The Citizen Scholar Engagement (CSE) initiative at Virginia Tech encourages graduate students to create a mutually beneficial partnership with the community by utilizing their research and academic skills to solve real-world problems. The Citizen Scholar Engagement initiative also demonstrates that graduate students are not only dedicated researchers and scholars but also engaged citizens with a special skill-set that is essential to the functioning of society.
Citizen Scholar Seminar (GRAD 5204)
Leaders in academia and business communities have recently challenged colleges and universities to embrace change in order to ensure the viability of the higher education enterprise. Rather than settle for the status quo and witness a probable decline in sustainability, most argue that it is time to create new models and methods for educating the citizens of the 21st century, aiding them in assuming the role of leaders of tomorrow. This seminar has been developed as an integral part of the Graduate School's Transformative Graduate Education (TGE) initiative. The seminar focuses on understanding the value of being a citizen scholar, elucidating the connection between scholarship and citizenship in contemporary global society, and encouraging engagement in public scholarship in service to the community, the state, the nation, and the world.
Citizen Scholar Recognition
The Citizen Scholar recognition ceremony is designed to encourage graduate students to think creatively about how their research can be harnessed to benefit the needs of the community. In the Citizen Scholar project, graduate students first conceptualize how their research can be utilized to create a successful partnership with the community. This plan is created with the guidance of the student's advisor, relevant community members, and the citizen scholar project leader. Each plan requires at least 16 hours of community involvement and must be related to the student's research. Upon acceptance of the plan, students begin implementation of the project. After successfully completing the project students are presented with the Citizen Scholar recognition certificate and letter. For more information on the specific requirements for the award, visit the program page, which includes links to on- and off-campus resources.