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 individuals of any ethnic background who demonstrate their leadership in promoting racial and ethnic diversity at Pacific Lutheran University and beyond.  Rieke Scholars are students who advocate for diversity, social justice, and sustainability within their communities.  Students who opt into the Rieke Scholarship program have an interest in participating in a community of learners committed to individual professional development, group collaborations, and influencing system for social change.

Students participating in the Rieke Scholar Program will:

  • Explore one’s sense of Self-awareness through, reflection on one’s identity and values, development of an authentic leadership identity, examination of personal commitment to DJS.
  • Practice Skills for collaborative leadership through reflection of the collective process required to enact positive social change, engagement in collaborative partnerships working towards a common purpose, and dialogue across difference for perspective taking.
  • Engage with the community through taking ownership of membership in our multiple communities, examination of the interdependence of diversity, justice, and sustainability in relationships and practice active participation with The dCenter community values and programs
  • Commitment to student success through developing a personal definition of student success and map towards goals, exposure to campus resources, intentional connections with dAdvocates, Diversity Center Staff, and Faculty.

Rieke Scholar ``Tracks``


dCenter 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 towards the Rieke Scholar role.  One hour is volunteering in the dCenter assisting Diversity Center staff with projects and programs.  The other two hours are participating in DJS events on campus in the greater community.  Through involvement in the Diversity Center, Scholars will enrich the fabric of university while increasing their own leadership skills.  New and Continuing PLU students are invited to apply to be dCenter Rieke Scholars.


Diversity Center Advocates work as a team to develop opportunities on campus for critical reflection, perspective taking, community, and care.  dAdvocates design and implement programs, engage our communities in multiple perspectives, and serve as an advocate for themself, community, and the environment.  We are currently hiring for the following positions.  Click to learn more about each position:

dCenter dAdvocate

CAVE dAdvocate

Community Garden dAdvocate

Apply on the “dAdvocate Application”

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 one 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. Overall, IPAs are expected to be a role model for new students and facilitate a positive transition process to PLU.  IPA applicants must be continuing students.

View the full IPA position description.

Apply on the ” Rieke Scholar Application” and select “Current Student – IPA” for supplemental questions.

Contact: Heather Jacobson, Coordinator of International Student Services, hjacobson@plu.edu, x7122

Interfaith work is a key part of our vocation at  PLU, a university defined by the tradition of Lutheran Higher Education, which values learning in community, multiple perspectives, and bringing our whole selves to our educations. Interfaith Scholars are student leaders at PLU who embrace these values, and are committed to cultivating dialog and partnership around issues of religion and spirituality. They develop partnerships with religiously diverse individuals and groups in an effort to foster community and learning across intersectional identities. Interfaith Scholars will identify areas of need on campus around interfaith issues by using university data; as well as through collaboration with the Interfaith Working Group, student groups (clubs and organizations), and other campus partners. Based on these areas of need, they will support or create activities that provide opportunities for all members of our community to grow in their appreciation and understanding of religious and spiritual traditions, including those other than their own. Interfaith scholars also will identify and engage opportunities to consider the intersection of religious and spiritual identities with other salient social identities (i.e race, ethnicity, class, gender identity, sexuality, citizenship, ability, etc) that PLU community members express and experience.

View Full Interfaith Scholar Description

Apply on the ” Rieke Scholar Application” and select “Interfaith Scholar” for supplemental questions.

Contact: Jen Rude, University Pastor 253-535-7465

Apply to be a Rieke Scholar

All Applicants must submit an online application form including:

  • Updated Resume
  • Response to short answer questions about interest in the Rieke Scholarship

First time applicants, additionally, must include:

  • 2 letters of reference – Letters should be from individuals who can provide an official evaluation of your leadership activities that demonstrate leadership in promoting racial and ethnic diversity, and social justice, such as teachers, professors, pastors, community leaders, and/or guidance counselors.  Letters from family members will not be considered.  Letters of reference must have been written within the last six months prior to the date of application and address the Rieke Leadership Scholarship.

  • Recipients must be full-time students
  • Recipients must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Renewal of the award is not automatic. A complete application packet must be submitted for consideration for each academic year
  • The information in the application must be no more than 2 years old
  • Application deadlines are firm. It is the applicant’s responsibility to meet the deadlines as they are stated
  • The Selection Committee’s decision is final

Apply today

March 1 – Applications due for new PLU students

April 19 – Applications due for continuing students

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