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“While we’re living through pandemics, living in historic times, what matters next is how we will intervene.” 

Diana Aguilera, a graduate student studying Public Policy, is one of the two 2020 Knapp Fellow winners. In addition to being a Knapp Fellow, Diana is a recipient of the 2020 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI U) and an awardee of the Clinton Foundation’s COVID-19 Student Action Fund. By putting her Knapp Fellowship into a conversation with her other ongoing initiatives, Diana demonstrates her commitment to advance discussions that confront healthcare barriers before and during COVID-19. ...continue reading "Diana Aguilera, a 2020 Knapp Fellow Winner, discusses her project, Latino Immigrants and Telemedicine Approaches, and her ongoing civic engagement"

"After receiving more than 1,400 applications for the COVID-19 Student Action Fund, CGI U is pleased to announce the 38 recipients of this award, representing 12 countries and 29 institutions of higher learning." ...continue reading "Student recipients of the Clinton Foundation’s COVID-19 Student Action Fund"

The Nashman Prize for Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is awarded annually at the GW Research Showcase. CBPR is an approach to research that involves community organizations and/or residents in the research process, with the aim of making a positive, sustainable  contribution to the community. We are happy to announce the winners for 2020.

...continue reading "Winners Announced for the 2020 Nashman Prize for CBPR"

““The Climb Is Our Story” will provide college and career readiness skills to School Without Walls high school students who participate in the Multicultural Student Services Center student internship program.  GW students will facilitate college and career readiness workshops with the assistance of the MSSC from September 2019 - May 2020.” For more information about The Climb is Our Story, please click here.  ...continue reading "Gabi Bello Discusses “The Climb is Our Story,” Zaniya Lewis’ 2019-2020 Knapp Fellowship, and her Civic Engagement"

We are so proud of GW Alumni and Knapp Fellow Chloe King who has been named a 2020 Marshall Scholar, making her just the fourth GW alumni to receive the scholarship.  

King, who is currently in Indonesia for a Fulbright scholarship research project, will be able to pursue two master’s degrees at two different universities in the United Kingdom over a two-year period at no cost. You can read more about her future plans here 

While at GW, King was a recipient of the Knapp Fellowship. Read more about Chloe's work as a Knapp Fellow here here. We hope you'll consider applying for a Knapp Fellowship as well.  

This is a great opportunity for students and this year six GW students were selected to the program.

CGI U hosts an annual student meeting at different universities around the world to bring together students and national youth organizations to work together and find solutions to global issues.

Link here for a recent GW Today article, highlighting all six selected students.

Zaniya Lewis is the Founder/CEO and Executive Directior of #YesSheCanCampaign, as well as a writer, activist, speaker, designer, and entrepreneur.  Zaniya is a senior at GWU majoring in Political Science and minoring in Human Services and Social Justice. Zaniya is also GWU's 2019-2020 Knapp Fellow. 

The Climb Is Our Story is a "program implemented by YesSheCanCampaign and The Multicultural Student Services Center at GWU in partnership with School Without Walls."

  • To learn more about the Zaniya's  Knapp Fellowship, please click here to read her interview with Community-Engaged Scholar Emebte Atanaw.
  • For more information about The Climb is Our Story, please click here to visit Zaniya's website or here for a description.

Recently, Zaniya published an article in seventeen magazine talking about what inspired her to found  and grow YesSheCanCampaign. In 2016, when Zaniya was 18, she "founded a national 501(c)(3) youth-led organization called YesSheCanCampaign that empowers girls overcoming adversity while striving to complete their education."

In her article, Zaniya notes that YesSheCanCampaign began as an Instagram account. Within “4 months,” Zaniya “started to receive emails from people across the country asking about how to get involved with her mission.” 

Since founding YesSheCanCampaign, members have “volunteered 10,000+ hours, reached 2,000+ students, won five national awards and one national award. In July 2019,” YesSheCanCampaign “became a Princess Diana Award 2019 Holder, which is the largest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts.” 

Zaniya's article includes how YesSheCanCampaign impacts young women across the US as they overcome adversity and pursue education.  

  • To read Zaniya's full article in seventeen magazine, please click here.
  • For more information about Zaniya, please click here to visit her website.
  • To follow YesSheCanCampaign on twitter, please click here.
  • To get involved with YesSheCanCampaign, please click here to learn about opportunities.

Knapp Fellow Yesenia Grajeda Yepez: Project Familia United Aims to Reunite Children at the Border with Families. Her advice to GW Students: “Follow and pursue nagging questions.”

Yesenia Grajeda Yepez is one of the Knapp Fellowship winners for the 2019-2020 school year. Community Engaged Scholar, Maureen Albero, sat down with Yesenia to discuss her project. Yesenia’s project focuses on developing and implementing an app, Familia United, which assists Central American immigrant families in Yuma County, Arizona with family tracing and reunification.

...continue reading "2019-2020 Knapp Fellow, Yesenia Grajeda Yepez Aims to Reunite Children at the Border with Families"


I am drawing connections between their sense of belonging and creating a community of practice

“I am drawing connections between their sense of belonging and creating a community of practice within our school community to help affect their academic achievement.”

Kristen Mclnerney is a Knapp Fellow for the 2018-2019 school year. Her research is on newly arrived immigrant students’ experiences in high school and honoring their voices. She has some big takeaways from her Fellowship year. “I have learned so much this year, including survey development, utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods, and going through the IRB process. It has been a difficult but great year. What first started as just ideas, has started to come to fruition. I still have a lot to do but the research is coming together in a way that I never thought was possible. The Nashman Center connected me with the GW Art Therapy Department to build community connections for the school that I work at and also with Dr. Jordan Potash who has helped create a living mural lesson plan that will help our students and staff create a mural.”

The Knapp Fellowship made Kristen’s ideas possible and she completed a pilot study. “The funds have helped me get study items translated to Amharic, Dari, Spanish, and Arabic for my students and their families. Translation services are very expensive; the Fellowship enabled me to make the IRB and research process accessible in home languages.”  Kristen recently presented her preliminary data at the CIES conference in San Francisco in April. She notes that this work will extend into next year, and data from the pilot study, will inform a larger study in the fall, Kristen’s dissertation study. Presenting at the Symposium provides her with the opportunity to receive feedback and connect with other students. She notes, “the opportunity to present at the community Symposium through the Nashman Center provides practice in presenting my data and opportunities to connect with other students and faculty. I even had a few students volunteer to help as research assistants in the Fall. The connection with folks and the questions they ask after they heard my presentation was a great opportunity to get feedback.”  McInerney finds her two-year research process very rewarding. “Through the Nashman Center, I’ve connected the community with my school. There are doors being opened now with faith-based organizations and other parts of GW with my school.  I’ve learned that our GW and local community is extremely generous and that there are bridges just waiting to be built. It’s absolutely worth taking the time to build those bridges and deepen those connections between the community and our school.”

Kristen has undeniably made great connections in her Knapp Fellowship year to propel her project even further. The Nashman Center is proud of Kristen’s community engaged scholarship!


Colleen Packard, a Master’s student pursuing a degree in Master's of Public Health in Community-Oriented Primary Care, has won the Nashman Prize for her Community-Based Participatory Research! Undergraduate and graduate students who present their research at the annual GW Research Days event are invited to submit for consideration for the Nashman Prize, which recognizes excellence in Community-Based Participatory Research.

Read more about her research below, and read more about the Nashman Prize here.

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Colleen’s Project: Parent & Student Knowledge, Attitude, and Perceptions of Youth Sports Injuries the Feasibility of Expanding Athletics Activities Diversity in a Community Non-Profit Organization will be presented at the Nashman Symposium on April 26th sign up here to attend

Colleen did research with Beacon House, a community non-profit organization located in the Edgewood Commons complex of Washington, DC whose mission is to close the education achievement gap for children in Ward 5. Beacon House’s athletics program is a signature offering of the organization, and the tackle football program is the largest and most successful of the sports offered.

However, with increased awareness of concussion risk in youth sports, Beacon House requested this research be done in order to adequately inform any future action by its administration. The purpose of this study is to conduct an assessment of parent and student perceptions of youth sports injuries. The study also surveys Beacon House parents and students to see how the athletics program could potentially expand in the future. The mixed-methods study utilizes survey measures and focus groups to measure both parent and student knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of concussions. The athletics interest form will furthermore show which sports parents and students are interested in playing, either in lieu of or in addition to tackle football. All methods were reviewed by Beacon House before beginning data collection, and Beacon House staff are integral to participant recruitment.

Learn more at

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