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 Friday, May 24th, 2024
  • 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 2024/2025 academic year


Apply to the Knapp Fellowship

Previous Knapp Fellows

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Meet Our 2023-24 Knapp Fellows


Blake Coleman

Blake Coleman Headshot

Blake Coleman is a junior in Public Health with a pre-medical concentration at the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Project Title: Educational Enrichment: Promoting Academic Achievement Among Children Suffering from Homelessness in Washington, DC Post COVID-19

Project Description: The proposed project is an educational enrichment program for young, primarily black children experiencing extreme poverty and homelessness in Washington, DC. The program would meet monthly and would offer additional academic support to children, primarily in the subjects of math and reading. Due to online learning during COVID-19, many homeless children missed out on years of schooling and learning due to a lack of access to the internet or electronic devices.

This project aims to meet these students where they are and help propel them to where they should be for their age level. The program would be directed at younger children whose foundational learning skills were severely affected by online learning and who have fallen significantly behind in reading and math for their age group.

Faculty Advisor: Karen A. McDonnell, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Prevention and Community Health at Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University

Community Partner: Community of Hope


Jessica Hinshaw

Jessica Hinshaw Headshot

Jessica Hinshaw is a doctoral student in the Human and Organizational Learning Ed.D. Program, Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Project Title: Supporting Community Health Centers Build Climate Resilience

Project Description: Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs, also known as community health centers) are uniquely positioned to address climate change challenges and build community resilience.

Unfortunately, both research and anecdotal reports from health centers show that they are unprepared and need more learning materials and learning/networking initiatives to address climate change.

To respond to these needs and desires, this community-engaged research project will,

  1. Form a Community Advisory Committee consisting of FQHC staff and community members
  2. Conduct qualitative case study research to identify and understand how FQHCs carry out climate change mitigation and resilience practices
  3. Create a compendium of resources and opportunities for FQHCs to dialogue, learn, and collaborate with one another on climate change issues

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Maria Cseh, Associate Professor, Human and Organizational Learning, Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Community Partners: The National Association of Community Health Centers and various local community health centers



Simone Sawyer

Simone Sawyer Headshot

Simone Sawyer is a Social and Behavioral Sciences doctoral student at the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Project Title: A Pilot to Increase Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Supports in DC Public High Schools: Utilizing a Method for Program Adaptation through Community Engagement (M-PACE) Framework

Project Description: This project aims to increase access to youth peer mental health support for DC high school youth. The national youth mental health crisis is alarming, and DC high school students are feeling its impact. DC youth want and need support and also want to be part of finding solutions to this crisis.

Utilizing the M-PACE framework, this project will work with key stakeholders to identify an appropriate and feasible evidence-based peer-to-peer mental health curriculum and train 8 DC high school students at two schools in the evidence-based peer-to-peer mental health curriculum.

The students will then deliver the training in their schools to at least 50 other youth and conduct pre and post-test surveys as well as focus groups to assess the training effectiveness and fit for their student population. Results will be summarized and submitted to key stakeholder groups that have the influence and power to use these findings to expand youth peer mental health supports in DC high schools.

Faculty Advisor: Olga Acosta Price, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health

Community Partner: The Young Women's Project, Our Minds Matter, Black Swan Academy