s Municipal Elections were held on Tuesday, April 2, and WashU was able […]

Five honored with Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Awards

In an inspiring show of support and love, family, friends, collaborators, and fans turned out in droves to celebrate the commitment to service of five WashU community members.   Andrew de las Alas ’25, Sneha Chaturvedi ‘19 (MD/PhD candidate), Bella Gomez ’26, Adjunct Instructor Dr. Dwayne T. James, and Dr. Professor Susan Stiritz PhD, MSW, MBA, […]

Philanthropy Lab students grant more than $68,000 to St. Louis nonprofits 

Students in Philanthropy Lab, a WashU Sociology course supported by the Gephardt Institute and The Philanthropy Lab national organization, granted $68,000 to nonprofits in the St. Louis region during an event held at Stix House last week.   WashU Chancellor Andrew D. Martin and Lisa Weingarth, Senior Advisor for St. Louis Initiatives, joined the Philanthropy Lab […]

Watch: Elliot H. Stein Lecture in Ethics with Dr. Richard Haass

On April 1, 2024, as part of our Engage Democracy 2024 Series, the Gephardt Institute hosted Dr. Richard Haass — veteran foreign diplomat and author of “The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens” — for an Elliot H. Stein Lecture in Ethics. About Dr. Haass: Dr. Richard Haass, a veteran diplomat and […]

Institute’s voter engagement plan lauded by higher ed voting experts

Some people thing about voting a few times a year, if that. For Civic Engagement Manager Otto Brown, however, not a day goes by that he isn’t thinking about voting issues like voter registration and voter education.   Since September 2023, Brown and the rest of Gephardt’s Engage Democracy team worked on the 2024 ALL IN […]

Notables: trubel&co; Da’Juantay Wynter; Spectrum Awards 

Gephardt-involved WashU students and alumni — including Student Engagement Specialist Sophie Devincenti, Donovan Dixson ’24, Sophie Lin ’26, Nick Okafor ’16, Aspen Schisler ‘26, Charlie Shaw ’24, Laken Sylvander ‘17, Pat Wang ’24, and Da’Juantay Wynter ‘26 — were honored recently for their civic engagement efforts and community contributions.  The U.S. National Science Foundation announced […]

Philanthropy Lab students learn the ropes of supporting and vetting organizations

Donating to causes can be simple, but responsible philanthropy — especially when the goal is community improvement — requires building partnerships, vetting organizations, and an analytical eye.  It’s a lesson that Professor Barbara Levin works to instill in students through Philanthropy Lab, a Department of Sociology course that she teaches each spring. The class, which partners with […]

Voting activist Brown urges citizen engagement in WashU Votes event

Black Voters Matter co-founder LaTosha Brown spoke at WashU this month at an event co-hosted by WashU Votes, the Association of Black Students and the Social Programming Board.   “Empowering Black and Brown Voters: Fireside Chat with Black Voters Matter Co-Founder LaTosha Brown” was held in Holmes Lounge on Wednesday evening, March 8. Her talk was […]

Alumni Spotlight: Andreas Mitchell AB ’13

“If not for Civic Scholars, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to go down this road.”   The lessons Dr. Andreas Mitchell AB ‘13 learned with Civic Scholars inform how he approaches his work today. His time as a Civic Scholar gave him a sense of what civic leadership looks like and whether […]

Civic Scholars journey to DC for first time since 2019

A hallmark of the Civic Scholars Program is the opportunity to travel to Washington DC for a four-day immersion trip. Last month, 32 Class of 2024 and 2025 Civic Scholars learned about the federal policymaking process at the heart of where it takes place, met with federal representatives of St. Louis and Missouri, and discussed […]

Institute to host “The Bill of Obligations” author Dr. Richard Haass on April 1

On April 1 at 4 p.m., Dr. Richard Haass will give an Elliot Stein Lecture in Ethics at the Emerson Auditorium in the Knight Center.  Please RSVP. Haass, a veteran diplomat and respected scholar of international relations, will speak on his book, The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens, and the question it […]

Updated “In the Lou” features students, alumni, and new interactive content

As part of the Gephardt Institute’s efforts to acclimate WashU students to St. Louis and encourage them to engage in the community, the institute’s “In the Lou” guide is updated for 2024 to feature more neighborhoods and include more tools to help WashU students engage in the region. “In the Lou” resources help WashU students learn […]

Institute awards over $30,000 to fund students’ STL community projects

The Gephardt Institute is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of the Transform Grant, the largest award in the Institute’s newly launched St. Louis Impact Fund. In the 2023-2024 cycle, the Institute will award over $30,000 to five projects co-designed by Washington University students and community organizations aimed at advancing regional priorities.   “The Transform Grant […]

Alumni Spotlight: Rachel Harris ’18

Civically minded work does not end when students conclude their time with the Gephardt Institute, which holds true for alumna Rachel Harris ‘18. During her time at WashU, Harris double majored in Educational Studies and Spanish while working at the Institute, which led her to the work she does today.   For the last four […]

2024 election series launches with kick-off social

“Five, four, three, two, one”  At the Engage Democracy 2024 Kick-Off Social, Associate Director for Civic Engagement Alannah Glickman led a crowded room of students through a mindful exercise focusing on the five senses. Each person focused on their surroundings to practice self-care for the election year ahead.  On Jan. 25, the Gephardt Institute hosted […]

Students develop civic interests in Gephardt internships and fellowships

Behind all the Gephardt Institute does is a team of student staff doing vital work to drive the institute’s efforts.  Through internship positions for both undergraduate and graduate students, the institute offers students the ability to develop and practice skills in a workplace environment on campus. These internships are perfect opportunities for students to explore […]

Students build on community impact with Partnership Extension grants

Last month with the launch of the St. Louis Impact Fund, the Gephardt Institute introduced Partnership Extension Grants. Civic Scholars and St. Louis Fellows spend the majority of their summer during the programs cultivating relationships with community partners to impact change. The Partnership Extension Grants help students maintain these connections and continue with important projects […]

Tori Harwell ‘24 named a Rhodes Scholar 

For Victoria “Tori” Harwell ’24, a 2022 St. Louis Fellow, their stellar success invokes not only celebration, but also reflection on the monumental hurdles their ancestors faced to create opportunities for their descendants.   On Saturday, Nov. 11, at an announcement event in Washington, D.C., Harwell learned that they were one of just 32 students in […]

One year until 2024 election, Brown sets sights on voter engagement 

“I love this job. I have really enjoyed getting to know our staff as a colleague and getting to know them as people more so than I did when I was a student here.”  Otto Brown ‘23 may have a new title, but he is a familiar face at Stix House. From leading WashU Votes […]

Pearson reflects on Gephardt Institute’s impact

By Le’Aysha Pearson AB ’19A 2018 Civic Scholar, Le’Aysha contributed the following reflection about her experience with the Gephardt Institute, and how her civic journey that started here continues to shape her path. My journey began with the Gephardt Institute’s Civic Scholars Program and a passion for civic engagement, and has led me to the fulfilling civic […]

Notables: Joshua Aiken AB ’14 and Luka Cai ’20

News from Gephardt Institute alumni Joshua Aiken AB ’14, an alumnus of the Civic Scholars program who was accepted as a Rhodes Scholar while a WashU senior in 2014, published an award-winning book of poetry, “to be in & of.” His poetry dives into the perils and contradiction of how Black life is grieved in American society […]

Alumni Spotlight: Colleen Brady ’11

Colleen Brady’s civic journey can be charted from her time as a WashU student involved in the Community Service Office (CSO), to her current role as a Senior Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Specialist at ZemiTek LLC, working with USAID.  Her story is one of dedication to community service, commitment to social impact work, and a […]

Fellows build community while becoming champions for St. Louis

The 2023 St. Louis Fellows shared their experiences and learning from their summer internships with local nonprofit and government organizations. It was part of Civic Action Week held this month.   Community partners, family, friends, supporters, and the WashU community were invited to the first St. Louis Fellows Showcase, held on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at Stix […]

Civic Scholars reflect on summer experiences in Share Out

“This experience grew my confidence and my ability to execute my vision.”   Elisabeth-Monique Tossa ‘24 was one of 16 Civic Scholars in the senior class to present their work from the summer to family, friends and other members of the WashU and St. Louis community at the Civic Scholars Share Out. Held on Oct. […]

Gephardt enlists student advisors to help inform programming

In a new effort to further boost student input and collaboration, the Gephardt Institute launched a new Student Advisory Council this fall. The Student Advisory Council (SAC) is comprised of 18 students who will advise on key opportunities and needs related to Gephardt’s mission. In the spirit of active listening, Gephardt will engage the advisory […]

WashU celebrates LGBTQ+ experiences through “Joy as Resistance” art show

Opening night for “The Queer Experience: Joy as Resistance” art exhibition was held at Stix House on Oct. 20.   Curated by WashU students Chethan Chandra ‘26, Sophie Lin ‘26, and Aspen Schisler ‘26, the multimedia art exhibit showcases work by queer, trans, and other WashU students who want to highlight and uplift the LGBTQIA+ experience.   […]

Photos: Students connect with civic-focused groups at Civic Engagement Fair

On Friday, Sept. 13, the Gephardt Institute hosted it’s annual Civic Engagement Fair, in which nearly 50 WashU students groups and community organizations that promote community service and civic engagement sought members and helped students find a civic interest. A beautiful afternoon for the fair, students also enjoyed ice cream and the music of On […]

Work with LGBTQ+ youth inspires “The Queer Experience” art show

By Sophie Lin ‘26 2023 WUpan Fellow St. Louis Fellowships Program This summer, I had the honor of being the inaugural WashU Pride Alumni Network Fellow through the Gephardt Institute’s St. Louis Fellows program. The St. Louis Fellowship is a 10-week summer experience in St. Louis where students receive funding to conduct unpaid internships in civic and […]

Alumni Spotlight: Tishiya “T” Carey ’21

“It’s important to continue to build on things, it’s important to understand the context. It’s important to fully understand, I think, the impact of what it is that you want to do, what it is you’re trying to do, and how you’re trying to do it.”  After graduating from WashU in 2021, Tishiya “T” Carey […]

Institute awards nine students grants to further St. Louis Impact

As part of a new initiative to provide further financial support of student community engagement in St. Louis, the Gephardt Institute awarded grants totaling more than $11,000 to nine students this month.   Partnership Extension Grants aim to help students in the institute’s Civic Leadership Programs—Civic Scholars and St. Louis Fellows—continue internships with their community partner […]

“The Longest Table” hosts 150 students for dinner and civic dialogue

In its inaugural event for WashU, The Longest Table was a hit as students gathered en masse to share a meal and talk with each other about their civic interests and visions for their communities.   “We talked about how to improve society in terms of general hopes, and I guess fears about what’s going on, […]

Tishaura O. Jones shares journey to STL mayor’s office in special Civic Café

As a special part of the Gephardt Institute’s Civic Café event series, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones spoke to a crowd of more than 100 WashU students on Tuesday about the journey that inspired and led to her political career.   “I wake up every day excited to go to City Hall, because I get […]

Past and present Civic Scholars getting into trubel (&co)

“I have a strong passion for people and that has led me to this path toward education. I received a lot of great education in my childhood and my parents came here from Nigeria because of education, so I always understood the power of giving back.”   Knowing the power of mentoring and engaging others in […]

Students eager to learn about Gephardt at orientation events

From the Danforth campus to the School of Medicine and even the St. Louis Zoo, the Gephardt Institute is involved with orientation efforts to meet with students of every background at WashU. In the incoming class of 2027 alone, there is representation from all 50 states and 33 other countries. Over half of the class […]

Engagement fair slated to help students find their civic interests

The Gephardt Institute’s annual Civic Engagement Fair brings together student organizations and efforts for social change in one place, at one time.   On Sept. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the South 40 Clocktower Patio, students are welcome to peruse a wide range of student-led social action groups and volunteer opportunities. Featuring over 50 […]

Institute to host WashU’s inaugural”The Longest Table” next week

 On Wednesday, Sept. 6, the Gephardt Institute will host WashU’s inaugural The Longest Table event.   The event will bring together hundreds of WashU students for a dinner—and facilitated conversation—on long rows of tables on Mudd Field, for a low-pressure environment for students to progress on their journey to civic involvement.  “The goal of The Longest […]

Mack using intersection of humanity and data to address violence

For Dylan Mack, a Class of 2024 Bob and Gerry Virgil Civic Scholar humanity should always be at the core of data science.   “As someone who is interested in data, it’s so important to always have in the forefront of your mind that every single data point is a person, first and foremost,” Mack said.  […]

MAAY Foundation, Gephardt Fellows uplifting Asian American communities

In 2019, Caroline Fan, a passionate St. Louis visionary and organizer, founded the Missouri Asian American Youth (MAAY) Foundation.   Fan was driven by a powerful desire to uplift marginalized communities through education and opportunity. As president of the MAAY Foundation, she leads the creation of an organized voice for the AANHPI (Asian American, Native Hawaiian, […]

Immersion trips for Fellows offer in-depth experiences in STL neighborhoods

As a part of their commitment to serve St. Louis effectively and responsibly, Gephardt Institute’s 2023 St. Louis Fellows listen and learn from local St. Louisans through Engage STL Days, where they visit local neighborhoods and hear from community members. The institute’s 33 fellows had the opportunity to interact with two cultural hubs in St. […]

Fellows impact STL by day, build strong friendships by night

What are Gephardt Institute’s Civic Scholars and Fellows doing in the evening when they’re not actively pursuing community and social impact? The answers are every bit as interesting and diverse as the students who offer them.   For Demarion Delaney, a St. Louis Fellow, time away from work means time working on the “two man whole.” […]

Alumni Spotlight: Burton transforming education and philanthropy

For Ryan Burton, working at the intersections of education, philanthropy, and community development helped land him a spot at Harvard.   Burton is a candidate in the Doctor of Education Leadership program, which utilizes a cohort model taught by faculty from three different Harvard schools and is designed for those pursuing vocations in systems-level leadership in […]