CELE Fellowships

The CELE Center directly administers the following Fellowships and Awards to support and recognize student service and leadership.

Robert Lee Ellis Civic Fellowship 

Designed for incoming students, Ellis Fellows are selected on the basis of financial need, dedication towards service, personal growth, and leadership development, and ability to make a 4-year commitment toward fulfilling Fellowship expectations. Ellis Fellows are selected during autumn quarter and awarded annual scholarships throughout four years, growing from $2,000 to $4,000.

Application for the incoming class of 2021 will be posted in July.


  • Documented financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office. Most students fill this requirement by filing a FAFSA or WAFSA for the current academic year. We also accept applications from those who are not eligible to file for federal or state financial aid but can document financial need.
  • Incoming student at the UW Seattle campus, with an anticipated graduation date in 2023 (or beyond).
  • Committed to weaving public service and civic leadership development throughout your academic study at the University of Washington.


Successful fellows have been able to share the following interests.  

  1. A clear commitment to service as shown through past experiences.
  2. An interest in a particular social issue.
  3. Ideas about future goals and what you hope to gain as an Ellis Fellow.

Ellis Civic Fellowships can be understood as a series of building blocks, beginning in the first year with a broad overview of the Seattle community, moving in to a service partnership with a community organization, developing deeper integration between each Civic Fellow’s academic work and service commitments, and culminating with a community-based capstone project.

The purpose of the Ellis Civic Fellowships is to support students in making a commitment to our community with core objectives including serving in the community; learning about yourself, the community, and the intersection of your academic study and community service work; and developing skills and experience in leadership, fellowship, and empathy.

Every Ellis Civic Fellow will be supported with individual mentoring and a flexible leadership curriculum as they move towards graduating as an Ellis Civic Leader.


Robert Lee Ellis, a Seattle native, was killed in action in World War II.

In 2007, James Ellis honored his brother Robert — a person of high ethical standards and the willingness to help others — with a gift to the University of Washington. This gift became the endowment to support the Robert Lee Ellis Civic Fellows program.

The intention of the endowment and the Civic Fellows program is to support students who make a commitment to our community.

CELE Civic Leader Fellowship

The CELE Civic Leader Fellowship provides undergraduates with the opportunity to deepen their commitment to community engagement and personal leadership development. Civic Leader Fellows are selected based on the strength of a community project proposed in collaboration with a nonprofit or governmental organization and are funded for a full academic year (three quarters).


  • Active engagement in your fellowship project during the academic year
  • Maintain full time enrollment in courses for a minimum of two quarters during the academic year (for AUT-WIN-SPR funding, students must be enrolled Autumn Quarter)
  • Schedule and complete a site visit with your organization supervisor and a CELE staff member
  • Write a summary of fellowship activities and reflection to be shared with the fellowship sponsors and posted on the CELE website
  • Actively participation in regularly scheduled cohort meetings (dates are listed in application materials)
  • Participation in Fellowship Celebrations Event


CELE Civic Leader Fellows build on experiences and partnerships they have forged in the previous academic year(s). 

Fellows are selected based on three primary factors:

  • An established partnership with a nonprofit or public sector organization
  • A collaborative plan for a community engaged project that will benefit the partnering organization while increasing student skills and learning
  • An articulation of how their work as a fellow will contribute to their development as a community engagemed leader

In addition to a monetary award for the summer, CELE Civic Leader Fellows are supported through advising and co-curricular programming lead by CELE staff.


Made possible through the support of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, the Fellowship was originally named for S. Sterling Munro, Jr., the former top aide to the late Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson and Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration, and his wife, Gene, a lifelong public service advocate. The Fellowship is now named the Jackson Munro Public Service Fellowship to honor the legacy of both Senator Jackson and the work of Sterling and Gene Munro.

This newly named program encompasses the Jackson Munro Public Service Fellowship and the Class of 2016 Diversity Fellowship, along with the Class of 1955 Civic Fellowship, the Buller Civic Fellowship, and the Carlson Civic Fellowship.

Student Voices

Twelve thousand of our neighbors are currently experiencing homelessness and countless more live with unstable housing due to high rents. My Ellis Fellowship service commitments with Mary’s Place, Pike Market Senior Center, and ROOTS Young Adult Shelter gave me a passion for affordable housing policy and bringing down barriers to housing for our at-risk neighbors.

—Joy Levine, 2015, Sociology

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