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As Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) strives to discover and disseminate knowledge through research and teaching, it also shares a greater vision to cultivate global citizens who are inspired and equipped to tackle complex social issues. Learning is not confined to classrooms and laboratories; rather, the institution continuously asks: how do we apply education in the real world, both in service to individuals as well as to society at large?

WUSTL provides comprehensive infrastructure to support ongoing engagement. The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (the Institute), is the nexus to promote engagement and collaboration. The Institute operates two civic leadership programs. The Goldman Fellows Program provides training and stipends for ten students to intern with St. Louis nonprofits. The Civic Scholars Program enables juniors to undertake two years of coursework and complete a summer civic project of their own design. For faculty, the Institute provides resources for community-based teaching and learning, such as training, community partnership development, and competitive grants.  Additionally, the Institute leads student service programs, advises groups and trips, advises WUSTL’s philanthropic partnerships, and offers a database and newsletter for nonprofits requesting volunteers and interns. It also serves the wider university through staff teams wholly dedicated to facilitating reciprocal community partnerships for students, staff, and faculty, as well as researching and evaluating civic and community engagement efforts across the entire university.

Many other entities at Washington University contribute to the institutionalized culture of civic and community engagement on campus, including Government and Community Relations, Student Involvement and Leadership, campus ministries, Campus Y, Center for Experiential Learning, pro bono law clinics and the architecture community design studio. Washington University aims for our graduates to embrace an ethic of civic mindedness throughout life, which will have a positive ripple effect in communities wherever they may be.