A colonial-style brick building shopfront has a embedded signage reading Gunter-Smith Center for Community Engagement, followed by the York College of Pennsylvania logo.

Glatfelter Public Affairs Scholars

The Glatfelter Public Affairs Scholars are a community of students dedicated to advancing social change through rigorous and reliable public policy research. They are also part of a larger network of campus and community leaders called the Engaged Scholars—an honors community that brings together a wide range of students to take on real-world projects, to solve key community problems, and to enhance their own education through hands-on experiences.

 Our Scholars share many attributes:

  • An entrepreneurial spirit—the ability to get things done through creative thinking and innovation skills;
  • A belief that we learn best by doing, not just through classroom learning;
  • A belief in teamwork and collaboration;
  • A commitment to the value of serving one’s community toward transformative change; 
  • Leadership skills and empathy to achieve that change; and
  • An understanding of the positive value we achieve in our personal lives and careers when we serve others.

The Glatfelter Public Affairs Scholars cultivate a deeper understanding of the public issues facing our community, our state, and our world. Through this program, you will have the opportunity to undertake actionable research, develop sustainable solutions, and nurture the skills necessary to become an effective social science research and public leader. Students in any academic field—especially those who are interested in careers in law, government, public affairs, public policy, non-profits, corporations, or the community—can find a place within our interdisciplinary program, and will have unparalleled access to regional thought leaders and public officials.

Glatfelter Institute Public Affairs

Access Unique OpportunitiesProgram Benefits

  • Develop and utilize analytic and communications skills

    Through courses, speakers, and research opportunities, you will learn about the world around you, with a special focus on social, economic, and political institutions that govern society. More importantly, you will not only acquire the analytic and communications skills necessary for successful work in public affairs, but you will also put those skills into action.

  • Conduct research, working closely with faculty

    You won’t just learn about research; you will be actively engaged in every step of the process. You’ll work closely with York College faculty to delve into topics that intrigue you. Equally important, the research that you conduct holds the possibility of creating real-life social change.

  • Publish and present your research findings

    Scholars who complete significant research may have the opportunity to publish their work in collaboration with faculty, or to present at pertinent conferences and other events. This can enhance both job prospects and graduate school applications for students who want to continue their education.

  • Gain financial support for your work

    Scholars who demonstrate proficiency in public policy research can be granted a stipend to complete their work, either on a semester or annual basis. The stipend is based upon the scope of work and number of hours required to complete assigned projects.

  • Access and connect with public leaders

    You will have access to thought leaders, researchers, and experts within the fields of government, public affairs, public policy, and the social sciences. Through exclusive speaking engagements, shared social events, and networking opportunities, you’ll have the chance to connect directly with decision makers to discuss career opportunities and the most pressing issues facing our communities today.

  • Effect real community outcomes

    As a Scholar, you can, through your research, affect policies that affect the lives of fellow citizens. Since much of the influential research taken on by the Glatfelter Institute is “action research”—research meant to bring about positive change—Scholars can see the effects of their work on the lives of others.

  • Collaborate with other Engaged Scholars

    As part of a community of like-minded students, the Engaged Scholars, you will have the opportunity to lead and share in projects, attend professional development events, and work collaboratively with some of the most active and talented students at York College in our makerspace/collaboration hub, The Graham Innovation Zone. This space offers cutting-edge technologies (such as a 3-D printer) as well as many other innovation tools and supplies. You will also be eligible for paid summer research projects, special speaker events, and other opportunities to advance your personal and professional goals.

Learn MoreProgram Details

  • Eligibility


    Admission to the Glatfelter Public Affairs Scholars Program is based upon a student’s merit. Current York College students are selected based on their written application, academic background and achievement, history of community involvement, and their overall critical thinking, research, and writing skills.

  • Guidelines for Applying

    Guidelines for Applying

    Applicants will be asked to meet for an interview to allow the Program staff to better understand the applicant’s goals and experience. A reference from a faculty member or administrator is also required, as well as a writing sample that demonstrates their research capabilities. 

  • Program Expectations

    Program Expectations

    As a Public Affairs Scholar, you are expected to participate actively in research projects undertaken by the Glatfelter Institute—collecting and analyzing data, participating in the writing of reports for community stakeholders, and attending team meetings to discuss findings and community events to report them. In many cases, this work will be compensated with a stipend. You should expect to devote at least a few hours per week to this work, though that will vary depending upon the research in which you are engaged.

Contact Us
The Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute
for Public Policy
Vinny Cannizzaro, MPP, Director
Campus: Humanities Center, Room 29
Downtown: Center for Community Engagement
59 E. Market St., York, PA 17401
Phone: 717.815.1418
Contact for appt.