Civic Scholars

Support experiential learning that empowers students to challenge themselves and help communities

What are Civic Scholars?

They’re students who believe in the positive impact of community-engaged work. They don’t just earn a degree – they go further. They empower each other and themselves with the confidence that they can get things done. They learn to thrive, adapt and conquer the challenges that await them. They change communities and they change lives.

And the best part is that they aren’t a small cohort of students. At RWU, our mission is to bring civic scholarship as a way of doing things to every student, channeling our collective force into a singular goal: to strengthen society through engaged teaching and learning.

Commitment to Community

At Roger Williams University, we are committed to providing immersive learning opportunities for every student, putting their knowledge and skills to work solving real-world problems with community partners. With civic scholarship, our students go beyond traditional classroom learning and deploy into local and global communities, working hand-in-hand with community partners to address their specific needs and create meaningful change around economic development, sustainability and social justice. 

Civic Scholars at RWU. Empower. Learn. Change.Through the Campaign for Civic Scholars, we are doubling down on our commitment to provide the wide range of project-based learning and community-engaged work that we refer to as civic scholarship. And that means we need you to go further! 

Your support provides the vital resources that prepare our students and faculty to go beyond the classroom and work with community partners on real issues. This isn’t a scholarship or financial aid – your funds help build an infrastructure for civic scholarship at RWU that creates meaningful educational opportunities while working to strengthen society through engaged teaching and learning. Each donation goes directly to creating the coursework that trains our students and faculty to collaborate as partners; developing deep community partnerships locally and globally; and purchasing the critical equipment to deploy them into communities near and far. With your help, we can bring civic scholarship to every student at RWU – and we’re almost there!

Please help us reach our goal of providing these transformational educational experiences that prepare students to fulfill their potential as lifelong learners, professionals and citizens. 

Launched in April 2015, the Campaign for Civic Scholars has raised $1.6 million towards its three-year goal of $3.3 million. The powerful message behind the Campaign inspired donors – including Trustees, parents, alumni, and friends of the University – to contribute half a million dollars to provide current use resources that support our vital, community-engaged work.

Support the Campaign for Civic Scholars

Hassenfeld Fellows Making a Difference

The inaugural group of Hassenfeld Fellows presented their work at the Community Engagement Celebration.
The inaugural group of Hassenfeld Fellows at RWU's Community Engagement Celebration.

In 2016, the Hassenfeld Family Initiatives Foundation contributed $500,000 to support faculty development, underwrite the work of Student and Faculty Fellows, and fund interdisciplinary projects in the local community. Read about the inaugural group of Hassenfeld Fellows who applied their knowledge and skills to interdisciplinary projects ranging from immigration law advocacy to working toward creating health equity, and more.

Instilling a Love for Service

The 2017-18 cohort of Feinstein Scholars.
The 2017-18 Alan Shawn Feinstein Leadership Scholars.

In 2017, the Feinstein Foundation committed $500,000 to support local students to attend RWU who had participated in service learning projects in their former elementary and middle schools. Pledging to do good deeds while in elementary or middle school instills a love for service that continues to grow when they arrive at RWU and dive into community-engaged work and volunteer service. Read about six high school students that entered RWU as Alan Shawn Feinstein Leadership Scholars this fall.

Where Scholarship and Community Intersect

The RWU student chapter of FIMRC offers public health education to underserved populations.
RWU's student chapter of FIMRC travels abroad to countries such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Peru to provide basic public health education to underserved populations.

At RWU, we have several institutes and pathways that connect students with community-engaged projects and opportunities to bridge theory with practice.

  • Through our unique Community Partnerships Center (CPC), our students dive into projects that test their skills and knowledge solving real-world problems with community partners. The CPC's mutually beneficial mission enables our students to serve nonprofit organizations, local government agencies and more – building the real-world skills and experiences employers seek in our graduates, while serving communities who may lack resources to get projects off the ground. 
  • From the Feinstein Center for Service Learning & Community Engagement to faculty-led study-abroad programs like FIMRC (Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children), our students go beyond traditional service learning to work hand-in-hand with community partners on identifying and supporting their community's specific needs.
  • Through the Center for Career and Professional Development, our students get connected with a variety of internship opportunities. Internships not only grow their skills and experiences in a professional setting, but also give students the opportunity to test whether or not they have a passion for that specific work before launching into the workforce.

Support the Campaign for Civic Scholars