Spencer Citizens are passionate about service and quickly get involved in the local community and in global understanding. Multi-cultural experiences and travel opportunities enable participants to become agents of change, understanding that at the heart of leadership is service to others. Students take academic course work related to community change and engage in many hands-on projects serving the campus and local communities through the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement.
Why become a Spencer Citizen? You understand the importance of your contribution to the welfare of your community and want to make a difference. You enjoy seeing the world from multiple perspectives and appreciate the diversity that exists at home and abroad. This may propel you to travel within and beyond the borders of the United States or deep within your own community.
Who may apply? All students in the Residential College for Women may apply to be a Spencer Citizen. Commitment to making a difference is the only requirement.
Will I take classes as a Spencer Citizen? In addition to your academic schedule you will also take:
- MBC 101: Orientation to College and to the Spencer Citizens Experience
- CE 102: The Reflective Self in Community
- Philosophy 140: Community and Service Learning (optional) or
- Sociology 282: Community Service and Society (optional)
Spencer Citizens are encouraged to complete a minor in Leadership Studies (Community and Social Change emphasis) and pursue the Semester of Service in their sophomore year. We also recommend taking foreign language classes to fully immerse yourself in cultures that enrich your perspective and understanding of how to make change locally and internationally.
What will I be participating in outside of class? You will engage in service throughout the year. You will have the opportunity to get involved with the Spencer Center and attend events such as Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and International Cafes. You will also participate in a task force addressing a local or international issue.
Where will I live? You will either live in Spencer or Woodson residence halls where you will meet other first year students who are Spencer Citizens. Commuter students are welcome.
Meet the Staff: Dr. Steve Grande is Director of Civic Engagement and Heather Ward serves as Director of International Programs. They will help you plan your participation through the Spencer Center.
Beyond the First Year. After your first year Spencer Citizens have the opportunity to become a Citizen Fellow. Citizen Fellows inspire the next generation of Mary Baldwin changemakers by helping students get involved and make lasting change in the community.
As a freshman, my connection to the Spencer Center provided me with the relationships, experiences, and challenges that have helped me become a conscious student. I thoroughly appreciate the gateway’s continued communication and support of my passions for my education, this campus, and the Staunton community.