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Rieke Scholars

The Rieke Scholars program is an undergraduate scholarship opportunity that invites students to deepen their understanding, practice, and commitment to diversity, justice, and sustainability in community.  Students who are accepted  into the Rieke Scholarship program have an interest in participating in a community of learners committed to individual professional development, group collaborations, and influencing systems for social change.  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 racial and ethnic background who demonstrate their leadership in promoting diversity, justice, and sustainability at Pacific Lutheran University and beyond.  Full-time undergraduate students apply and reapply to participate in the program and receive the scholarship each year.

24-25 Due Dates

April 15 – New Student Applications Due

April 15 – Continuing Students Applications Due 

  • Explore their sense of self-awareness through reflection on one’s identity and values, development of an authentic leadership identity, examination of personal commitments 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 differences 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 relationship, and practice active participation with The Center for Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability values and programs.
  • Commit to student success through developing a personal definition of student success, goals, and developing connections with peers, faculty, and staff.

Rieke Scholar Tracks


dCenter Rieke Scholars 

DJS Rieke Scholars will volunteer weekly in PLU’s DJS Lounge.  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 Center for DJS staff with projects and programs.  The other two hours are participating in DJS events on campus in the greater community.  Through involvement in the Center for DJS, Scholars will enrich the fabric of university while increasing their own leadership skills.  New and Continuing PLU students are invited to apply to be Rieke Scholars.

Apply on the “Rieke Scholar Application” and select a Rieke Scholar type for supplemental questions

Contact: Nicole Juliano juliannh@plu.edu

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 Advocates 

This position is open to all students, including both those of a particular faith tradition and those who do not identify with any religious tradition.

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 Advocate Description

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

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

Apply to become 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

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