Student Scholars

Do you want to help solve the world’s most complex problems, but you're not sure how?

Do you ever wonder how your academic learning can prepare you to create the change you want to see in the world? This is exactly what the Student Scholar program offers you—the experience, the support, the tools, and funding to make a difference your way. When you become a Student Scholar, you can build your own unique path toward social change work that reflects your passions and interests.

The 2023-2024 Student Scholar application is open!

Learn More & Apply

What is the Student Scholar Experience?

Part of DU Grand Challenges, a university-wide initiative powered by CCESL, the Student Scholars program is for students who want to learn more about the social justice issues that matter to them, how to apply their academic learning to those issues and develop concrete skills and tools for making change in partnership with communities. They work with Community-Engaged (CE) Fellows to create and implement personal social justice action plans. They also have access to funds to implement their plan. Throughout their time, they document their journey through a critical reflection ePortfolio.

Over the course of the Student Scholar program, CE Fellows will mentor Scholars and help them integrate their academic experiences, personal interests, and community-engaged work through critical reflection. Through this process, Scholars will learn more about themselves, their communities, and how they can work together to make positive social change.

Student Scholars can partner with an existing CE Fellow's project or develop their own. Either path integrates with the Student Scholar's academic pursuits, passions, and interests.

Why become a Student Scholar?

The Student Scholars program is a 4D signature experience that enables you to deepen and apply your thinking, reflect on your interests and goals, and gain new perspectives on education and life. Through this community-engaged experience, you will grow across the four dimensions, supporting your intellectual growth, character exploration, well-being, and sense of purpose.

Application Process

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    Open to all DU students interested in learning more about and taking action on the social justice issues that matter to them and are interested in learning how to apply their academic learning to those issues to develop concrete skills and tools.

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    The next step is to share a little bit more about yourself and your interests in a short application - about 10 minutes. The questions are meant to help you begin articulating the social justice issues you might be interested in exploring and what interests you about the Student Scholars program!

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    Once we've received your application, we'll reach out to get to know you a little more to better understand what you're looking for and hoping to work on and answer any questions you may have. 

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"My experience working with Student Scholars has led me to think about issues at both a systemwide level and personal one. This is different from previous iterations of my thinking because I have been forced to think through lenses other than my own. Discussions at forums and other community events have allowed me to put faces to experiences, seeing an issue through someone else's story. My research has also allowed me to look at system wide changes and problems outside of my own personal stake."

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The 2023-2024 Student Scholar application is open!

The 2023-2024 CCESL Student Scholars application is open! Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. There is no application deadline.

Learn More & Apply

Featured Scholars

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Seraphina Loukas

Seraphina Loukas is a 4th-year undergraduate at the University of Denver. She is pursuing a Molecular Biology B.S. degree with both chemistry and psychology minors and a concentration in cognitive neuroscience. Currently, she is working on her research thesis while serving as a mentor and participating in a number of activities on and off campus. Seraphina plans to attend a post-baccalaureate research program to strengthen her graduate school application and to hone her research skills. 

Meet Seraphina
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Will Sciepko

Will Sciepko is currently a 1st year undergraduate at the University of Denver pursuing a double major in International Studies and Public Policy. He is a board member of DU Service & Change and works with students at Dr. Martin Luther King Early College as a Student Scholar to assist and facilitate their engagement in community organizing and create a safe space to improve access to mental health adjacent resources.

Meet Will
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Soffy Anderson

Soffy Anderson is an International Studies major and a Spanish, Russian, and Leadership minor at the University of Denver. Being raised in rural Cody, Wyoming has given her a strong sense of community as well as an understanding as to what it means to be an active community member. She brings this mindset to her roles as a Center for Sustainability intern and CCESL Student Scholar. Soffy hopes to continue her work in regenerative practices and hopes to be able to use it as a tool to empower and strengthen her new community.

Meet Soffy


Note: All CCESL programs, including this one, undergo an antiracist, anti-oppression review at least annually. This year, changes were made to program materials and applications based on that review.