Kunsang Lama Shares About Sustainability Path at WashU Engage Event

In October, alumni, students, family, and friends joined the WashU Engage Chicago Network for a sustainability panel discussion featuring Kunsang Lama, class of 2021, Phil Valko, AB ’03, Chris Wheat, AB ’03, and Kady McFadden, AB ’10. Raised in Prok Nubri, a remote village situated in the Himalayas of Nepal, Kunsang expressed how the environment […]

Working Toward Health Equity in St. Louis: Jamaa Birth Village and Casa de Salud Partner with the Goldman Fellows Program

Even a cursory glance at a map of the hospitals in St. Louis quickly reveals the uneven access to healthcare in the region, divided along longstanding, historically rooted lines of class, race, ethnicity, and geography. The World Health Organization defines health equity as the idea that “everyone should have a fair opportunity to attain their full health […]

From Theory to Practice: Professor Amy Cislo Discusses Community Engaged Teaching in Course on Feminist & Queer Youth Studies

Students at Washington University engage in intense study of theoretical concepts and models. They read and discuss the foremost scholars in their field and learn to articulate their own opinions on issues, but the question often remains, how does theory apply to real life? Professor Amy Cislo‘s course on Feminist and Queer Youth Studies (L77 […]

Community Mural Mobilizes Support for Dunbar Elementary School

“Our community is unique, and if Dunbar closes, it would be a significant loss for all of us.” Carla Alexander, co-director, Tillie’s Corner Dunbar Elementary School is a historic institution of St. Louis’ Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood and is currently at risk of closure due to low enrollment. The school is within walking distance to Vashon High […]

Each One Teach One’s Enrichment Event Addresses Trauma-Informed Teaching in St. Louis

The Gephardt Institute’s Each One Teach One program is most commonly known as the university’s signature tutoring initiative, working with 80 WashU students to serve over 70 local 1st-3rd graders. The mission of Each One Teach One as part of the institute’s K-12 & Youth Initiatives extends beyond weekly tutoring at KIPP: Victory Academy. The program also seeks […]

All Politics is Local: Public Service Fellows Working in City Departments Share Learning and Advice

Last summer, the Gephardt Institute introduced the four outstanding members of the 2019-2020 Public Service Fellows cohort (read the story here). Abbie Teurbe-Tolon, Madisen Janssen, Kyah Bridges, and Zach Kassman began their 10-month tenure as fellows by serving as generalists in the St. Louis City mayor’s office, working on a variety of tasks as they began to […]

Civil Rights, Community Justice, & Mediation Clinic – St. Louis Mediation Project

Karen Tokarz is the Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Policy and Director of the Civil Rights, Community Justice & Mediation Clinic at WashU’s School of Law. Professor Tokarz received a Course Development Grant through the Gephardt Institute’s Civic Engagement Fund to further develop, evaluate, and operate the St. Louis Mediation Project, a core […]

Community Service Roundtable Connects Student Leaders to Problem-Solve Together

One of the central, guiding goals of the Gephardt Institute is to “infuse civic engagement throughout the Washington University experience.” Lifelong civic engagement is a process that happens as students progress through their education, and the institute seeks to provide support at each juncture in students’ civic development. In addition to offering a broad introduction […]

Gephardt Institute Welcomes New Student Staff Members

This fall, the Gephardt Institute welcomed 14 new student staff members to the team. The institute employs a range of student staff including undergraduate coordinators, graduate assistants, and master’s research fellows who fulfill essential roles and benefit from professional and personal development. Student staff members play a crucial role in the Gephardt Institute, bringing energy, […]

Alumnus Ian Lever Discusses Corporate Citizenship at Accenture

On September 18, the Gephardt Institute welcomed Ian Lever, BSBA ’16, for a special Meet the Leader event. Launched in 2018, the Meet the Leader series features a range of local and national civic leaders who offer insights to students as they navigate into their lives as civically engaged alumni. Ian is a former Goldman […]

WashU Student Voting Rate Spikes in Midterm Elections

Voter turnout among Washington University in St. Louis students leaped to 41.8% in the 2018 midterm elections, more than double the 2014 midterm voting rate of 15.9%, according to a national study of campus voting rates by Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education. The study is based on the voting records of more than […]

A Structure for Change: The Role of Evaluation, Assessment, and Research at the Gephardt Institute

Dr. Jillian Martin, PhD, often states that every number has a story, and every story has a number. A component of her role as Assistant Director for Strategy and Evaluation is collecting and interpreting the stories and numbers produced at the Gephardt Institute. Jillian leads the evaluation, assessment, strategic development, and organizational learning activities for […]

Genesis Steele Joins the Gephardt Institute as Coordinator for Civic Engagement Programs

From providing advice and a safe haven to first generation college students to salsa dancing on Friday nights, Genesis Steele approaches everything she does with enthusiasm and a sense of purpose. Genesis joins the Gephardt Institute as Coordinator for Civic Engagement Programs, providing programmatic and administrative support to the Assistant Director for Civic Engagement Education […]

Coming Home to St. Louis: Engage STL Facilitates Learning for 345 First-Year Students

On August 17, 1,736 first-year students arrived to campus weighted down with bags and boxes, nerves and excitement charging the air. Undoubtedly, many wondered about this new place how would they find community and make this campus and city their home. Engage STL, in its inaugural year, attempted to provide support in grappling with questions […]

Building Community Across Difference through the Arts

It was a warm September evening backlit by pink, blue, and gray. As the sun began to set, hundreds gathered at the corner of Page and Ferguson Avenues to watch “Love at the River’s Edge,” a new play adapted from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” to include the stories of the North St. Louis County […]

Faculty and Librarians Participate in New Information Literacy Learning Community

Why is Wikipedia unreliable? What do you mean by “This source is biased?” How do I know if this data is skewed? Can’t I just Google it? Seema Dahlheimer regularly encounters these sorts of questions in her Technical Writing course. Seema is the Assistant Director of the Engineering Communication Center and a Senior Lecturer in […]

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 […]