The Gephardt Institute is advancing a bold vision to enhance a civic culture at Washington University, and the Civic Engagement Fund is a critical tool that supports members of the WashU campus community who seek to strengthen the social fabric of our communities.
In the 2015-16 academic year, the fund awarded more than $75,000 to faculty, students, and staff who developed coursework and initiatives that catalyze civic engagement and community partnerships in St. Louis and beyond. Read about a recent Community-Engaged Course funded by the Civic Engagement Fund.
For the November 2016 funding cycle, the Gephardt Institute awarded nearly $18,000 to the following faculty, staff, and students:
William Lowry, PhD
Professor of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences
The Sustainability Exchange is a curricular program that engages students in interdisciplinary groups to tackle real-world issues in energy and the environment both on- and off-campus. Students are guided by faculty advisors drawn from across the university, with the intention of delivering an applicable end-product that explores difficult problems requiring innovative methods and solutions. The team-based project is complimented by a seminar that explores the field of design and design-thinking through problem solving strategies and methodologies drawn from a wide range of creative practices, including design, engineering and science, as well as contemporary topics in energy, environment, and sustainability.
In four semesters of operation, the Sustainability Exchange has enrolled 79 students from 22 different majors. The Civic Engagement Fund supports the further growth of the program and their desired reach to other schools and community partners.
World-Wide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology
Ignacio Infante, PhD
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish, College of Arts and Sciences
This course considers the crucial role played by translation across the world today: from new technologies and digital media, to the global demands of professionals working in fields as diverse as literature, law, business, anthropology, and health care. Students will have the option to assist St. Louis-based community partner World Pediatric Project, applying their knowledge of how translation is needed in three main areas of service: immigration, health and education.
Developing Sustainable Urban Communities
Molly Metzger, PhD
Assistant Professor, George Warren Brown School of Social Work
Developing Sustainable Urban Communities is a project-based course for graduate students and advanced undergraduates that tasks interdisciplinary groups of students to contribute solutions to substantively and politically challenging place-based urban redevelopment challenges in St. Louis. Students work in small teams (5-7 per group) to develop their projects over the course of the semester through research, dialogue with a team of interdisciplinary faculty, examination of relevant case studies, and engagement with client organizations in the community.
Heather Cameron, PhD
Michael B. Kaufman Professor of Practice in Social Entrepreneurship,
George Warren Brown School of Social Work
Together with community partners, students will take part in a social entrepreneurship course that is mutually beneficial in terms of student and community partner learning. This course will build on pre-existing relationships between Washington University, Better Family Life, and the East St. Louis Initiative. Students will develop social entrepreneurship skills and scalable teaching materials in a structured setting. Entrepreneurs will be able to think more widely about their businesses and about the impacts they want to have. Another key purpose is to give students the experience of understanding of the challenges and opportunities of microenterprise and social enterprises in economically-depressed areas. A bi-product of this course will be templates and videos co-created by students and community members that will help the next cohort of St. Louis social entrepreneurs.
St. Louis Projects:
Engaging Community: Empowering Health through Indigenous Foods
Kellie Thompson, MSW
Assistant Director, Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies
Through this project, the Buder Center seeks to engage the WashU and the St. Louis communities, making both stronger through better health and through cultural knowledge of Indigenous history and food. This project establishes a seminar focused on local, tribal, and international Indigenous foods and their health benefits; engages community to improve the health and wellness of its members; and develops a dissemination plan that focuses on the importance of local and American Indian and Alaska Native foods for St. Louis community organizations interested in nutrition and food.
Small Change Grants:
Dhvani Shanghvi, MD
Pediatric Residency, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
The Food Explorers project facilitates a new outlet outside the traditional hospital or clinic setting for WUSTL Pediatrics residents to promote healthy behaviors and influence health outcomes of the children the residents seek to serve. The Food Explorers provides residents with the opportunity to work one-on-one with children in the Ferguson community to inspire them to be brave enough to try new foods and to empower them to take charge of their own health outcomes.
Alpha Phi Omega National Convention: This is Our Story
Lorryn Wilhelm, 2017
Sam Fox School for Design and Visual Arts
By attending the convention, WashU APO members will learn about many new aspects of servant leadership and community service. Through fellowship events, members will form close ties with other members from across the country, inspiring an interconnected network of service and leadership. WashU APO members will be able to observe and learn best practices from other APO chapters from across the country to apply to the university chapter.
Global Brigades Honduras Service Trip: Medical/Dental Brigade
Matthew Agritelley, 2018
College of Arts and Sciences
WashU’s chapter of Global Brigades will be traveling to Tegucigalpa, Honduras as part of a Global Brigades-affiliated Medical/Dental Brigade in which students are focused specifically on the healthcare of a Honduran community, working with licensed healthcare professionals and Community Health Workers to provide comprehensive health services in rural communities with limited access to healthcare. Volunteers have the opportunity to take patient vitals, obtain patient history and current symptoms, shadow and assist licensed physicians and dentists, participate in preventative education, and fill prescriptions under a licensed pharmacist. Each year, this brigade inspires more than thirty students to volunteer for the week-long trip.
Global Brigades Honduras Service Trip: Public Health Brigade
College of Arts and Sciences
The mission of the Public Health Brigade’s service trip to Honduras is to provide preventative healthcare to rural communities with limited access to healthcare through in-home infrastructural development, community leader training, and health education. Volunteers will also work with community health workers, learn about easily preventable infectious diseases common in Honduras, assist with chronic care, maintain patient household history records and health evaluations, administer first aid and recommend health hygiene within the community. The brigade will collaborate with local families, schools and communities to develop sustainable health solutions while actively engaging with the community.
Help build strong communities with the Civic Engagement Fund. Members of the university community are encouraged to apply for grants and support for projects and initiatives that cultivate community engagement in St. Louis and beyond. Upcoming intake interview deadline is March 1st.