Carnegie Mellon University

Dietrich Community Engagement Fellowship Program

Launched in fall 2022, the Dietrich Community Engagement Fellowship is a unique program designed to equip students with the leadership skills needed for social change and to ignite a passion for lifelong service.

The program provides students with academic training and experiential learning opportunities that synergize to cumulatively build toward developing the capacity for community-based leadership.

CEF cohorts

Throughout the five blocks of the program, students will have the opportunity to examine models of community development, social justice and activism, power structures and systems and ethical considerations of engagement. Additionally, students will develop the ability to demonstrate cultural humility, engage in social perspective taking, build consensus within groups and evaluate potential courses of action to address challenges that impact their communities. 


Explore the dynamics of community engagement while developing cultural humility and learning how to critically reflect.  – Intro to Community Engagement (Fall)


Learn more about the Pittsburgh area by directly connecting with experienced and influential community leaders. – Connecting with the Pittsburgh Community (Spring)


Develop your community leadership skills while completing an internship or project with a non-profit partner, engaging in research or traveling abroad to complete service. – Community-Based Experiential Learning (Summer)


Create your own social action project while learning more about what it takes to have a lasting impact. – Using Collective Leadership to Pursue Community Goals (Fall)


Integrate your learning by implementing your capstone project, based on community needs and your areas of passion. – Community Engagement Fellowship Capstone (Spring)

Benefits of the Fellowship

  • Exclusive membership in a cohort and access to unique courses that prepare students for community leadership
  • A one-time $3,000 Community Engaged Learning Grant to support their participation in the community
  • Connection to professional development workshops and events that explore community engagement through a variety of lenses, including local, policy, global, research and technology
  • Opportunities to build a network by interacting with leadership who have turned their passion for community engagement into meaningful careers
  • Certificate of recognition upon completion of the fellowship


Sequence of Courses

The academic coursework for the fellowship is still in the process of development and students in the inaugural cohort will provide essential feedback that helps shape the program. The sequence of courses potentially may be as follows: 

  • Fall: 66-148 – Intro to Community Engagement (3 units)
  • Spring: 66-216 – Connecting with the Pittsburgh Community (6 units)
  • Summer: Experiential Learning Activity connecting with the community (in consultation with the director of experiential learning)
  • Fall: 66-300 – Using Collective Leadership to Pursue Community Goals (6 units)
  • Spring: 66-403 – Community Engagement Fellowship Capstone (variable units)

Hear from Eric and Anika about their fellowship experience.

The Dietrich College Community Engagement Fellowship was inspired and made possible by a generous gift from Lynn S. Collester (DC 1985) and Michael D. Collester.