Spring '22 Chester Semester Fellows

Chester Semester

About Chester Semester

The Chester Semester program is a transcript-notated interdisciplinary program on social change with an engaged scholarship (ESCH) internship component. The purpose of the program is to facilitate committed student engagement with visionary leaders in the city of Chester and focuses on critically understanding and helping to ameliorate some of society’s most pressing real-world problems by requiring students to participate in civic volunteer programs throughout the academic year.

Chester Semester consists of the following key elements: 

1. Fall Enrollment in ENVS 007 | Spring Enrollment in any Chester-focused course

A. The Chester Semester Fellowship (ENVS 007) is a fall semester course consisting of a weekly class on Mondays from 4-5:30 pm facilitated by engaged faculty, staff, and community partners. This course combines meaningful readings, regular reflection sessions, and in-depth conversations with Chester community leaders. 

As an Environmental Studies exercise, the Chester Semester Fellowship course focuses on the social, economic, and political interactions of residents with the food systems, waste management and related infrastructure needs of Chester city. As a Black Studies offering, the course and internship studies the challenges and contributions of Black Chesterites in relation to historic white privilege within Delaware County and the Philadelphia region. Both areas of study provide the academic backbone for enabling students to address the intersectional disadvantages and harms communities of color face in the wider society.

ENVS 007 is cross-listed with RELG 007 and eligible for credit in BLST, ENVS, ESCH, RELG. 

B. In the Spring semester, you will have the option to select one Chester-focused course from a variety of those offered across different academic departments to continue building upon your specific area of study within the context of Chester.

2. A Two-Semester Internship with a Chester-based Organization (4-5 hours/week) 

Students participating in the Chester Semester program are also paired with a community mentor and hold a yearlong internship with a Chester-based organization. 

3. Transcript Notation 

Students who successfully complete the Chester Semester program receive a notation on their transcript. This denotes a student's commitment to learning from and with our partners in the City of Chester. 

For more information or questions, please contact Ashley Henry at ahenry1@swarthmore.edu.

Chester Semester Participants & Partners 

Spring 2022

Zoha Ashraf '24 - Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL)
Grace Hegland '24 - Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL)
Harry Hou '25 - Chester Eastside, Inc.
Ava Hull '25 - African Diaspora Earthcare Coalition
Zahara Martinez '23 - Chester Education Foundation
Bite Qiu '24 - Yes We Can Achievement and Cultural Center
Isabel Romea '24 - Chester Community Charter School
Martin Tomlinson '23 - Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL)
Sidhika Tripathee '22 - African Diaspora Earthcare Coalition
Andres Villalba '25 - Chester Eastside, Inc.
Jeffrey Zhang '25 - Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRCQL)

Chester Semester Contacts

Mark Wallace

Mark Wallace

Professor of Religion, James Hormel Professor of Social Justice
Pearson 216
Ashley Henry

Ashley Henry

Program Manager
Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility
Lang Center 116