Puksta Scholars Program

The Puksta Scholarship is an opportunity for students who desire to be catalysts for positive change on campus, or in our local, national or international communities. Throughout their involvement with the program, Puksta Scholars are required to participate in meaningful civic and community engagement work that addresses the root causes of the social problems they are passionate about and contributes to the common good. While doing so, they are supported by an experienced team of faculty/staff, other scholars and an enriching program of seminars, speakers, service projects and opportunities to collaborate and share insights.

Current and past engagement work have included: access to arts education in low-income communities, promoting diversity in upper-division high school courses, providing mentorship and support for first generation and/or undocumented students, preventing police brutality, promoting access for individuals with disabilities, addressing racism on college campuses, integrating LBGTQ+ inclusive curriculum into schools, and addressing mental health disparities in diasporic communities. Throughout the Puksta Program, scholars participate in civic engagement endeavors to develop knowledge, skills, dispositions, and experiences centered around the eco-social justice issues and communities they are most passionate about.

Puksta Scholars are selected based on their interest in developing civic skills, ability to critically reflect on their identity and life experiences as they relate to community and social responsibility, ability to translate personal and democratic values into action, value of diversity and difference, and interest in connecting their academic learning and future career(s) to the common good regardless of their field. This scholarship is available to an incoming freshmen and transfer students. Priority will be given to students with demonstrated financial need. This award is renewable if scholars fulfill program responsibilities and maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Schools, Colleges, Departments
Puksta Scholars
Supplemental Questions
  1. Justice Issue Area(s): Please select from the list below the justice area(s) or other community issue(s) you are interested in being actively involved with as a Puksta Scholar. The following is a list of suggested areas, or you may identify your own.
  2. Other justice issue area(s) or community issue area(s) of interest not previously selected.
  3. One form of motivation used in community organizing is testimonio, or personal testimonial narratives. Tell us a story that explains your motivation for participating in your community. What is your personal connection to the justice issue area(s) that you identified? The essay should address all parts of the question and be *no more than 300 words* in length. This is meant to be a reflective writing, not a summary of your activities in the community or awards.
  4. An essential part of the Puksta Scholars program is translating ideas into action. Please narrow your broad social justice issue into a statement of a problem and how you would attempt to address that problem through civic engagement work. Make sure to include a discussion of the root causes of the problem as well as the anticipated impact of your engagement. (300 word limit)
  5. What are your academic interests? How might your participation in Puksta Scholars enhance your academic and even professional interests and how might your academic interests enhance your Puksta Scholar work? Please note that many Puksta scholars pursue engagement opportunities that are seemingly disconnected from their majors (e.g. a pre-med student is working on immigration reform). Successful applicants are able to relate their engagement work and academic interests by discussing such things as target populations, content, skills, knowledge sets, or orientations towards social justice. (300 word limit)
  6. The Puksta Scholars Program is an inclusive and intentionally diverse community, broadly defined. Please describe one experience or project where you worked with people across lines of difference. That is, when have you worked with individuals, groups, or organizations that are comprised of social identities different from you? What did you learn about diversity, your social identity, and privilege from this experience and/or project? (300 word limit)
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