Salisbury University students on campus


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 the fall of 2007, the program changed to a one-year program.

In the fall of 2014, the program was re-developed to include curricular enhancements and was changed to a three semester program under the leadership of Dr. Sarah Surak and Dr. Sandy Pope (PACE Co-Dirctors). In the fall of 2019, Prof. Ryan Weaver was installed as the Coordinator of the Presidential Citizen Scholars Program to empower the on-going civic scholarship and community-minded passion of Salisbury University's students, guiding the Scholars to engage relevant issues and urgent needs in the surrounding community.

Prospective students and community members can reach out to Prof. Ryan Weaver: