Civic Scholars Program.
Drew Civic Scholars believe in connecting to community, giving back, and using their education to help make our world a better place. If you share these commitments, we encourage you to join a team of like-minded students by joining the Drew Action Scholar program. This new program expands on the Civic Scholars’ engagement with the community to include innovation and global focus areas. Now even more Drew students can join together to solve the urgent challenges of our time!
Are community service and civic engagement an important part of your identity? Do you want to continue your volunteerism in college and gain valuable life skills and experiences? Are you eager to impact your community locally, nationally, or globally? If yes, then apply to become a Drew Action Scholar!
If you have questions about the Drew Action Scholars program, email the Center for Civic Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org. Direct any questions about the application process to the Drew Admissions Office at email@example.com.
Each year, all Civic Scholars contribute at least 100 hours of community service or experiential learning activities. (Many complete much more!) Of those hours, 50 must be completed while Drew is in session to model civic engagement and to include other Drew community members. Community engagement or experiential learning hours take many forms: on and off campus events, internships and community-based learning classes, community-based research or advocacy projects, leading or attending a student club service event, study abroad opportunities, and participating in alternative break trips. The Civic Engagement staff can help to locate opportunities and transportation.
Sophomore Year Civic Scholar Highlights:
Junior Year Civic Scholar Highlights:
Senior Year Civic Scholar Highlights:
In preparation to graduate with Civic Honors, Senior Civic Scholars plan and complete a Civic Project, leading a team in an initiative that benefits a community beyond Drew and impacts a social issue that they care deeply about. They present their project at the annual Civic Engagement Awards and Showcase in April. The following are selections of Senior Civic Project presentations.
Created a project to address the needs of firefighters through food drives during the Australian bushfire crisis. Her project demonstrated how she was able to recognize an international problem and begin to address the needs. Beginning around September 2019, Australia experienced its worst bushfire crisis in history. Izabella designed a project that benefitted the firefighters by providing food and meals at the stations. Working on this project has further highlighted the importance of climate change activism. View her full project here.
Developed a trauma-informed fencing demo as a Camp Hope Pathways event. Her project demonstrated how she was able to build upon her relationship with JBWS to secure an internship and create an effective event. As a “Pathways” event, the trauma-informed fencing demo contributes to the programs’ mission of sustaining the community & culture of hope created during camp. Kayla was able to design a project that supported her passion for helping children, especially those affected by trauma. View her full project here.
Created a project to address the needs of senior citizens in Madison Borough, Chatham Borough, and Chatham Township. In partnership with the Tri-Town 55+ Coalition, she was able to host two events to encourage seniors to sign up for the ride share services Tri-Town 55+ Coalition offers and to attend local events hosted by age-friendly businesses around town. Seniors, aged 65 and older, are able to use the rideshare services at a discount to run errands, attend town events, and visit their families which leads to increased feelings of inclusion. Rachel was able to adapt her project in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to support seniors in being involved with their communities remotely. View her full project here.
Developed a plan to establish an on-campus, non-transport, EMS service to function on a BLS level of care that would be student-run and work as a subdivision of public safety’s services. His project would help alleviate the strain that campus medical calls induce both on the local ambulance company, as well as Public Safety resources. Not only will it give the opportunity for students to get some level of clinical experience and patient interaction, but it will also allow for the formation of healthcare advocacy outreach events on campus, in conjunction with public safety. Sal was able to gain a better understanding of the struggles that local volunteer EMS agencies face operationally, and how supplementing their response with more EMS resources is a great opportunity for some level of resolution. View his full project here.
Expanded on an idea originally thought of and developed by a Drew alum, Saif Yasin, to create this year’s Fair for Emerging Researchers 4.0. This project is meant to be a chance for middle school students to participate in an intergenerational science fair on Drew’s campus as participating students get to interact with middle schoolers from other schools in the area; as well as, they present their own research project to Drew student and faculty judges. Even through a pandemic, she still wanted the hard work of the participating middle school students to be represented and commended. Stephanie was able to continue with this event even in the midst of the stress that is currently plaguing our planet. View her full project here.
Teach For America, High School history in NJ
Hayat took on multiple leadership positions at Drew, from President of the Muslim Students Association to Attorney General of Student Government to a variety of positions with Drew’s Admissions office. She took advantage of the Civic Scholars program to develop her skills in working with youth through her faith community, while exploring her interest in education as a career. Hayat graduated with both Civic and Baldwin Honors. She was appointed as one of only two students to the President’s Strategic Planning Committee. Her senior Civic Scholar project, “Youth Program Reform,” focused on transformative changes to the leadership and governance of a youth group for girls at her mosque.
Founder of Foot Soldier Barbering, a non-profit start up providing barbering services for the homeless in Newark, NYC, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
As a Civic Scholar and Philosophy major, with minors in Business and Spanish, Joe tackled the issue of homelessness with a passion of his own: barbering. As part of his Senior Civic Scholar project, he created a program called Foot Soldier Barbering to offer free haircuts to those who shelter in area train stations. This led to connections with other individuals, universities and community groups to provide clothes, coats, food, entertainment, and human connection. After graduation, he founded a non-profit to continue to serve homeless populations and to raise awareness about a community that is not often talked about, but always seen.
Rutgers University, Masters in Social Work program
Will took full advantage of the many opportunities in the Civic Scholar program for community based learning and hands-on leadership training. For his sophomore year internship, he worked at an adult day center, collaborating with staff and clients to ensure a stimulating and safe environment for all. During an internship in his junior year with the Mental Health Association of New Jersey, he wrote a paper exploring the stigma associated with mental illness and how to overcome this problem in our society. Will then enrolled in a Community-Based Learning class in Urban Sociology that enabled him to learn about and work on solutions to the challenges faced by poor, mostly minority, residents of urban communities. In his senior year, he took Leadership in Practice, taught by Professor Amy Koritz. In his own words, this class “really taught me what it takes to design and implement projects, as well as be a composed and thoughtful leader.”
University of South Florida, PhD in Integrative Biology program and USF Presidential Fellow
During Olivia’s time at Drew, she won multiple prestigious awards and scholarships which set her on the path to earning her PhD in marine biology. As a Civic Scholar, she focused on pairing her career interests with community engagement. She volunteered as an exhibit guide at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland where she promoted ocean conservation to visitors from around the world, allowing her to better understand her responsibility as a scientist in creating a more environmentally literate society. Olivia was selected to conduct research with a team of marine biologists at the University of Oregon the summer of her sophomore year, and has not looked back. Olivia’s goal is to use her research to help engage local communities to better protect their water resources. She graduated with both Civic and Baldwin honors.
Emergency Medical Technician in Lowell and Haverhill, MA; applying to Physician Assistant schools and the Peace Corps
Rachel focused her studies and experiences at Drew on her interest in healthcare. She studied the spiritual aspects of community healthcare during a ShortTREC to South Africa for medical anthropology. In her sophomore internship at the International Rescue Committee, she worked with refugees on mandatory health assessments, providing translation and advocacy services. Her Senior Civic Project, entitled “Many Hands to Help: Staffing and Quality of Care in Nursing Homes,” offered guidance to local community members on how to choose the best nursing home for a loved one. She is currently an EMT in her hometown and being considered for a position as a HIV / AIDS coordinator in South Africa with the Peace Corps.
Analyst at American Power Ventures, LLC.
Jillian’s tenure at Drew as a Civic Scholar was spent honing her leadership skills and developing her impressive portfolio. She majored in Economics with minors in Environmental Science & Sustainability and Applied Leadership. She was the president of the Drew Economic and Business Society and helped to develop the Speed Networking Program. While at Drew, she also worked at Morgan Stanley and RBC Wealth Management. For her Senior Civic Project, Jillian worked on developing a corporate social responsibility strategy for the company that became your employer after graduation. She is currently an analyst at American Power Ventures, a power and infrastructure development company, where she focuses on corporate social responsibility.
University of Houston Law Center, dual degree program in Law and Public health
As a Civic Scholar, a leader in Jewish life on campus, and a dedicated fellow of Drew’s Center for Religion, Culture, and Conflict (CRCC), Leah set an example of how to use religion as a force to combat bigotry and to unite people from different backgrounds. A few examples of Leah’s interfaith service work include helping coordinate the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom’s annual conference at Drew, tutoring Syrian refugees, organizing an introduction to interfaith dialogue for college students with other civic scholars as her first-year civic project, and creating religious tolerance dialogue skits for use in various interfaith groups through her sophomore civic internship with the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. Her Senior Civic Project focused on raising funds and awareness about bone health through a Skeleton Run. As a future health care attorney, Leah wants to use faith as a transformative tool in end-of-life care. Leah graduated with Phi Beta Kappa, Civic, and Baldwin Honors.
Donation Support Coordinator at Eversight, a non-profit eye donation center in Ann Arbor Michigan
Kendra connected her passion for medicine with her drive to help others in the Civic Scholars program at Drew. As president of the Drew Health Organization, she developed blood drives and service programs. She also led the annual service program to the Dominican Republic, serving as chief fundraiser and student mentor. She completed two internships at Overlook and Morristown Memorial Hospitals. For her Senior Civic Scholar project, she developed a series of workshops entitled “You Are What You Eat” for children in the Morristown Neighborhood House after school program. The range of experience gained through her civic work helped her land her first job in healthcare in organ donation management.
NJ State Senate Minority Staff under Senator Kean
While at Drew, Jared interned with six organizations and was a two-term President of Drew’s Student Government. He helped create the Race Forum on campus, a University wide discussion on diversity and inclusion. For his Senior Civic project, he created the Drew University Leadership Institute, a first year residential community where students will develop and apply leadership skills through involvement across and beyond the campus community. He is now a Research Associate for the NJ State Senate Republican Office focusing on higher education, military and veteran’s affairs, and community and urban development committees. Jared graduated with both Civic and Baldwin honors.
The Center for Civic Engagement offers several fellowships and awards. Please contact the Center for Civic Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to apply.
The Mary Hepburn Civic Engagement Fellowship is awarded to a senior who demonstrates interest and experience in civic engagement. This Fellowship was established in 2013 by Mary A. Hepburn, an alumna of the College of Liberal Arts, in recognition to the value of civic engagement in the undergraduate education of the College. The recipient will devote a minimum of eight hours per week of the academic year furthering the mission of the Center for Civic Engagement. A stipend of $2500 will be awarded.
The Patrick J. Grant Investors Bank Civic Leadership Award has been established by Investors Bank Foundation. It is awarded annually to outstanding students who participate in Drew University’s Civic Scholar Program and have demonstrated both dedication and exceptional contributions to community service during their years at Drew, as well as a continuing commitment to undertaking a leadership role in performing community service. The recipient fulfills the following criteria:
The fund will provide a grant of $1,000 to each recipient to support his or her planning, implementation, and leadership of a year-long comprehensive community service project which will involve Drew students and faculty, as well as representatives from Investors Bank Foundation and relevant community partners organizations.