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Sharpe Community Scholars

Our Program

The Sharpe Community Scholars Program is a living-learning community of first-year students interested in community enagement, social justice, and collaborative research. Sharpe strives to support the development of select students through the integration of academic studies, research and community engagement.  Sharpe supports faculty in teaching community engaged courses across all levels of the curriculum, with added support for courses and programming for first-year students in a living-learning community.

Program Director Dr. Monica Griffin instructing students during a Participatory Action Research Meeting

 Our Values
  • We are committed to student development and academic rigor through our first-year experience —the Sharpe Living-Learning Community in Spotswood Hall.
  • We build students’ capacity to conduct ethical and responsive, participatory action research –through course work and training in mixed methodologies for working with and within communities.  
  • We believe that knowledge is embodied in the everyday experiences of all human beings in many forms of community, and that the residents of our local neighborhoods and surrounding communities continually produce knowledge that is central to our research activity.
  • We uphold local knowledge as essential in the formation of the participatory action research process and the direction that it takes.
  • We value self-reflection that cultivates awareness of ourselves as scholars who are members of the local community and not set apart from it.
  • First-year Sharpe Community Scholars share their very own Living-Learning Community in Spotswood Hall.  Yearlong special interest programming gives Sharpe scholars the opportunity to work closely with faculty, community partners, campus professionals, and peer mentors in forming plans toward community-based research.
  • Sharpe Scholars, both those who are in the Living-Learning Community and those enrolled in the Sharpe Mapping Project course, 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. 

Sharpe Scholars presenting their story quilt squares after participating in the Communal Quilt Project

Our Mission

In collaboration with W&M faculty, the Sharpe Program advances community-based research and teaching in courses with integrated, community partnering. Engaged scholarship funds support faculty in fulfilling community-based teaching and research goals, while summer grants offer students the opportunity to explore their training and expand their capacity for community-based research by connecting meaningfully with others in critical inquiry and social action outside of classes.

{{youtube:medium:center|sNVpveg-n4M, Learn more about the program from director Dr. Monica Griffin and program coordinator Maxwell Cloe}}