Press Release

Pace University Receives $25,000 Teagle Foundation Grant to Establish Fellowship Program

April 15, 2024

The initiative aims to cultivate a genuine interest and deep appreciation for public service among Pace undergraduate students.

Pace University was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation to establish an undergraduate fellowship to create the next generation of leaders working on the governance of New York City waterways.

The funds are from The Teagle Foundation’s Education for American Civic Life initiative and will provide support for faculty in the development of an undergraduate fellowship program, “The City and the Sea: A New York City Fellowship in Civics and Public Service.” The fellowship will be a combination of two courses and an internship experience.

In partnership with the Helene T. and Grant M. Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences departments of Public Administration and Political Science, and the Center for Community Action and Research, the program will connect students with New York City public offices and community organizations and develop their understanding of the city around them, while engaging them through texts, history, and ideas.

“We are proud of Pace's rich history of social responsibility, civic engagement, and community,” said Pace University President Marvin Krislov. "The incredible program created from the Teagle Foundation Grant will further support our students and their work on civic leadership and engagement, government and governance, the politics and policies of New York City, and leadership skills and career tools."

The fellowship program aims to provide students with hands-on experience in civic leadership and engagement. In fact, students will gain valuable knowledge of municipal government, governance, and the politics and policy of the city. Additionally, the program will equip students with essential leadership skills and practical career tools. As a result, it will allow students to develop a deep sense of place in the Lower Manhattan context of Pace University’s campus, as it relates to the water and the waterfront environment.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to learn from The Teagle Foundation’s mission and work to elevate the civic objectives of liberal arts education,” said Rebecca Tekula, PhD, executive director of Pace’s Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Professor and chair of Public Administration. “This new fellowship will equip our students to think deeply about difficult issues in our community while empowering them to explore a civically engaged life and a public service path.”

Pace University will draw upon its strong connections with neighborhood organizations and agencies, as well as its partnerships with key stakeholders along New York Harbor, to offer a comprehensive program. Furthermore, the fellowship program will conclude with a full-time summer funded fellowship placement working in a government agency or partner organization that is working on issues related to the water and the waterfront.

The supported planning year will allow Pace faculty to develop the framework of the program and engage students in discussions surrounding the concept of civic engagement within their local community. The initiative is led by Professor Tekula Ph.D., executive director of the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and chair of Public Administration; director of the International Disarmament Institute and professor of Political Science, Matthew Bolton Ph.D., professor of Public Administration; Gina Scutelnicu-Todoran, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of Public Administration, Ric Kolenda Ph.D., director of the Center for Community Action and Research, Heather Novak, MPA, and communications and events manager of the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Adrian Rivero.

“Pace University’s downtown campus is located on an island in an archipelago at the nexus between a great river and the Atlantic Ocean,” said Professor Bolton. “At this time of rising seas, civic education must take seriously the fact that our politics are shaped by and shape the waters that surround us.”

“Receiving this grant from the Teagle Foundation is a great honor but also an attestation of Pace University's commitment to educating the next generation of public service leaders,” said Professor Scutelnicu-Todoran. “The grant will allow our students to be part of a fellowship program in civic engagement and leadership through a rather unique educational experience that integrates competencies in liberal arts and professional degrees with experiential learning opportunities. I am extremely fortunate to be part of this transformative learning opportunity for our students and faculty members.”

This program seeks to foster an interest in and appreciation for public service, at the local level where the decisions made can significantly impact their individual lives. These efforts will be integrated with various initiatives at Pace University to enhance strategies for student success and experiential learning. These initiatives are implemented by various Pace departments implement within broader systems of support and a commitment to the liberal arts.

About Pace University

Since 1906, Pace University has been transforming the lives of its diverse students—academically, professionally, and socioeconomically. With campuses in New York City and Westchester County, Pace offers bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs to 13,600 students in its College of Health Professions, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Lubin School of Business, Sands College of Performing Arts, School of Education, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

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