Director: Dr. Richard Niesenbaum, Professor of Biology, Director of Sustainability Studies, and Rita and Joseph Scheller Endowed Chair
The RJ Fellows Program is an honors community established at Muhlenberg College with support from the Scheller Family Foundation to foster and strengthen the decision-making and leadership competencies of liberal arts students whose intellectual curiosity is matched by a commitment to ethical change. Outstanding applicants to Muhlenberg College who exhibit these qualities in their applications are invited to join the RJ Fellows Program. As well as being among the top graduates of their high school class with Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of 1350 or higher (Critical Reading and Math), individuals invited to participate in the RJ Fellows community demonstrate a passion for leadership and change in their academic and extracurricular achievements, including community service.
RJ Fellows may pursue studies in any field offered at Muhlenberg. Participation in the RJ Fellows Program enhances students’ major coursework by deepening their awareness of change and their capacity to affect change within their chosen field. The RJ Fellows community is intensely interdisciplinary. After completing the RJ Fellows First-Year Seminar, fellows take four RJ Fellows designated courses and a Capstone Seminar in the senior year. These courses (many of which satisfy other general academic requirements) are taught by faculty in a variety of disciplines and help students develop an awareness of theories, tools, processes, and practices that help explain how change happens, why change matters, and the possibilities to shape change.
Academic excellence characterizes the RJ Fellows Program, but there is no minimum GPA requirement. Continued eligibility is based on active participation in the RJ Fellows community, in both academic and extracurricular RJ Fellows events, and successful completion of all RJ Fellows Program requirements. The RJ Fellows experience culminates in a Capstone Seminar which provides Fellows an opportunity for advanced intellectual and creative exploration of change and reflection on students’ own development as advocates and agents of change. Capstone projects are presented at the annual RJ Fellows Symposium in late spring.
Students who successfully complete the RJ Fellows Program requirements are honored with the “RJ Fellows” designation on their diploma and transcript. Eligibility for this distinction is based on successfully satisfying all of the program requirements: