Rieke Scholars

The Rieke Leadership Award was established in 1988 by President William O. Rieke to reaffirm the university’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity. Recipients of the award are men and women of any ethnic background who demonstrate their leadership in promoting social justice, equity, and  racial and ethnic diversity at Pacific Lutheran University and beyond.  PLU recognizes the contributions such leaders make in our society by awarding them gifts up to $4,000 to support their pursuit of higher education.  Recipient of the award are expected to participate actively in curricular and co-curricular activities in a social justice and inclusion context.

Application Timeline

March 1 – Applications due for first time applicants, Word Up!, Rieke Fellows, and IPA

April 1 – Applications due for returning Rieke Scholars – Track one

Applicants will choose one of the following Rieke Scholar “Tracks”

Track One - Diversity Center

Rieke Scholars will volunteer weekly in PLU’s Diversity Center.  There is an expected time commitment of three hours per week for the academic year, which is structured around self-exploration around issues of social justice and diversity.  Through involvement in the Diversity Center, Scholars will enrich the fabric of university while increasing their own leadership skills.

Track two - Word Up! Facilitator

Word Up! facilitators strive to engage PLU students in dialogues about the fundamental components of identity and the dynamics of power and oppression in order to foster the development of social justice allies.  Word Up! facilitators must commit to 20 hours of skills trainings an academic year; at least 2 Word Up! workshops per semester; and volunteer 3 hours per week in The Diversity Center.  Word Up! applicants must have completed at least 30 credit hours.

Track three - Rieke Fellow

In collaboration with the Director of The Diversity Center, Rieke Leadership Fellows work on a year-long project of their choosing that addresses issues of social justice and inclusion (e.g. eco-justice, health and wellness, Queer and ally identity formation programs). Projects must address a current need and/or issue on campus and have a tangible outcome (e.g. program, panel discussion, report) at the end of the academic year. Rieke Fellow applicants must have completed at least 30 credit hours.

Track four - International Peer Advisor

International Peer Advisors (IPA) assist in the development and implementation of International Student Orientation (ISO).  IPAs also develop and implement separate activities for international students beyond orientation and promote increased participation in existing on-campus programs among international students.  During the semester, each IPA will plan at least on on-campus or off-campus activity and invite new students to participate.  Each IPA will collaborate with International Student Services Interns, Diversity Advocates, and other student leaders to facilitate activities.   To learn more about IPA position, please review this IPA Description

Application Procedure

  1. Complete the Rieke Leadership Award application
  2. First time applicants must include two letters of reference from individuals who can provide an official evaluation of your leadership activities in a multi-ethnic context, such as teachers, professors, pastors, multi-ethnic community leaders, and/or guidance counselors
  3. Submit typed essays of 500 words or less
  4. Submit an updated resume

For more information, please contact Angie Hambrick, Director – The Diversity Center, 253.535.8180, hambriaz@plu.edu