Making Dreams Reality on the Bridge from Research to Practice

In the article below, guest writer Dr. Saras Chung highlights her work to create two-way bridges between researchers and practitioners who can co-design system-level strategies to enhance educational equity in St. Louis. Dr. Chung is Executive Director of SkipNV and a Faculty Affiliate for the Social System Design Lab at Washington University in St. Louis’ […]

Philanthropy Lab: Learning to Give

What is philanthropy? Why do people give? How do we know we are making a difference with our funding? These are just a few of the questions students will consider in Philanthropy Lab, a new sociology course offered this fall in partnership with the Gephardt Institute. Philanthropy Lab aims to give students a theoretical and […]

Announcing 2019 Goldman Fellows

Congratulations to the 2019 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. Fellows are supported by a network of peers and […]

Public Service Fellows Building Awareness of Regional Issues

The Gephardt Institute’s Public Service Fellows program, a partnership with the Brown School, prepares social work and public health graduate students with a commitment to deepening their knowledge and skills for public service in local government. The program includes leadership training, mentorship, experiential learning opportunities, and field work. Fellows learn in a supportive cohort structure […]

Dan Chai, ’20, Uses Opportunity Fund to Support Immigrant Students, Build Relationships

The Community Engagement Opportunity Fund, which is in its inaugural year, supports students with high financial need who face burdensome expenses associated with their participation in community service, civic engagement initiatives, and Community Engaged Courses in the St. Louis area. This fund seeks to enable students to participate in a variety of civic engagement activities, […]

Engage STL Launches First-Year Students on Path to Civic Engagement

With the redesign of the Bear Beginnings new student orientation program, incoming first-year students have a new opportunity to get to know St. Louis and build community around shared interests through three-day Immersive Experiences. Under the new model, all first-year students will be required to participate in an Immersive Experience within the 9-day Bear Beginnings […]

Introducing the 2019 Arts as Civic Engagement Residents

Rooted in the deep traditions of the arts as a powerful means for social change, Arts as Civic Engagement is a platform for students to immerse in arts-based community engagement. In its second year, the program will support three students in a Civic and Community Arts Residency at regional arts organizations. Participants receive a $5,000 […]

2019 Ethic of Service Award Ceremony Honors Exceptional Community Members

The 16th annual Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Award was presented to an outstanding group of honorees at a special ceremony last month, celebrating the passionate dedication of these individuals to serving the Washington University and St. Louis communities. This year’s ceremony saw a record number of attendees, with nearly 200 guests gathering […]

Recognizing Class of 2019 Civic Scholars

The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement is proud to recognize the service and dedication of the graduating class of 2019. Civic Scholars and Ethic of Service Award recipients have received recognition on platforms across campus for the ways that they have contributed to the community and continue to show their commitment to service […]

Each One Teach One Panel Focuses on Supporting Undocumented Students

The Gephardt Institute’s Each One Teach One program recently held an enrichment event on a crucial topic facing educators and administrators across the country: the educational rights of undocumented students and families and the barriers they may face in school. The panel attracted over 80 attendees, among whom were students, faculty, staff, and community members. […]

Introducing the Class of 2021 Civic Scholars

We are pleased to introduce the class of 2021 Civic Scholars cohort, who will enter the program this fall. The Civic Scholars Program provides a rigorous, in-depth curriculum for undergraduate students who exemplify strong potential for civic leadership. Sophomores are selected in a competitive merit-based process and learn together through their junior and senior years […]

“Why Do You Give?” Donors on the Importance of Blood Drives

The final University-Wide Blood Drive of the semester was held on April 3. Students, staff, and faculty came out in droves to support this important cause. Sponsored in partnership with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center and the American Red Cross, blood drives are a campus tradition that brings the community together in support of […]

Community and University Engagement Summit Deepens Dialogue, Strengthens Partnerships

On March 1, community members and stakeholders gathered for the Building Vibrant Partnerships: Community and University Engagement Summit. Energy was high as participants arrived early and began talking, laughing, and connecting with one another. By the time the event began, the room was filled with well over 180 people who shared the goal of exploring […]

5 Years Out: Reflections from Class of 2014 Civic Scholars

We asked members of the Class of 2014 about their experiences with Civic Scholars and about where they are now. Tiffini Hyatt I’m currently working as a kindergarten teacher in Chicago. For my civic project, I worked on teacher development with D.C. Public Schools. My experience there confirmed that I wanted to teach and, perhaps, […]

Civic Engagement Fund: Recent Grant Recipients

The Gephardt Institute’s Civic Engagement Fund supports WashU students, faculty, and staff working to strengthen the fabric of their communities. Grantees collaborate with community partners to develop initiatives and Community-Engaged Courses that catalyze positive change. The deadline for Spring 2019 applications for Grants for St. Louis Projects and Small Change Grants is Friday, March 8, and the extended deadline for Course Development Grants […]

The Gephardt Institute Welcomes New Staff Members

The Gephardt Institute is pleased to welcome Shruti Desai and Colleen Smyth to the team of dedicated staff members. These three professionals demonstrate a depth of commitment to their communities and to the work of civic engagement. Shruti Desai, Ed. D., Associate Director and Chief of Staff, leads the day-to-day operations of the Gephardt Institute and […]

Civic Scholars Program Alumni Coach and Mentor Current Scholars

The Civic Scholars Program (2020 cohort pictured above) develops future civic leaders through academic study, discussion, practical application, and mentorship. The mentorship component of the program provides students meaningful connections with staff members, program supporters, and alumni. The connection between Civic Scholars and recent alumni is one the program’s leaders recognized as essential. As Civic Scholars […]

The Hate U Give: EyeSeeMe Partners with Hawthorn InvestiGirls

“What’s the point of having a voice,” Starr Carter asks, “if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” Starr is the protagonist of Angie Thomas’s stunning young adult novel, The Hate U Give. The book approaches real-world issues such as racism, police violence, injustice, and inequity from the perspective of a 16-year-old Black […]

Engage Democracy Workshops Educate and Equip Participants to Act

How does our democracy really work? How are individuals and communities affected by local policies? What can I do to stay engaged post-election season? When it comes to politics, where do I even begin? These are only a few of the major questions that Engage Democracy Workshops attempt to address. Designed to be nonpartisan, ideologically inclusive, […]

Adopt a Grandparent Fosters Intergenerational Connections

Molly Davis, Marketing & Communications Coordinator and Civic Scholar, Class of 2020, loves spending time with her grandmother when she is home in Lexington, Tennessee. Molly and Willie Mae watch movies and listen to music together, and they talk about everything, from the most mundane to the most profound topics. Willie Mae shares stories from […]

Alumnus Josh Yudkin Reflects on a Life Calling Inspired by Stern Social Change Grant

Josh Yudkin (left), AB ’11, has always felt empowered by being a part of something greater than himself. “It was the sense of community and contagious collaboration that drew me to WashU,” he says, reflecting on his decision to come to the university. Within a short amount of time, he grew inspired to give back […]

New Program Showcases Role of the Arts in Catalyzing Social Change

In the article below, guest writer Robert W. Duffy highlights the work of the Gephardt Institute’s inaugural cohort of Arts as Civic Engagement residents, showing the central role of the arts in uniting people and catalyzing social change. Mr. Duffy is a longtime St. Louis journalist and critic. He joined the staff of the St. […]

Leadership Through Service: Fostering Engagement from Pre-Orientation to Graduation

Even though her official role as the Gephardt Institute’s Leadership Through Service Coordinator ended at the beginning of the academic year, Karina Carcamo, Class of 2020, can often be found in the office, joking with professional and student staff or lending her advice and support. Leadership Through Service (LTS) weaves its way throughout Karina’s story […]

Each One Teach One and K-12 Connections Co-Host KIPP: Victory Family Day

The tutoring sessions between Each One Teach One tutors and the students of KIPP: Victory Academy are lively, and the active learning is evident in the excited conversations between tutors and students. Between Each One Teach One at KIPP and Hawthorn InvestiGirls, a tutoring and enrichment program at Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls, over 100 WashU […]

WashU Expands Voter Engagement and Registration Efforts

Younger generations comprise the majority of the United States electorate, yet they are not the majority of actual voters. According to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of the electorate are Gen Xers, millennials, and post-millennials. However, these voters cast 21 million fewer votes than older generations in the 2014 midterm elections. In 2014, only […]

Gephardt Institute Receives over $5.8 Million in Support Through the “Leading Together” Campaign

The Gephardt Institute was established 13 years ago with a bold vision galvanized by Congressman Richard Gephardt and continually embraced by Chancellor Wrighton and Provost Thorp: That Washington University students are inspired and equipped to contribute to the life and health of communities around the world. Since that time, the world has seen unprecedented challenges that reaffirm […]

WashU Votes to Register Voters this Week

Four out of five eligible student voters at Washington University in St. Louis will not vote in the midterm elections Nov. 6. And that’s if all goes well. In 2014, only 15.7 percent of students voted in the midterms compared to the national university average of 19.1 percent. The Gephardt Institute, through our WashU Votes initiative, […]

Meet St. Louis Organizers Connect First-Year Students with Local Communities

For the past four years, Meet St. Louis has provided first-year students with the opportunity to discover, engage, and reflect on community development efforts and service opportunities in St. Louis through a variety of small group excursions throughout the city. Led by faculty, staff, and student group leaders who have a specific and deep connection […]

Common Ground Grants Catalyze Dialogue and Foster Culture of Engagement

In an increasingly divisive political climate, intentional and productive dialogue is more important and necessary than ever. With this in mind, the Common Ground Grant program seeks to catalyze the campus community in developing strategies to repair, address, and prevent polarization at Washington University and in the St. Louis community. Common Ground Grants are one […]

1,000 Lives Saved: The Impact of a University-Wide Blood Drive

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 per academic year. On September 11, the Gephardt Institute hosted the first university-wide blood drive of the semester and helped our partner blood banks exceed their goals. […]

Gephardt Student Internship Program Welcomes New Student Staff

In late August, the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement welcomed ten new student staff members to the team. Mariel Ehrlich, Ebee Grellier, Carly Klinenberg, Sam Martorana, and Thwisha Sabloak are undergraduates; and Emily Anderson, Shelby Banach, Ivy Blackmore, Rachel White, and David Zhai are graduate students at Washington University. This group of highly […]

Engage Democracy: A New University-Wide Initiative

The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement has launched Engage Democracy, a university-wide initiative that aims to educate the campus community about the processes and civic skills needed to contribute to a thriving democracy. The initiative is generously funded by Karen and Bruce Levenson, AB ’71. The initiative includes five key components, with opportunities for […]

Meet the Leader Series: Advancing Equity through Criminal Justice Reform and Social Policy

About the National Center for Access to Justice (NCAJ) NCAJ works to expand access to justice, the meaningful opportunity to be heard. Access to justice is unavailable to millions of people even though its presence is often the essential difference between losing the right to raise a child or keeping the family together, between living […]

Dan Sicorsky Challenges New Students to “Bravely Imagine a Life”

Dan Sicorsky, a Dr. Margaret A. Olsen and Dr. Joseph N. Marcus Civic Scholar, addressed incoming students at Convocation in August 2018 as the senior speaker, urging them to pursue their dreams, discover their passions, embrace uncertainty, and respond to their civic and community responsibilities. Dan is a senior studying political science and writing. On […]

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 […]

Lourene Clark: The Personal Impact of Blood Donation

Lourene Clark is the Business Manager for Washington University’s Alumni and Development, Major Gifts and Capital Projects team. Below, she shares her experience as a blood transfusion recipient.  When I stop to think about it, it is hard to believe that 38 years have passed since I found myself in desperate need of blood. I […]

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, […]