Civic Scholars Program

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 includes intensive coursework, leadership training, and mentorship to prepare Scholars for a life dedicated to civic and community engagement, and a scholarship of $5,000 to support a substantial civic project or internship.

Civic Scholars engage in substantive academic instruction, leadership development, skill building, and group discussion designed to support the development of their civic projects and civic vision. They also develop networking and professional skills that will prepare them for significant future civic leadership in a wide range of professions.

In the video below, Class of 2018 Civic Scholars reflect on their experiences in the classroom, St. Louis community, and beyond.

    The Gephardt Institute seeks a broad range of applicants from all backgrounds, perspectives, and schools who have varied knowledge and experience levels in civic engagement. Through this program, Scholars will:
  • Engage in substantive academic instruction, leadership development, skill building, and group discussion designed to support the development of their civic projects and civic vision. Courses throughout junior and senior years (2 hours, 2 credits each semester of junior year; 1 hour, 1 credit each semester of senior year) will include readings, guest speakers, excursions, and class discussion.
  • Network with and be mentored by prominent civic leaders in the St. Louis community and the course instructors. Scholars will also mentor the incoming cohort each year.
  • Participate in an annual retreat designed to fortify their cohort and launch them on a path of civic leadership.
  • Immerse themselves in St. Louis and Washington D.C. during organized Fall Break trips, to learn about local neighborhoods, public policy, and civic efforts to engage citizens.
  • Receive a $5,000 scholarship to be used the summer between junior and senior years for a substantial civic project of their choice, developed in consultation with their mentors. This may include an unpaid nonprofit internship, social entrepreneurship project, international service experience, or engaged research.

“The Civic Scholars Program for me has been challenging, invigorating, integral, and supportive.”

Michael Collins ’18


“The Civic Scholars Program helped me develop my social justice practice and encouraged me to become an engaged citizen, student, and friend. This learning process has happened in community with the people I’ve come to love most at WashU: fellow Civic Scholars, past and present, and my instructors.”

Maria Ruiz ’17


“The Civic Scholars Program experience has helped me to understand argument, respect, vision, and failure.”

Nick Annin ’17

Civic Scholar Cohorts

  • Harkirat Anand is majoring in business administration and economics & strategy
  • Carson Borbely is majoring in anthropology and global health & the environment
  • Kirk Brown is majoring in political science and African & African American studies
  • Luka Cai is majoring in political science
  • Maria Cortez-Lopez is majoring in Spanish and Latin American studies
  • Molly Davis is majoring in comparative literature
  • Ruth Durrell is majoring in educational studies, sociology, and German
  • Jose Figueroa is majoring in global health & the environment and healthcare management
  • Gabriela Hall is majoring in system science & engineering
  • Lauren Hucko is majoring in anthropology and global health & the environment
  • Gabrielle Jung is majoring in women & gender studies and writing
  • Grace Kavinsky is majoring in classics and minoring in African & African American studies and art history
  • Rachel Kleinhandler is majoring in American culture studies
  • Sherece Laine is majoring in African & African American studies
  • Gabriela Pantoja is majoring in Latin American studies and anthropology
  • Noah Ford Rennert is majoring in chemical engineering
  • Ishaan Shah is majoring in biology and political science
  • Zach Vincent is majoring in political science

  • Sophie Abo, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Pittsburgh, PA, is majoring in anthropology: global health and the environment.
  • Haley Allen, a Mary and Tom Stillman Civic Scholar from St. Charles, MO, is majoring in international and area studies, psychology.
  • Nathaniel Bernstein, a Stern Family Civic Scholar from Evanston, IL, is majoring in political science.
  • Anand Chukka, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from San Jose, CA, is majoring in anthropology: global health and the environment.
  • Maddie Farrer, a Seiden Family Civic Scholar from Lexington, KY, is majoring in architecture.
  • Marcellus Johnson, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Oviedo, FL,  is majoring in architecture.
  • Rhea Khanna, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from New Delhi, India, is majoring in communication design, educational studies.
  • Marissa Lerner, a Gephardt Civic Scholar from Boston, MA, is majoring in environmental earth science.
  • Sam Messenger, a Bob and Gerry Virgil Civic Scholar from Brooklyn, NY, is majoring in economics, finance.
  • Le’Aysha Pearson, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Wynne, AZ, is majoring in elementary education and applied linguistics.
  • Gabby Perez-Garcia, a Gephardt Civic Scholar from Plano, TX, is majoring in anthropology: global health and the environment.
  • James Schisler, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from St. James, MO, is majoring in geophysics.
  • Meghal Sheth, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Camas, WA, is majoring in anthropology: global health and the environment.
  • Dan Sicorsky, a Dr. Margaret A. Olsen and Dr. Joseph N. Marcus Civic Scholar from Aventura, FL, is majoring in international and area studies, political science.
  • Adis Terzic, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from St. Louis, MO, is majoring in anthropology: global health and the environment.
  • Sarah Yapo, a Cantor Family Civic Scholar from Rockford, IL, is majoring in biochemistry.

Andres Avalle, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Manchester, VT, is double majoring in systems science and engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and economics and strategy in the College of Arts & Sciences. He is interested in working with the St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority to inform future legislative advocacy surrounding the use of vacant land in St. Louis.

Molly Brodsky, a Stern Family Civic Scholar from Fair Lawn, NJ, is double majoring in anthropology: global health and the environment and women, gender, and sexuality studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. She intends to facilitate activities and discussions with religious community members passionate about gender-inclusive spaces to build foundations for true openness and connection.

Caitlin Cheeseboro, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Woodbury, MN is majoring in political science in the College of Arts & Sciences. She hopes to work with individuals re-entering the community from prison, helping meet basic needs, find employment, and maintain freedom.

Michael Collins, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Zionsville, IN, is double majoring in chemistry and Chinese language and culture in the College of Arts & Sciences. He hopes to partner with local elementary and middle schools to develop a curriculum that focuses on positive education of gender roles and gender relations.

Claudia Evaristo, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Athens, GA, is double majoring in anthropology and biology in the College of Arts & Sciences. She plans to work with the organization Casa de Salud to better understand how issues of domestic violence and sexual assault are impacting the Latin@ community in St. Louis.

Ishak Hossain, a Bob and Gerry Virgil Civic Scholar from Tulsa, OK, is double majoring in biology and anthropology: global health and the environment in the College of Arts & Sciences. He hopes to learn more about connecting individuals to medical care through prescription drug recycling programs.

Assiatou Jallow, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Detroit, MI, is double majoring in entrepreneurship and marketing in the Olin School of Business. She wants to explore urban economic development and to provide business knowledge to small businesses.

Wesley Jenkins, a Seiden Family Civic Scholar from Nashville, TN, is double majoring in political science and American culture studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. He hopes to document the police’s use of Crisis Intervention Training to encourage widespread adoption of the training.

Anna Noronha, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Lake Forest, IL, is majoring in biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and minoring in Spanish. She hopes to examine the barriers limiting access to medical services for immigrant communities in the United States.

Karthik Rohatgi, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Reno, NV, is majoring in mathematics and a member of the Honors Program of Statistics in the College of Arts & Sciences. He plans to focus on issues relevant to food deserts, particularly nutrition education and access to farmers’ markets.

Nathan Stanfield, a Cantor Family Civic Scholar from Milton, MA, is majoring in architecture in the College of Arts & Sciences. He intends explore turning vacant lots into self-sustaining community gardens.

Madeline Stewart, a Dr. Margaret A. Olsen and Dr. Joseph N. Marcus Civic Scholar from Boston, MA, is majoring in chemistry and minoring in anthropology in the College of Arts & Sciences. She is interested in exploring end of life medical care.

Sarah Vaughen, a Mary and Tom Stillman Civic Scholar from Champaign, IL, is majoring in cognitive neuroscience in the College of Arts & Sciences. She is hoping to partner with Spring Initiative in Clarksdale, Mississippi, an established after-school program that provides summer activities, to address unhealthy eating habits among the students.

Cole Warner of St. Louis, MO, is majoring in American culture studies and minoring in biology and philosophy in the College of Arts & Sciences. He plans on working with the Zen Hospice Project to gain clinical and volunteer experience.

2017 Alumni

Nicholas Annin
Alexandra Barrett
Lucy Chin
Suhas Gondi
Jacob Metz
Yaala Muller
Sarah Nesbitt
Sakura Oyama
Norah Rast
María José Ruiz
Laken Sylvander
Neena Wang


2016 Alumni

Shyam Akula
Kierstan Carter
Cameron Kinker
Jagdeesh Kottapalli
Brianna McCain
Nick Okafor
Carrick Reddin
Rachel Sumption


2015 Alumni

2015 Civic Scholars Cohort

Madeleine Balchan
Victoria (Tori) Bawel
Rachel (Rori) Bridge
Anirudh (Raja) Krishna
Elliot Louthen
Reuben Riggs
Seiko Shastri
Jason Silberman


2014 Alumni

IMG_1279

Joshua Aiken
Ayah Abo-Basha
Hallie Dobkin
Avi David Geller
Tiffini Hyatt
Maddie Polk
Dylan Simonson


2013 Alumni

The Class of 2013 Civic Scholars cohort

Peter Birke
Grace Chao
Michael Harries
Pia Marcus
Andreas Mitchell

 

Questions? Contact LuAnn Oros, Coordinator of Civic Engagement Programs.