The Hawks' Herald

The final water dispenser that students built is pictured here in Anconcito, Ecuador.

We Are Civic Scholars

April 11, 2019

We Are… Civic Scholars

Juan Siliezar

December 6, 2018

Roger Williams University’s (RWU) Civic Scholars is a campaign kicked off in 2016 with the support of former President, the late Donald Farish, to support current students in community-engaged work. RWU Civic Scholars is committed to providing every student an opportunity that empowers them to put their knowledge and skills to work solving real-world problems and creating meaningful change with community partners. Here at RWU, every student is a Civic Scholar.The Roger Williams University website states, “Every day on campus and in the broader community, Roger Williams University’s own “lively experiment” is in developing lifelong learners who work to improve society.”I found this to be true entering RWU as a freshman in the Fall of 1995. Driving my Honda Civic to Bristol from a small Connecticut town as an average high school student ready to major in Communications, take a roster spot on the volleyball team and get involved in an over-abundance of extra- curricular activities. Over my four-years at RWU, the faculty and staff supported my creativity, welcomed my outside-the-box thinking and encouraged me to make a positive impact in the world.Fast-forward 18 years later, as a Board of Alumni member, it is no surprise to witness RWU continuing to embody the same values, experiences and commitment to the students and community. The Civic Scholars program has been vital in this continued progress for RWU.Civic Scholars is every RWU student who believes in the positive impact of community-engaged work that goes beyond the classroom. RWU partners with non-profits, municipalities, and many other organization’s in our backyard and around the globe to define projects and activities that solve real world problems and meet the expressed needs of the community.Over the past three years, there has been a campaign for Civic Scholars to raise a target $3.3 million to fund the various projects and related expenses. The campaign continues to be vital in fulfilling RWU’s mission as a private university with a public purpose.The goal of RWU has been simple: Aim to provide every student with an opportunity to participate in one or more of these projects as part of their overall college experience. This goes beyond traditional learning in classrooms. Being a Civic Scholar means hands-on, team-building experiences and leading each student to hone important skills for work and life and discover a heart of service.I hope you will join me to continue in the “lively experiment” developing into “lifelong learners” to “improve society.” I encourage you to share your story with the RWU Community and embrace your powerful impact as an RWU Civic Scholar.

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University
community partnerships center