Applications are open for the 2019-20 Morse Scholars program

Morse Scholars at the state capitol

For students interested in politics, policymaking, social justice, and activism, the Wayne Morse Scholars program might just be a great fit.

Applications are now available for the 2019-20 academic year, with a deadline of May 29. In the past, the application period was in the fall.

“We’re excited to make this change so scholars can engage with the programming from the very beginning of the school year,” said Thea Chroman, assistant director of the Wayne Morse Center.

The Wayne Morse Scholars program is a co-curricular experience for UO undergrads from diverse backgrounds and majors, providing skills building, service learning, and leadership training opportunities to students interested in public affairs and community engagement. It offers students a front-row seat to democratic governance and trains future leaders to reach beyond partisan conflicts to encourage solutions to public problems, from immigration and climate change to the future of public education.

The Wayne Morse Scholars program has been an intellectual home for student leaders from more than thirty different majors since it was founded six years ago. The approximately 25-30 students accepted into the program each year make a two-year or more commitment, creating a community that spans cohorts.

During their first year, scholars participate in Democratic Dilemmas, a course which challenges them to ask and answer questions about society’s thorniest problems, with Philip H. Knight Professor of Social Science and Wayne Morse Center Senior Faculty Fellow Dan Tichenor. All scholars have monthly lunch discussions, workshops, and events featuring dialogue with elected officials, public intellectuals, movement leaders, UO faculty, and business innovators. The program culminates with a course titled Democracy in Practice, which helps Scholars take stock of what they have learned in the field and to evaluate the worlds of political theory and practice.

Each student is required to complete a practicum. Their placements range from grassroots advocacy organizations to government agencies, and from Congress and the courts to NASA and refugee support programs based in countries around the world.

All UO students who can make a two-year commitment are eligible to apply.