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Swarthmore Civic Scholars

Meet the inaugural cohort of Swarthmore Civic Scholars! Clockwise from top left: Shamsa Belgrave '26, Pedro Cruz '25, Happy Hadia Ingabire '26, Clara Ximena Villalba '26, Carolin Obispo '26, and Lena Massengale '25.

Linking academics with action empowers students to tap into the rich body of knowledge, experience, and passion that fuels them, while providing communities with students trained to contribute to their social change efforts. We call this "Engaged Scholarship." The Civic Scholar program seeks to open new pathways for communities and campus to engage with each other, enhance networks (social capital) of students and community members beyond Swarthmore College, and increase capacity of both students and communities to achieve their civic and social responsibility goals. To that end, this program provides students with mentoring, education, training, and funding over multiple years. Swarthmore Civic Scholars is a program of the Lang Center and the Richard Rubin Mentoring Program. 

Learning Goals

  • Increase understanding of community assets and stakeholders
  • Enhance capability for perspective taking, integration of knowledge and practice, and systems thinking 

Program Benefits

  • Funding for two summer experiences such as an internship, project, or research fellowship ($6000 for each summer). When a first year student is admitted to the Civic Scholar program, they may be eligible for program benefits into their junior year.
  • Educational enhancement funding for two academic years ($1500 each year). Note: This funding is intended to serve as a resource for educational expenses outside the College's Cost of Attendance. Normal educational expenses are considered as part of the College's need-based financial aid program.
  • Mentoring from within Swarthmore College community, including alumni
  • Cohort building


Year 1

  • Participate in cohort gatherings in fall and spring
  • Participate in poster design workshop and poster presentation in fall  
  • Complete Impact Gaps Analysis in fall
  • Participate in Jumpstart (or asynchronous training) in winter
  • Successfully complete PEAC 009 and Lang Center grantee retreat in spring
  • Conduct a full time internship, research fellowship, or project in summer 

Year 2

  • Enroll in an Engaged Scholarship (or other relevant credit-bearing course) for both fall and spring
  • Participate in cohort gatherings in fall and spring
  • Successfully complete the Systems Thinking for Social Change workshop series in fall
  • Participate in Jumpstart (or asynchronous training) in winter
  • Attend cohort conference in spring
  • Conduct a full time internship, research fellowship, or project in summer 

Selection Criteria

  • First generation and/or low income first year or sophomore student
  • Demonstrated commitment to social change or civic action
  • Self awareness and critical reflection
  • Commitment to Engaged Scholarship
  • Enrollment in PEAC 009 in spring of first year in the Civic Scholar program
  • Good standing at the College

Not sure if you want to apply?

  • Contact Jen Magee (jmagee1) or Karen Henry (khenry1) for one-on-one advising. We are happy to meet with you!


  • We support all Swarthmore students, regardless of political affiliations or views, age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. 
  • If you are an international student (on an F1 or J1 visa) considering opportunities to work off campus (in either a paid or unpaid position), please contact Jennifer Marks-Gold before you accept any positions to ensure you maintain your legal status. 
  • Because Civic Scholars are required to complete PEAC 009 during the spring of their first year in the program, study abroad is not possible during that same semester.
  • This grant is not in service of Swarthmore College and does not create an employment relationship between the student(s) and Swarthmore College.

Contact Person

Jen Magee

Director, Program Development, Implementation, & Assessment

Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility

Peace & Conflict Studies


  1. Phone: (610) 328-7320
  2. Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility 204

Dr. Magee provides leadership, implementation, and assessment of key programs of the Center that fund the work of social responsibility, including the Engaged Scholarship Research Grant program for faculty and for students: Lang Opportunity Scholarship Program, Lang Social Impact Fellowship, Pilot Project Grant Program, Project Pericles Fund of Swarthmore College, and Davis Projects for Peace. Office hours by appointment.