Gateway begins Global Citizen Scholars Program

Alex Weidnehof , Junior News Editor

The Allegheny Gateway will begin the Global Citizen Scholars Program, a new initiative designed for rising sophomores, during the fall 2016 semester. The program is being led by Dave Roncolato, director of Civic Engagement and professor of community and justice studies, and Laura Reeck, associate professor of French and chair of international studies. It will be accepting applications for its first class through Monday, March 7.

Reeck said the program is expected to recruit a first group of 12 and 15 students, who will study broad topics in context.

“The basic goal of the program is to explore the interface between three currently very important areas in higher education; that is, civic engagement, global education and U.S. diversity,” Reeck said. “So instead of examining questions in those areas separately, our goal is to begin looking at questions and themes that bring all three of those areas together.”

Roncolato said the interface between the program’s three main areas of focus is unique to the program.

We expect those who are involved in this to be positive change agents in the world.

— Dave Roncolato

“Often on campus, these three very important movements operate in isolation of each other,” Roncolato said.

Students are expected to take a one-credit course for six semesters, co-taught by Reeck and Roncolato. Reeck said the course will work with the entire group, but the program also includes small group readings, discussions and individual work.

Reeck also said the program expects students to attend a workshop related to social justice or diversity.

Roncolato said the first group will take a “weekend plunge experience,” potentially visiting Vive La Casa, a refugee resettlement program in Buffalo, New York.

According to the program’s application, students are expected to take two semesters of a non-English language at Allegheny. Additionally, students will get the opportunity to do a job shadow in a field of their interest.

Roncolato said students will be required to either study abroad or participate in an Experiential Learning Seminar offered by the Gateway. Reeck said the college will provide a stipend to students for study abroad experiences.

Reeck said the program will end with a signature project, separate from the senior comprehensive project, during the students’ senior years. The project requires students to synthesize their knowledge regarding U.S. diversity, civic engagement, and global learning.

Roncolato said he hopes the program gives students the necessary skills to make significant changes after graduation.

“We expect those who are involved in this to be positive change agents in the world,” Roncolato said.

Reeck said the program’s goal is to mold students who can bring knowledge about the interface between civic engagement, global education and U.S. diversity into the future.

“All of this also connects to thinking beyond Allegheny and being prepared for whatever studies, or experience, or job that will come after Allegheny,” Reeck said.