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 2019 Civic Scholars reflect on their experiences in the classroom, St. Louis community, and beyond.

Program Details

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, including community engaged learning and research; community organizing and activism; social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility; direct service; philanthropy; and policy and governance. 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 and the course instructors. Scholars will also mentor the incoming cohort each year.
  • Participate in an annual retreat designed to fortify their cohort and introduce them to the variety of civic leadership pathways.
  • 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 academic summer award to be used the summer between junior and senior years for a substantial civic project of their choice, developed in consultation with their mentors and instructors. Scholars will design a Civic Summer project that could include endeavors such as an unpaid nonprofit internship, a self-directed project, international service experience, or community-engaged research.

Submit an Application

The application period for the 2019 Civic Scholars cohort has passed. 

Civic Scholar Cohorts

Class of 2021

Noor Bekhiet, a sophomore from Milwaukee, WI, is majoring in architecture and economics & strategy.

Brooke Bulmash, a sophomore from West Bloomfield, MI, Cleveland OH, and Dallas, TX, is majoring in architecture.

Josie Campbell, a sophomore from Memphis, TN, is majoring in religious studies.

Eliza Caperton, a sophomore from Berkeley Springs, WV, is majoring in studio art and American culture studies.

Keishi Foecke, a sophomore from San Mateo, CA, is majoring in anthropology: global health & the environment and American culture studies.

Jazmin Garcia, a sophomore from Evanston, IL, is majoring in anthropology: global health & the environment.

Jane Gormley, a sophomore from Mercer Island, WA, is majoring in sociology.

Ahmed Hanafy, a sophomore from Alexandria, Egypt and Bellevue, WA, is majoring in biology: neuroscience track.

Candace Hayes, a sophomore from Chicago, IL, is majoring in sociology and psychological and behavioral sciences.

Mackenzie Hines-Wilson, a sophomore from St. Louis, MO, is majoring in philosophy-neuroscience-psychology.

Max Klapow, a sophomore from Birmingham, AL, is majoring in philosophy-neuroscience-psychology.

Carrie Phillips, a sophomore from St. Louis, MO, is majoring in sociology.

Logan Phillips, a sophomore from St. Louis, MO, and Austin, TX, is majoring in African and African-American studies.

Kai Radford, a sophomore from St. Louis, MO is majoring in African & African-American studies.

Lorenzo Solon, a sophomore from Gladwyne, PA, is majoring in biology.

Andrew Whitaker, a sophomore from West Chester, OH, is majoring in biomedical engineering.

Kally Xu, a sophomore from Madison, MS is majoring in global health and the environment.

Jessica Yu, a sophomore from Portland, OR, is majoring in biochemistry.

 

Class of 2020

Harkirat Anand, a Stern Family Civic Scholar from Paramus, NJ, is majoring in economics and mathematics with a concentration in statistics. His project seeks to identify a relationship between demographic characteristics of Sikh American communities and their political and religious ideologies.

Carson Borbely, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Ann Arbor, Michigan and Viadana, Italy is majoring in anthropology: global health & the environment and minoring in writing. She will be interning at Casa Maranella in Austin, TX, advocating for immigrants and refugees.

Kirk Brown, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from O’Fallon, IL, is majoring in political science and African & African American studies. This summer he plans to provide job training programs to incarcerated citizens to help them obtain better jobs and successfully transition back into their respective communities.

Luka Cai, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Singapore, Singapore is majoring in political science and minoring in sociology and legal studies. They are partnering with the St. Louis Pride Center to set up a LGBTQIA+ helpline that provides emotional support, crisis intervention, resources, and referrals to the St. Louis LGBTQIA+ community.

Maria Cortez-Lopez, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Elgin, IL, is majoring in Latin American studies and Spanish. She will partner with the Migrant & Immigrant Community Action Center (MICA) to inform a community knowledge project on the effects of intergenerational disparity in English proficiency among the Latinx population.

Molly Davis, a Gephardt Civic Scholar from Lexington, TN, is majoring in English and Spanish with a minor in psychology. While interning at the Mid-South Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, she will be earning her 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification in order to offer chair yoga classes and promote mindfulness and brain-healthy activities for older adults.

Ruth Durrell, a Bob & Gerry Virgil Civic Scholar from Milwaukee, WI, is majoring in educational studies and sociology. She hopes to help improve the educational experience of low income and minority students by making sure they have diverse teachers that reflect their identities.

Jose Figueroa, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar, is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently resides in Dayton, OH. He is majoring in anthropology: global health & the environment. His project is to create a lay first-responder system in the municipalities of Jocotenango, Ciudad Vieja, and Antigua in Guatemala and provide the citizens he trains with refillable first aid kits so they are equipped to handle local emergencies.

Gabriela Hall, a Seiden Family Civic Scholar from Dallas, TX, is majoring in system science & engineering. They will work at Fraunhofer (Germany) on the Graphene Flagship Project to find biosensing applications for 2D materials. They hope
to learn about the intersection of policy, academia, and industry. They will also do an ethnographic study of German energy policies.

Lauren Hucko, a Dr. Margaret A. Olsen & Dr. Joseph N. Marcus Civic Scholar from LaGrange, IL, is majoring in anthropology: global health & the environment and Spanish with a minor in medical humanities. She plans to collaborate with
Uganda Development and Health Associates to augment comprehensive sexual education programming in schools.

Gabrielle Jung, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Dix Hills, NY, is majoring in American culture studies and minoring in writing. She will be studying the intergenerational transmission of food culture and faith through compiling the personal narratives of family recipes of Korean/K-American immigrant church congregations in Flushing, Queens.

Grace Kavinsky, a Stern Family Civic Scholar from Oak Park, IL, is majoring in classics and minoring in art history and
African & African-American Studies. She is interested in advocacy for justice-involved women. This summer she will be interning with the federal government.

Rachel Kleinhandler, a Stern Family Civic Scholar from Rye Brook, NY, is majoring in American culture studies and minoring in the business of social impact. Her project addresses youth mental illness and the related stigma to encourage greater awareness for the supporter population through a partnership with the Child Mind Institute, a New York City based nonprofit.

Sherece Laine, a Stern Family Civic Scholar from Bronx, NY, is majoring in African & African American studies and minoring in anthropology: global health & the environment. She plans to explore the disparities in health and healthcare due to inequity in access for low income, minority communities in St. Louis by interning with the community based health organization: Institute of Family Medicine (IFM) Community Medicine.

Gabriela Pantoja, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Chicago, IL, is majoring in Latin American studies and anthropology. For her project, she hopes to document the collective memory of the East Side, her neighborhood and one of Chicago’s first Mexican communities.

Noah Ford Rennert, a Stern Family Civic Scholar from Fairfield, CT, is studying chemical engineering. He will be investigating how renewable energy can prevent climate disaster by examining international and U.S. renewable energy growth.

Ishaan Shah, a Mary and Tom Stillman Civic Scholar from Cupertino, CA, is majoring in biology and political science. He will be working in Boston this summer on the CK-READY clinical trial which compares group well-child care to individual well-child care. He will also be learning about group care implementation from the Centering Healthcare Institute and about community-centered family advocacy from Vital Village.

Zach Vincent, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from East Moline, IL, is majoring in political science with minors in writing and legal studies. He will be partnering with the Obama Foundation on the strategic and operational development of their civic programming.

Class of 2019

Sophie Abo, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Pittsburgh, PA, is majoring in anthropology: global health and the environment and minoring in biology in the College of Arts & Sciences. Her project examined the intersection of health and transit in St. Louis, MO.

Haley Allen, a Mary and Tom Stillman Civic Scholar from St. Charles, MO, is double majoring in international studies: international affairs and psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences. She spent her summer with the “Literacy Garden” program in Kenya.

Nathaniel Bernstein, a Stern Family Civic Scholar from Evanston, IL, is majoring in political science and minoring in women, gender, and sexuality studies and psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences. He spent his summer working at the Center on Wrongful Conviction at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, to research criminal justice reform.

Anand Chukka, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from San Jose, CA, is double majoring in biochemistry and American culture studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. He interned jointly last summer with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless and the Center for Prisoner Health to understand the role of physician advocacy work.

Maddie Farrer, a Seiden Family Civic Scholar from Lexington, KY, is majoring in architecture and minoring in urban design in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. She is also minoring in urban studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. She worked with the Sacramento City Council’s Housing and Redevelopment Agency to examine affordable housing alternatives.

Marcellus Johnson, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Oviedo, FL, is majoring in architecture and minoring in urban design in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. He is also minoring in American culture studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. He worked on the production of a book about the historical preservation of Kinloch, MO.

Rhea Khanna, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from New Delhi, India, is double majoring in communication design in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and educational studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. She spent her summer in New York City, NY, exploring the design of quality learning spaces.

Marissa Lerner, a Gephardt Civic Scholar from Boston, MA, is majoring in environmental earth science in the College of Arts & Sciences and minoring in systems engineering in the School of Engineering. Her project was in Quito, Ecuador, focusing on urban resilience and sustainability.

Sam Messenger, a Bob and Gerry Virgil Civic Scholar from Brooklyn, NY, is double majoring in economics in the College of Arts & Sciences and finance in the Olin Business School. His project was with the Halachic Organ Donor Society (HODS) to promote organ donation in the Jewish community in New York City, NY.

Le’Aysha Pearson, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Wynne, AZ, is double majoring in elementary education and African and African-American studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. Her project focused on social-emotional education research in South Africa.

Gabby Perez-Garcia, a Gephardt Civic Scholar from Plano, TX, is majoring in anthropology: global health and the environment in the College of Arts & Sciences. Her project focused on Latina teen suicide prevention in New York City, NY.

James Schisler, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from St. James, MO, is majoring in geophysics and minoring in writing in the College of Arts & Sciences. For his project, he researched educational access and policy in rural communities in St. James, MO.

Meghal Sheth, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Camas, WA, is majoring in anthropology: global health and the environment and biology with a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. For her project, she focused on immigration policy and sexual health education for South Asian Americans in Chicago, IL.

Dan Sicorsky, a Dr. Margaret A. Olsen and Dr. Joseph N. Marcus Civic Scholar from Aventura, FL, is majoring in political science and minoring in writing in the College of Arts & Sciences. He worked full-time at the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, Morocco, exploring diplomacy and global justice for its residents.

Adis Terzic, a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from St. Louis, MO, is double majoring in anthropology and economics in the College of Arts & Sciences. His project focused on capturing oral histories of first generation Bosnian-Americans in both St. Louis, MO, and Chicago, IL.

Sarah Yapo, a Cantor Family Civic Scholar from Rockford, IL, is majoring in biochemistry and minoring in psychological and brain sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences. Her project focused on sexual and reproductive health in Indonesia.

2018 Alumni

Andres Avalle is a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Manchester, VT. He is working as an Associate at Bain & Company, a management consultancy, in Chicago, Illinois. Eventually, he hopes to earn an advanced degree in complex systems, economics, or philosophy.

Molly Brodsky is a Stern Family Civic Scholar from Fair Lawn, NJ. She is pursuing community-focused agriculture and food justice work in San Francisco, California. She will serve as a Community Educator with Global Student Embassy (GSE), a nonprofit that facilitates garden-based experiential learning and leadership training for high school students in the Bay Area. GSE partners with urban farming organizations in Ecuador and Nicaragua and aims to highlight both local and global food issues.

Caitlin Cheeseboro is a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Woodbury, MN. She moved to Los Angeles, California and will serve as a City Year AmeriCorps member.

Michael Collins is a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Zionsville, IN. He stayed in St. Louis for the summer to conduct research on Chinese refugees during the Korean War. He then moved to Beijing, China where he will pursue a Masters in History at Peking University as a Yenching Scholar.

Claudia Evaristo is a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Athens, GA, is double majoring in anthropology and biology in the College of Arts & Sciences. She moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and is applying for community health and reproductive justice advocacy jobs. She also traveled with family in Hong Kong and India. She hopes to begin medical school in fall 2019.

Ishak Hossain is a Bob and Gerry Virgil Civic Scholar from Tulsa, OK. He is applying to medical school. For the next year, he is working full-time for the Missouri chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Assiatou Jallow is a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Detroit, MI. She spent the summer in Detroit, Michigan and is in the process of applying for positions that will allow her to explore community and economic development as tools to address systems of oppression.

Wesley Jenkins is a Seiden Family Civic Scholar from Nashville, TN. He stayed in St. Louis to complete freelance writing projects for MICDS high school and the Division of Student Affairs at Washington University. In September, he moved to Chicago to begin a Master of Science program in Journalism at Northwestern, with a specialization in print and digital magazine content.

Anna Noronha is a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Lake Forest, IL. She is working as a Research Assistant for Ariadne Labs, a health systems innovation think tank. She is situated in the Office of the Executive Director, where she will assist with research for writing projects and review literature on global health innovations.

Karthik Rohatgi is a Fox-Clark Civic Scholar from Reno, NV. He spent the summer in India and recently started medical school at Washington University. He plans to pursue a combined Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degree.

Nathan Stanfield is a Cantor Family Civic Scholar from Milton, MA. Over the summer, he interned at Populous, an architecture firm in Kansas City, Missouri. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in architecture.

Madeline Stewart is a Dr. Margaret A. Olsen and Dr. Joseph N. Marcus Civic Scholar from Boston, MA. She spent the summer with friends and family and returned to St. Louis to work at Places for People for the next year before starting medical school at Boston University.

Sarah Vaughen is a Mary and Tom Stillman Civic Scholar from Champaign, IL. She is working as a ScribeAmerica Medical Scribe for a family medicine physician in Champaign, Illinois. She is also applying to medical school programs to begin in fall 2019.

Cole Warner is from St. Louis, MO. He is an AmeriCorps member at The Biome School in St. Louis. He is also shadowing in the ER at BJC HealthCare and pursuing a certificate in narrative medicine through Columbia University.

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

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

2014 Alumni

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

2013 Alumni

Peter Birke
Grace Chao
Michael Harries
Pia Marcus
Andreas Mitchell

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