Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning


“Our hope is that this award will help students make a difference. Since arriving at GW, we have been struck by our students’ passion for changing the world and by the imaginative and intellectually serious way in which they harness that passion by developing concrete, innovative projects.”

— President Emeritus Stephen Knapp

Steven and Diane Robinson Knapp established the Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning at The George Washington University to recognize, reward, and facilitate creative public service and academic engagement. Selected undergraduate or graduate students design and implement entrepreneurial service-learning projects that make a significant difference in the lives of others. Selected Knapp Fellows work with the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service and a faculty member advisor to implement projects in collaboration with other students and/or community partners. Fellowship projects are conducted over the course of an academic year (beginning in summer or fall to no later than June 30th of the following year). One or more Knapp

Fellowship awards, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 are distributed annually.

Knapp Fellowship projects should integrate scholarly work in the student’s discipline with the design and implementation of the service project. Projects should also involve collaboration with a local community organization or community members, and be heavily informed by their knowledge and experience. These projects are substantial and rely on Fellows having prior experience working with their community partner and/or the social issue. Knapp Fellows also receive professional development opportunities, preparing them to work with community partners and/or faculty members who are subject experts. Additionally, faculty advisors may receive funding for their role as advisors to selected Fellow(s).

Deadlines and Dates to Remember

GW undergraduate and graduate students, working individually or in teams, are encouraged to apply.

  • Step 1: Contact Wendy Wagner for an initial advising meeting at [email protected] 
  • Step 2: Submit a proposal by Monday, May 24th, 2022
  • Step 3: Finalists are contacted and prepare presentations to a review panel
  • Step 4: Selected Knapp Fellows implement their scholarly work and community project in the 2022/2023 academic year


Apply to the Knapp Fellowship

Previous Knapp Fellows

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Current Knapp Fellows

Rayaan Ahmed

2021-2022 Knapp Fellow recipient Rayaan Ahmed is creating a bridge between the Lutheran Social Service (LSS) Imhotep Freedom School in Minnesota and the Al-Aqsa after school program, a similar school program in Mogadishu, Somalia. The Imhotep Freedom School built a year-round youth center dedicated to helping encourage young people to look beyond themselves to make a difference in their communities. Over the course of the upcoming year, she plans to work with students in this center to deepen their understanding of how community service can fundamentally shape the future of their communities.


Youth Air Quality Team

2021-2022 Knapp Fellow recipients Catherine O'Donnell, Elizabeth Mason, Perrin Krisko are all focusing on Global Health in the Milken School of Public Health. The project involves young community members in air quality monitoring activities in order to bring about locally-relevant community mapping of air pollution and sustainable reform to environmental determinants of health in Ward 1 of Washington D.C. For the upcoming year, they are interested in ways to increase the accessibility of air quality monitoring, with the hopes of making improvements to impact future generations.