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Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program

Rawlings Class in Annapolis

A champion of the underrepresented and a fiercely ethical leader.

The Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program honors the legacy of Howard Peters "Pete" Rawlings, who was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates representing the 40th district for more than two decades. A tireless advocate for those often unheard and underrepresented, the Rawlings Program provides you the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Delegate Rawlings and develop as a champion for those marginalized in leadership and decision-making processes.

Working with faculty, alumni and local leaders, you will develop the skills and resources to take on leadership roles during the program and beyond, and understand the importance of cultural pluralism and advocacy to elevate unheard voices. The Program combines mentorship, engagements with expert faculty and public leaders, and hands-on experiences working in the community to realize your commitment to develop as an ethical leader. 

A politician worries about the next election. A true statesman worries about the next generation, and children yet unborn, and that was Pete Rawlings.
U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings

Program Structure

The Rawlings Program is a year-long experience, starting in the fall semester with an inaugural team-building challenge course at the University's Outdoor Recreation Center. Specialized activities and experiences throughout the year include:

  • Teambuilding activities
  • Mentoring relationships with elected officials, state leaders, and community advocates
  • Access to renowned leadership scholars and policy faculty
  • Site visits to public and non-profit entities
  • Original development of a Community Action Project (CAP)
  • Public service
  • Placement in a political or non-profit internship
  • Participation in courses and conferences designed to promote a greater understanding of leadership in public life
  • A Certificate of Completion

A three-credit leadership course - PLCY 302, “Examining Pluralism and Public Policy,” - introduces you to public policy and social justice issues. Structured as a 15-week lecture and discussion series, the course empowers you to engage directly with leaders from local and federal government, from the non-profit sector, from the University of Maryland campus community, and of course, with your peers.  The course also includes short and long writing exercises, in-class debates and other structured discussion activities, and a final project and presentation outlining your Community Action Project (CAP).

Separate from PLCY 302 but as a group, you will also develop, organize, coordinate, and participate in a Service Day Project.

You will select and take a three-credit policy course (listed as PLCY) related to public leadership that will serve as your capstone course. 

In addition, you will pursue an internship in Annapolis during the legislative session, on Capitol Hill, with a federal or state agency, or with a recognized non-profit entity dedicated to the public good.  To receive credit, you must enroll in PLCY 309 for either three credits, corresponding to 135 hours spent at your internship, or six credits, corresponding to 270 hours spent at your internship. 

You will also attend monthly leadership-development workshops, participate in site visits to Washington, DC and Annapolis, and finish your community action project.

Apply Now

If you have a least two semesters remaining at the University and a commitment to public leadership, apply now for the Rawlings Program.

Questions? Contact Alicia Quinones at 301-405-7978

NOTE: Applications for the 2019/2020 academic year are closed.