Public Affairs and Civic Engagement

Presidential Citizen Scholar Program

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Presidential Citizen Scholars

Presidential Citizen Scholar Program

Application Form.doc


Scholars Comments

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The Presidential Citizen Scholar Program is multi-faceted, civic engagement experience that prepares students to become community leaders now and in the future. The program is by Presidential invitation only. Students who are invited to apply submit their application to PACE for review.

The Scholars program offers students of all majors and levels of experience opportunities to become engaged in the political life of the community and to develop habits of democratic citizenship.  Students who complete the requirements of this program receive a certificate and distinctive recognition as "Presidential Citizen Scholars."

This program builds on SU's mission statement "to empower students with knowledge, skills, and core values that contribute to lifelong learning and active citizenship in a democratic society."

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Presidential Citizen Scholars Class of 2015

Maya Alexander
Anuradha Balaggan
Hussain Choudhary
Shelby Farrell
Julia Morrison
Karina Norwood
Katherine Potvin
Emily Rittenour
Robert Stancil
Jana Wallen


In the summer of 2004, Dr. Harry Basehart and Dr. Francis Kane (PACE Co-Directors) were co-recipients of the Wilson H. Elkins Professorship. Each year this prestigious award is given by the University System of Maryland to four USM faculty members, based on their professional qualifications and the projects they are developing. Funds from this award were used to develop a pilot version of the Presidential Citizen Scholar Program. This program built on PACE's mission to address student apathy and cynicism about politics by partnering with regional and state civic organizations to provide experiences of what authentic politics can be and to offer students hands-on learning opportunities in government. 

The pilot program (2004 - 2005) was a multi-faceted, year-long civic engagement experience that prepared students to become future community leaders. It offered students of all majors and levels of experience opportunities to become engaged in the political life of the community and to develop habits of citizenship. Students who completed the requirements of this program received a certificate and distinctive recognition as "Presidential Citizen Scholars".

In the summer of 2005, Dr. Basehart and Dr. Kane were awarded the Wilson H. Elkins Professorship for a second year for their work with the Presidential Citizen Scholar Program. These funds were used to fund the first year of the new two-year program (2005-2007). In thefall of 2007, the program changed to a one-year program

In the fall of 2014, the program was re-developed and moderinized to include innovative curricular enhancements and was changed to a three semester program. 

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