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HOME >> KESSELMAN STUDENT FELLOWSHIPS

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KESSELMAN STUDENT FELLOWSHIPS FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF DEMOCRACY

The Kesselman Student Fellowships are being launched this year to empower teams of students to work on local community projects that advance democracy by finding solutions to connect people across differences and by removing barriers to opportunity faced by people in local communities. The fellowships are so named to honor Dr. Harvey Kesselman, president of Stockton University, long-serving board member of Engage NJ, and a staunch advocate and change-agent for the advancement of human rights across the Garden State.

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KEY DATES & DEADLINES

  • Launching

    • Feb. 25, 2023 

  • Nomination Letters From a Member of the Institution’s Executive Cabinet

    • Due March 24, 2023 

  • Student Team Applications

    • Due April 7, 2023

  • Awards Announced

    •  April 28, 2023 

  •  Three teams of Kesselman Fellows will be awarded $1,000 per team to be used to carry out your project during the 2023-2024 academic year. 

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Engage NJ promotes student action that is anchored to the principle that advancing democracy requires the development and refinement of skills and competencies to thrive in 21st century life and work. The action we must all take to protect and advance our democracy here in New Jersey must be against the polarization and marginalization of people. Instead, our actions must promote and support collective and localized efforts to remove barriers to opportunity experienced by individuals and communities across the Garden State. As students, by engaging in these collective efforts to bring about sustainable change in communities, you are also building your skillset and repertoire for your meaningful and impactful financial future.


While climate change, racism, and corruption can be overwhelming to contemplate, it is by our day-to-day demonstrations of the protection of peoples’ rights, indeed, the rights of all living things, that we shoulder our responsibilities instead of making them the burden of future generations to carry alone.

INTRODUCTION

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THE 2023-2024 ACADEMIC YEAR

Three teams of Kesselman Fellows will be awarded $1,000 per team to be used to carry out your project during the 2023-2024 academic year. Teams will be provided opportunities for professional pathway coaching, as well as a series of skills development opportunities such as consensus-building, public speaking and professional communication in multiple settings, designed to meet students’ self-identified needs. Projects do NOT need to be brand new projects and could instead represent the continuation of an existing project.

EXPECTATIONS

Teams will give 40 hours minimum per team member across the 2023-2024 year, as follows:

  • Commit to working consistently as a team and with community partners on the goals of the project

  • Attend a 90-minute introductory meeting including all fellows and Engage NJ team

  • Engage in a minimum of 6 hours of professional development, based on agreed need

  • Meet for 30 minutes every 2 months to discuss both progress and obstacles

  • Present your project’s story – development, process, progress, & results to date – at the Engage NJ annual THRIVE Student Conference (February 2024)

  • Add the title of Engage NJ Kesselman Fellow to your LinkedIn profile, bio, and email signature

  • Agree to meet, if time allows, with media and/or funders interested in the program

  • Produce a 2-min video with our team’s IT support

  • Commit to only use the team’s $1,000 funds for the purposes of advancing the goals of the project, including for transportation, IT and office supplies, meeting space, and meeting food - including by providing receipts for expenses

Learn More

OPTIONAL SECOND YEAR: 2024 - 2025

Teams will also have the opportunity to apply for a second year (2024 – 2025) to further advance their project’s objectives. Up to three teams of Kesselman Fellows will be awarded a further $1,000 per team to be used to carry out your project. In addition, Kesselman Fellows will be connected with other student fellows from across the nation through Engage NJ’s national network of higher education civic engagement coalitions.

EXPECTATIONS

Teams will give 40 hours minimum per team member across the second year, as follows:

  •  Commit to working consistently as a team and with community partners on the goals of the project

  • Attend a 90-minute introductory meeting including all fellows and Engage NJ team

  • Engage in a minimum of 6 hours of professional development, based on agreed need

  • Present your project’s story – development, process, progress, & results – at the Engage NJ annual THRIVE Student Conference in February 2025

  • Agree to meet, if time allows, with media and/or funders interested in the program

  • Produce a culminating 5-min video telling the story of 2 years’ project, with our team’s IT support

  • Commit only to use the team’s $1,000 funds for the purposes of advancing the goals of the project, including for transportation, IT and office supplies, meeting space, and meeting food

OPTIONAL EXTRAS
  • Showcase your work at a virtual convening of fellows from across the nation’s civic engagement coalitions - see directly below (optional)

  • Be connected with fellows’ nationwide focusing on similar project themes, such as climate change or food insecurity (optional)

  • Receive project-related feedback and guidance from experts in that field (optional)

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CIVIC ENGAGEMENT COALITIONS

  • Fellows from across the nation’s civic engagement coalitions include:

  •  Transform Mid-Atlantic’s Civic Fellowships

  • Partners for Campus Community Engagement’s Civic Innovation Scholarships

  • Lead California’s Student Community Engagement Fellowships

  • North Carolina Campus Engagement’s Student Dialogue Ambassadors

  • Washington Campus Coalition for the Public Good’s Student Civic Leaders Initiative
     

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