Principal Community Scholars

 Principal_sm_rgb_200The Principal Community Scholars Program (PCSP) is a prestigious opportunity for college students to lead social change on their campus and in their communities. Iowa and California Campus Compact will select a cohort of students each semester from member colleges and universities across the two states through a competitive process.

The program is sponsored by Principal, a global financial services company based in Des Moines, Iowa with locations throughout the United States and around the world. Principal is focused on investing in communities and encourages employees to get involved.

The Principal Community Scholars Program

The Principal Community Scholars Program offers students the opportunity to collaborate with peers and receive support for leading a community-engaged project on their campus. Students participate in a virtual retreat, lead a project, and are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship.

Program Advisers (staff or faculty on campus) nominate a student who will complete a specific community engagement project over the course of the semester. This project may be a new partnership for the campus with a local mentoring program, a one-time community service event to engage students across campus, or a research project to impact a community issue or improve campus practice. At the beginning of the semester, students participate in a virtual retreat where they have the opportunity to network with other student leaders, work together on their proposed projects, and learn more about public-private partnerships and the application of civic skills to careers. Scholars then receive ongoing support for their projects from staff and from other students through a virtual learning community. The focus of the support and training will include professional development in areas such as workplace ethics, and communication and leadership skills.   At the end of the semester, scholars will complete an evaluation report and submit a video on their project in order to receive their $1,000 scholarship. These videos may be used to promote the work, Principal’s contribution, and its impact through Campus Compact websites, social media, and other platforms.

The program also serves as a resource for creating, educating, and promoting civic engagement and to motivate and inspire civic and social responsibility through peer engagement and collaboration. Students will receive help finding new ways to get involved on campus and will learn how to translate this work into skills for their careers.

This is not a grant opportunity, and there is no matching requirement for this opportunity.

Project period: Spring 2017 Semester.

Important Dates: Virtual Retreat for Scholars Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00-2:00pm CST (10:00am-12:00pm PT). Deadline to submit end of project materials May 12, 2017. 

For more information:

California Contact: Piper McGinley   510-885-7618   piper {at} cacampuscompact(.)org

Iowa Contact: Geo Almanza    515-235-4686      vistaleader {at} iwcc(.)edu

Eligibility Criteria

Each year, Scholar nominations will be reviewed by based on the following criteria:

  • All participants must be full-time undergraduate students at a Campus Compact member institution. View the member institutions of California Campus Compact and Iowa Campus Compact.
  • All students must have cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • All students must be US citizens or permanent residents
  • Priority be given to majors in a fields related to the following:
    • Technology (IT/MIS/Computer Science)
    • Business/Data Analytics (or related)
    • Finance
    • Accounting
    • Real Estate
    • Marketing/Communications/Sales
    • Business/Management
    • Financial Services
    • International Studies
    • Economics
  • Preference should be given to students who are:
    • Active in leadership roles on and off campus
    • Minority students, students with disabilities, veterans
    • Bi-lingual and multi-lingual students

Nominations due November 4, 2016.

Nominations must be submitted by a faculty or staff member at an Iowa or California Campus Compact member institution.

Nomination Elements

  1. Contact Information: Program Adviser name, email, phone number, title, institution name, and institution address. Student name, year in school (1-5), major(s), minor(s), email, links to student’s social media accounts (optional, and not used in selection process). The Program Adviser will also need to certify that the Proposed Scholar meets each eligibility requirement.
  1. Project Proposal: Describe the project that the Principal Scholar will work on. Include the pressing need(s), proposed activities, and the impact you are hoping the scholar will make with this opportunity (1200 character limit). An abstract of proposed activities, to be posted on the website (400 character limit). Briefly describe how your scholar was selected (400 character limit).
  1. Acknowledgement of the expectations of you as the Program Adviser.

The following elements are needed from the Nominated Scholar:

  1. Principal Community Scholar Personal Statement: Have your Proposed Scholar write a personal statement that answers the following questions:
    • describe your background, including current and past leadership experiences on and off campus
    • describe how participating in the Principal Community Scholar Program will be a valuable experience. (1200 character limit).
  1. A photo of the Scholar to be used on the website, in newsletters, etc.
  2. A scanned US government issued ID of the Scholar

Follow these instructions to submit:

  1. Click this link and the click the “Apply” button in the top right.
  2. Click Register if you do not have an existing Amplifund account or Log-In if you do.
  3. Register by filling in your contact information.
  4. Log in and complete the application form. View the Request for Nominations in pdf form here.You can save the nomination and come back to it.
  5. Please just mark the budget and performance measure sections as complete, you do not need to add any information there.

If you have issues creating an Amplifund account, please contact support at support {at} streamlinksoftware(.)com. For a step-by-step guide, click here.

With other questions contact Emily Shields at eshields {at} iwcc(.)edu or (515) 235-4684.

We seek to involve campuses that will meet the following responsibilities.

Expectations of Program Advisers 

The Program Adviser (staff or faculty on campus) is responsible for nominating and supervising the student(s) in completing their responsibilities, proposing a specific community engagement project, and for serving as a liaison between the Principal Community Scholars and Iowa and California Campus Compacts. The Program Adviser will also be responsible for completing a post-participation survey.

Expectations of Principal Community Scholars

  • Serve the full academic semester (Spring 2017)
  • Attend an online virtual retreat on January 24, 2017
  • Plan and lead a project, program, or event on campus and/or in the community that helps students gain experience and meets a community need
  • Work closely with a Program Adviser (staff or faculty member on campus) to receive ongoing support and guidance to determine how they can best impact social change on campus and in the community, facilitate connections with key offices and individuals.
  • Provide feedback to other Principal Community Scholars on their projects
  • Submit a video project summarizing project
  • Write a thank-you letter to their Campus President and to Principal Financial Group (guidance will be provided)
  • Complete a post-participation evaluation report

Opportunities for Principal Community Scholars

  • Collaborate with other Principal Community Scholars
  • Contribute to civic and community engagement efforts on campus or in the community
  • Learn about careers at Principal and receive consideration for internship opportunities
  • Receive a $1,000 scholarship upon completion of the program

Institutions may submit up to three nominations, but each must be for a different student and a different project.  The Program Adviser may be the same for each or may vary. Nominations must be submitted by the Program Adviser (campus staff or faculty). 

Meet the Spring 2017 Principal Scholars!

Read the press release announcing the first class of scholars.

Vicente Argueta

Vicente Argueta is a fourth-year student at Simpson College. He is majoring in Marketing. This Principal Scholar is organizing a one-time event in which he engages students all across the Simpson campus to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham is a fourth-year student at Buena Vista University.  She is studying Business Marketing and Corporate Communication.  This Principal Scholar will create and conduct opportunities for local entrepreneurs to network and have access to educational sessions to supplement the limited resources offered in rural communities.

Crystal Kleitsch

Crystal Kleitsch is a third-year student at Loras College. She is majoring in Business Management with a minor in Psychology. This Principal Scholar will create an Alumni Board for Loras College Dance Marathon to build awareness and increase donations for children at the University of Iowa Hospital.

Daisy Leon Melendrez

Daisy Leon Melendrez is a second-year student at California State University – Monterey Bay. She is majoring in Collaborative Health and Human Services with minors in Public Administration and Service Learning Leadership.  This Principal Scholar will address the need of providing information and referrals to members of immigrant communities in several counties of California, communities with large populations of undocumented residents.

Alexis Marquez

Alexis Marquez is a fourth-year student at California State University – Channel Islands. She is studying Sociology with minors in Social Business and Psychology. This Principal Scholar will serve as a Food Pantry Coordinator, creating an accessible, sustainable, and discreet food resource to assist in meeting food needs for Channel Islands students.

Jessica Paxton

Jessica Paxton is a third-year student at Morningside College. She is majoring in Elementary Education. This Principal Scholar will research, design, and distribute materials to raise awareness of sustainability issues and increase participation in sustainability-related programming on the campus of Morningside College.

Jasmine Ward

Jasmine Ward is a fourth-year student at Simpson College. She is majoring in Marketing.  She is organizing a mentorship program between students from Simpson College and middle schoolers in the Des Moines Public School District. Key areas of focus include self-empowerment, community development, positive visualization, and planning and goal setting.

Hawi Awash

Hawi Awash is a fourth-year student at Dominican University in California. She is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies. This Principal Scholar will collaborate with local non-profits to implement a simulation for participants to experience the lived reality of poverty.

Miranda Hammes

Miranda Hammes is a fourth-year student at Mount Mercy University. She is majoring in Human Resource Management with a minor in Management.  This Principal Scholar will reuse the sandbags used for the flood of 2016 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, by partnering with a group of African refugees to making the sandbags into handbags. #Sandbags2Handbags

Michelle Lackner

Michelle Lackner is a third-year student at Wartburg College. She is majoring in Social Work. This Principal Scholar will work with IMPower, a girl’s empowerment program, to create a curriculum to train college student mentors and plan for expansion of the program into additional schools next year.

Selena Lopez

Selena Lopez is a fifth-year student at University of California – San Diego. She is majoring in General Biology and Global Health with a minor in Healthcare and Social Issues.  This Principal Scholar will work with students and elderly seniors to improve their health, raise awareness of humanitarian issues, increase the number of culturally competent volunteers in the region, and build community across generations.

Mariela Martinez

Mariela Martinez is a fourth-year student at the University of La Verne. She is majoring in Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Interfaith Studies. This Principal Scholar will organize a series of week-long events around diversity. She will work with different university offices, student organizations, and local community-based organizations to bring together people of diverse identities to foster dialogue.

Josselyne Rivas

Josselyne Rivas is a fifth-year student at California State University – Northridge. She is majoring in Journalism and Child and Adolescent Development with a concentration in Magazine Journalism and Freelance. This Principal Scholar will serve as Assistant Coordinator for the California State University – Northridge program Bridge to the Future, a new student success partnership between the University and the historically underserved community of Canoga Park.

Brianna Wilkinson

Brianna Wilkinson is a fourth-year student at the University of Redlands. She is majoring in Building Community, the Business of Making A Difference. This Principal Scholar will work to enhance service-learning partnerships between students at University of Redlands and local non-profit agencies through the use of business management skills and special projects.

Shubhi Badjatiya

Shubhi Badjatiya is a fourth-year student at Saint Mary’s College of California. She is majoring in Business with a minor in Finance. This Principal Scholar is creating and teaching financial literacy workshops for residents of the Monument Corridor (Concord, CA). These workshops will address accessing public assistance, saving, budgeting, and avoiding predatory lenders.

Robert Husted

Robert Husted is a fourth-year student at California State University – Dominguez Hills. He is studying anthropology with a minor in Spanish. This Principal Scholar will collaborate with inter-agencies to educate his campus and community on historical trauma and contemporary issues facing native and aboriginal people today.

Vy Le

Vy Le is a third-year student at California State University – Fullerton.  She is majoring in Asian American studies with a minor in Journalism. This Principal Scholar will help students understand, explore, and implement various approaches to community organizing.

Mica Magtoto

Mica Magtoto is a second-year student at Iowa State University. She is studying Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Nutrition and Wellness. This Principal Scholar will help low-income and food-insecure children get free access to fresh, local produce by assisting Ames’ Eastwood community garden.

Lauren Oreto

Lauren Oreto is a second-year student at Drake University. She is majoring in Accounting with minors in Data Analytics and Computer Science. This Principal Scholar will work with students from Children & Family Urban Movement to spark interest in STEM careers via cost-effective programming.

Olivia Samples

Olivia Samples is a fourth-year student at Simpson College. She is majoring in Public Relations. This Principal Scholar is going to create a workshop giving students tools and practical information on both sexuality and health to start an educated conversation about sex.