Our Program Mission

The Sharpe Community Scholars Program strives to support the development of select first-year students through the integration of academic studies, research and community engagement.

The Sharpe Community Scholars Program provides first-year students with an introduction to research and activism on campus. Sharpe Scholars integrate academic studies with community engagement to make a positive impact on campus and around the world.

Each year the program selects between 60 and 75 applicants to enroll in courses that are specifically designed to prepare students for research and critical thinking within the community. Sharpe Scholars live together in Spotswood Hall (which is designated especially for the program) and work closely with faculty and peer mentors throughout the year.

After their first year, all Sharpe Scholars are eligible to apply for Sharpe summer research funding. This grant provides students with a $3000 stipend to conduct a community-based research project of their own design. These competitive grants are restricted to Sharpe Scholars and may be used in the U.S. or abroad. 

Who are Sharpe Community Scholars?

Sharpe Scholars have wide-ranging academic interests and participate in all aspects of campus life, and they share a common desire to engage in the world around them as part of their liberal education. Scholars are selected by application for their demonstrated leadership potential, community involvement, and desire to explore important public questions and issues.

First-year students who are selected as Sharpe Community Scholars:

  • Learn to apply theories and concepts introduced in the classroom to real world concerns
  • Develop leadership, problem solving, public communication and project planning skills
  • Gain experience with different forms of civic participation, including direct service, community outreach and advocacy, and community-based research
  • Learn to consider the processes by which public issues are defined, debated, and addressed
  • Work with others to promote social change and understand community needs
  • Foster valuable connections with faculty members and peers based on shared interests and experiences