Civic Scholars Program.
Learning for Students Who Serve
Drew University actively supports students who show extraordinary commitment to community service by offering Civic Engagement Scholarships of $10,000 ($2,500/year).
Become a Drew Civic Scholar and you will not only receive a monetary award, but you will also join an exciting four-year Civic Engagement Program that will increase your civic and leadership skills, while giving you significant real-world experience. Drew Civic Scholars complete 100 hours or more of service annually and participate in special classes, workshops, and off-campus service projects. Drew’s Civic Scholars represent a wide range of academic majors and career interests. Read all about the program details in the Civic Scholars Handbook 2016-2017.
Link here for more information on how to apply for the Drew Civic Engagement Scholarship. If you have questions about the Civic Scholars program, please email the Center for Civic Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Drew Admissions Office at email@example.com.
Drew University actively supports students who show extraordinary commitment to community by offering Civic Engagement Scholarships. These Drew Civic Scholars not only receive a monetary award, but also join an exciting civic engagement program that will increase their service and leadership skills and experiences. Drew Civic Scholars participate in special classes, workshops, seminars, and off-campus service projects. Civic Scholars who successfully complete four years of the Civic Scholars program graduate with Civic Honors.The Drew Civic Scholarship is offered in the amount of $10,000 ($2,500 per year). Civic Scholars completing all academic and co-curricular program requirements will maintain the scholarship and Drew Civic Scholar status for up to three additional years.The Civic Engagement Scholarship Program is a program of Drew University’s Center for Civic Engagement. It seeks to embody the mission and values of the Center through a four year progressively demanding program that builds students’ capacity while benefiting society. Each year, Civic Scholars are asked to engage in activities that will increase their abilities and understanding of how best to serve our shared world.
Jena is majoring in Economics and French with a minor in Political Science. She will be pursuing advanced professional training in law and business with the goal ultimately of becoming general counsel for large financial firm. Jena most appreciated the sense of community being a civic scholar gave her as a Drew student, but also the networking opportunities and the springboard it provided for her to pursue her passion to advocate against human trafficking.
“My favorite experience as a civic was my first-year civic project. In spring of 2014 I organized a very successful awareness event entitled “Drew Stands against Human Trafficking.” This event featured the Director of the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking, a victim/survivor of human trafficking, and Detective Leah Atterbury from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office who spoke about their involvement in the fight against human trafficking. Not only did I educate over 200 people at the event, but I also strengthened relationships with the organizations and people who share my beliefs. It enhanced my social, communication, and organizational skills immensely. ” Jena’s senior civic project continues her commitment to this issue though a symposium for teachers co-sponsored with Drew’s education program and the NJ Coalition against Human Trafficking.
According to Jena, being a civic scholar helped her stand out in every interview, meet and share experiences and interests with like-minded Drew students and community members, and to interconnect her studies with civic engagement through internship with The Shakespeare Theater of NJ, Legal Services of NJ, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking
Jonathan is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Political Science. Follwing graduation, he will be a 2017 Mississippi Regional Corps Member in Teach for America, teaching secondary mathematics and/or social science to 7–12th graders in the Mississippi public school districts. He initially became a Civic Scholar because of his engagement with service throughout middle school and high school, not anticipating that this program would “become as foundational in my undergraduate experience as it has become. I knew that I wanted the opportunity to formalize my volunteerism; however, the Civic Scholars program has become an integral part of my personal identity and has literally reshaped my life’s pursuits and aspirations.” In particular, Jonathan has found that the experiences he has had through the Civic Scholars program have augmented his academic experience, personal relationships, and professional networking in ways he had never previously thought. For example, Jonathan explains that “I particularly benefitted from the Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses, such as Social Policy and Inequality in America taught by Prof. Patrick McGuinn, in addition to the first-year community service seminar—as these classes brought my love for academics together with service in ways I’d not previously considered.”
Jonathan also served as a coordinator for Drew’s student-run Volunteer Resource Center, organizing volunteer trips during school breaks. After a service trip to New Orleans on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, he realized how important the government was in helping these communities, and so sought and was awarded an internship with Senator Cory Booker’s office in Newark. He has also worked with special needs children and explored his future career though a stint as a substitute teacher.
His senior civic project addresses another passion of Jonathan’s, mental health advocacy: “I’ve realized that this is an under-addressed social problem that significantly contributes to suicide, high school and college dropout rates, drug abuse, unemployment, and many other underlying social issues.” Partnering with on-campus clubs and departments, as well as the nation organization, Active Minds, Jonathan is organizing a “mental health CPR” program, entitled “QPR,” that trains participants to “Question, Persuade, and Respond” in order to empower them to engage in effective mental health conversations and referrals.
Samantha is a psychology major who will be entering her first-choice graduate program in organizational psychology in the fall of 2017. She is currently completing on Honors Thesis titled “Stereotype Threat and the Financial Decision-Making Abilities of Older Adults,” but her interest in assisting the elderly reaches back to her first year as a Civic Scholar. Sam’s first-year civic project team created an event for residents of a local senior housing project that they called “Swinging on a Star.” She and her team members organized multiple campus music groups to provide and evening of entertainment. For her sophomore internship, Sam created a drama therapy program for older adults with neurodegenerative diseases at an adult day care. The conference presentation she submitted focused on the practices she found most useful, has been accepted for inclusion in the 2017 Eastern Sociological Society’s annual conference.
For her senior civic project Sam has been working with her major professor, Patrick Dolan, to plan and present a series of workshops on financial decision-making and fraud prevention to seniors and on healthy aging and memory. For her most recent workshop, over eighty senior citizens have registered. While the senior citizens of Madison and Chatham NJ have benefited greatly from Sam’s work, she has also presented her findings to alumni, professors and students at Shark Tank–the economics and business presentation event that is held every semester. Among the forty people in this audience a manager from The Bank of New York who has been mentoring her ever since, helping her think about how to extend her work on preventing fraud among seniors to issues of fraud within a corporation.
As a Civic Scholar and a Baldwin Honors Scholar, Samantha Lacey has taken advantage of a full array of opportunities at Drew. By connecting her academic interests with hands-on work in the community she was able to explore what working with seniors would be like, confirm her commitment to that population and discover a career path that will let her combine, knowledge, empathy, and action.
First Year Civic Scholars’ Community Partner placements include: Cornerstone Madison Adult Day Center, Dress for Success, EPOCH, Rosa Parks Community School , Furniture Assist, Homeless Solutions, Madison Borough, Market Street Mission, Morristown Neighborhood House after-school and pre-school programs, and the adult ESOL program. Read more about our Community Partners and comments by current Civic Scholars about their volunteer experience.
Our 2016-17 First Year Civic Scholars will plan projects on the Environment, Hunger, Arts & Language, Healthcare, Refugees, Veterans, and Gender Equality. We look forward to seeing how their creativity, team work and project management skills will benefit our local communities. Below are examples of past projects.
This group of First Years Civic Scholars made decorations for the pediatric center at Mountainside Hospital.
This group of First Year Civic Scholars hosted a pool party for children of all ages with special needs and/or disabilities. There were games, music, lifeguards and volunteers to play and swim with the children to show them a fun time.
First Year Civic Scholars held an event that focused on helping the special needs community in schools local to Madison. ARC of Morris County and Drew sports teams participated with Civic Scholars in this event.
This group of First Year Civic Scholars partnered with St. Hubert’s to host a dog-walk/pet adoption day to raise money for St. Hubert’s and awareness of animal issues such as abuse and homelessness. VRC and SAAC participated in this event.
First Year Civic Scholars put on a program called “Destress Fest” to help students cope with midterms.
This group of First Year Civic Scholars held this event to empower men and women showing them that gender roles do not matter. They played a powederpuff football game where the women played and the men were the cheerleaders.
A group of First Year Civic Scholars hosted a guest panel of experts working with the prisoner population whom shared their insights.
This group of First Year Civic Scholars educated participants on the benefits and necessity of equal treatment, rights and respect for members of the LGBTQ community. Garden State Equality and one from Ally Space Training participated in this event.
American Red Cross, Arts by the People, Dress for Success, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Great Swamp Watershed Association, Grow it Green, Morristown Neighborhood House, Madison Ambulance, Township of Morristown; Office of Sustainability, Morris County Court House, Morristown Medical Center, Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, NJ Audubon, NJ Pediatric Neuroscience Institute, Philadelphia Zoo, Senator Cory Booker, Sesame Street Workshop Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children, Third Street Alliance, W!SE.
As part of their Year Two requirement, Civic Scholars complete a 2-credit, 70-hour civic internship with a non-profit or government agency. The opportunity provides professional experience, vocational exploration, in-depth work in an issue or area of interest, and the chance to provide a significant amount of assistance to an organization. Because the internship comes early in their academic career, many of our Civic Scholars choose to do multiple internships over their remaining years at Drew.
Civic Scholar ’17 Victoria Emm landed an internship with Senator Corey Book of New Jersey. During her time in the Senator’s office, she constituent services for the senator. Her tasks included advocating for residents of his district, writing memos about international and domestic issues and participating in events, such as one announcing the awarding of a federal grant to the East Orange Fire Department. She also attended presentations from officials at the FBI, Secret Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Civic Scholar C’17 Samantha Lacey created a drama therapy program for Third Street Alliance‘s “Sharing the Caring” program in Easton PA, a day-care program for the elderly with neurodegenerative dementia for her sophomore civic internship. The internship confirmed her choice of pursuing majors in psychology and neuroscience, and in her interest in working with seniors.
Civic Scholar C’18 Olivia Blondheim completed her Sophomore civic internship at NJ Audubon’s Scherman-Hoffman Sanctuary where she monitored the Wood Turtle population by marking and fitting the females with radio transmitters to help identify critical nesting and foraging sites that may require further preservation. She matured as a scientist, gained valuable resume-worthy experience, and received additional confirmation of her career goals of field work in the area of marine biology.
Senior Civic Scholars work all year to develop their senior civic projects, which build on the experience and knowledge they have gained over the past three years as Civic Scholars at Drew. Seniors present their projects at the annual Civic Engagement Showcase and Awards Ceremony, part of Community Action Week at Drew. Just a few examples of recent projects are listed below.
Kasey Dolan worked with the Urban Farm to educate students and community members on local, seasonal diets. She created business cards that have seasonal fruits and vegetables on them so people can keep them handy when shopping. She also brought 15 volunteers to Grow-it-Green to volunteer during Community Action Week, improving their personal knowledge of local, fresh foods. Students cleared beds and picked early spring vegetables.
Christine Marten organized the first Child’s Play Video Game Tournament at Drew. The tournament’s goal was to raise money for Child’s Play in order to purchase toys on the wish list for the Children’s Special Hospital of Newark. Organizations on campus and from other colleges in the area came to participate in the tournament which featured several games being played at once. Christine’s project was the recipient of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Arts and the Common Good Program.
Gabi Bisconti C’16 partnered with New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) to produce Women On Screen, a panel discussion focusing on the roles of women both in front of and behind the camera. This panel raised questions about contemporary roles for women in the film industry predominantly, while touching on stage as well. The purpose of the panel was to increase interest on Drew’s campus for women involvement and empowerment, while providing information to college students on how to get involved and either pursue a career in film, or increase visibility for women of all races and sexualities. The panel also explored the roles of women of color in the industry over the years, and the outlook for the years to come. Money was raided for NYWIFT, so that they can continue their great work for women in the industry from all walks of life.
Marie Czirbik’s project supported restoration of a small New Jersey forest within the Madison Recreation Complex trails. The forest that this project is focusing on is a freshwater wetland, but it is heavily disturbed. It is filled with invasive species, lacks many of the animal species native to wetlands (such as amphibians and macroinvertebrates), and is recovering from a history of human use and dumping. Marie mapped the natural rivulets and drainage points found throughout the fores to help in understanding the natural flow of water the area once had. She also helped to create vernal pools (seasonal pools) based on these rivulets with the hope of aiding in the return of wetland species.
Major: Chinese Studies and Political Science
Where are you headed? I am attending Georgetown University’s Conflict Resolution MA program from the fall until May 2018. I have also been selected by the NCAA as one of 11 students to attend the two-week United Nations International Sports and Social Impact Summit.
Why there? I loved the location, professors, and opportunities offered through the Conflict Resolution MA program. I will have the opportunity to study abroad again, work as a research assistant, and begin working in the “real world” as I continue my education.
How did the Civic Scholar Program help get you to where you are now? The Civic Engagement engagement program helped me volunteer in many diverse locations, which certainly benefited my resume. It also put me in contact with great people and helped me to discover my enjoyment in helping those with special needs. The program has also helped me practice valuable life skills such as organization, time management, and dedication to numerous causes. Graduating as a Drew Civic Scholar is one of my most rewarding experiences. The
Major: Pan-African studies, History and Spainsh
Where are you headed? NYU for a PhD in the history of the African Diaspora
Why there? Their emphasis on the African diaspora
How did the Civic Scholar Program help get you to where you are now? The Civic Scholar Program allowed me to perfect the ways in which I want to help improve the conditions of the black community in Urban areas.
Where are you headed? NYU’s accelerated BSN program
Why there? NYU college of nursing is a cutting edge university known for its hands on approaches in technology and equipment. It also allows you to apply to the duel degree program while still obtaining your BSN to become an advanced practice nurse.
How did the Civic Scholar Program help get you to where you are now?
The Civic Scholar Program helped me greatly in deciding to become a nurse, for in my volunteer opportunities allowed for me to shadow and work with nurses in clinical atmospheres. The program allowed me to confirm through experience at these location sites that I wanted to become a nurse.
Major: Political Science and German
Where are you headed? Master’s degree candidate in International Affairs with a concentration in Cities and Social Justice at The New School in New York City. In my spare time, I work at the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, where I assist with the planning of their Democracy and Diversity Institutes that are held annually in South Africa and Poland. For my future career path, I hope to join the Foreign Service to work for the U.S. Department of State.
Why there? With my language skills in Polish and German, I can be a valuable asset to the Foreign Service and in public diplomacy. After studying abroad during my time at Drew, I want to continue traveling the world, while working in policy and government.
How did the Civic Scholar Program help get you to where you are now?Being a Civic Scholar has inspired me to go beyond the classroom and become a leader in my community. It has shown me importance of being involved, teaching me the interpersonal and professional skills needed to succeed in graduate school and in a career
Major: Business Studies and English
Where are you headed? Teach For America Arkansas, teaching 5th grade English and Reading
Why there? I became passionate about education reform after volunteering at my first community partnership with Neighborhood House in Morristown.
How did the Civic Scholar Program help to get you where you are now? The Civic Scholar Program has given me project based experience in non-profit work that I am able to apply to my current teaching profession.
The Center for Civic Engagement offers several fellowships and awards.
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. The Fellow will aid the Center for Civic Engagement in the following areas:
Please contact the Center for Civic Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to apply.
2016-2017: The Mary A. Hepburn Fellowship was awarded to Senior Civic Scholar Jena Angeliadis. As the Hepburn Fellow, Jena worked on strengthening alumni relations through planning events such as the annual Alumni Networking Event. She also worked with department faculty to help facilitate the creation of innovative service activities that would also build strong relationships among her fellow civic scholars.
2015-2016: Senior Civic Scholar Victoria Korn was awarded the Mary A. Hepburn Fellowship. Victoria focused on event planning, volunteer management and coordination, and office management for the Center for Civic Engagement.
2014-2015: The Mary A. Hepburn Fellowship was awarded to Senior Civic Scholar Kia Bourdot. Kia served as a liaison between Drew University faculty and students and our community partners.
Endowed in 2012 by Mary A. Hepburn C’54, this award supports students participating in academic internships involving substantive engagement with the community, outside the University. Expenditures may be made for stipends, plus additional costs, such as commuting, and room and board for internships pursued when the University is not in session. The award is made at the sole discretion of the internship office of the Drew University Center for Internships and Career Development, after receiving recommendations from the Director of the Center for Civic Engagement. Please contact email@example.com for more information or to apply.
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.
Submit all application materials to Prof. Amy Koritz prior to deadline.
Drew Civic Scholar and Environmental Science major Alyssa Petersen worked with the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee to plan a clean up of the Whippany River in Madison, NJ. Volunteers saw the effects of non-point source pollution firsthand and help clean up the damage already created. Working together, Drew students and community partners reduce the prevalence and damage of water pollution in our area. Part of #communityactionweek at Drew.
Drew Civic Scholar and Chemistry major on the Pre-Med track Catie Rueger helped educate middle school students about college and the STEM fields offered at Drew, in a way that is interactive and fun. Her project involved inviting forty seventh grade students from the Rosa Parks Community School in Orange, NJ to a Drew for a STEM focused college exploration day. She also worked with the Oakwood Avenue Community School in Orange to assist the already existing Health Care Education Program to further promote STEM fields in the area.
Drew Civic Scholar Noran Elzarka worked to address and raise awareness about the existence and impact of systemic oppression. Whether such injustices are religious, racial, gender-based or class-based, as a society Noran’s goal was to go beyond solidarity and create a space where as a community and as a university, we can learn how to intersect struggles. Through direct action and community building, Noran’s project advanced the struggle for justice and liberation for all our people.
Drew Civic Scholar Midori Tagawa worked to develop mentorship opportunities for college and high school women to encourage more females students to enter the Financial and STEM field industries. By organizing an externship program for female students at Drew, FDU, CSE and Morrsitown High School, Midori helped to expose students to these fields.
Drew Civic Scholar and Political Science major Megan Day worked toward breaking down the stereotypes, politicization, and dehumanization that plague the lines of communication between people in the U.S. and people in countries across the Middle East.
Drew Civic Scholar and Psychology major Sabina Camponogara focused on sexual assault prevention and awareness. Over the course of the year, she educated the campus on how to prevent and intervene in sexual assault, which included teaching Drew students facts about sexual assaults and the techniques assailants tend to use.
Drew Civic Scholar and Political Science and German major Nicole Kuruszko devoted her time to “Life in a Jar”. This is a play based on the life of Irena Sendler, who rescued 2,500 Jewish children during World War II. The Senior Civic Project brought awareness to the difference that one person can make in his or her community, ultimately changing the world in the process. After graduating from Drew in May 2013, Nicole was admitted into the New School’s graduate program in International Relations.
Drew Civic Scholar and Environmental Science and Sustainability major Kara Pennino started the “Just TAP IT” campaign to raise awareness about the negative effects of the bottled water industry on our health, economy, and environment. After graduating from Drew in May 2013, Kara accepted an Americorps position in Philadelphia working to bring healthy food to inner city neighborhoods.