Presidential Fellows Program

Presidential Fellows receive term appointments as seminar leaders for SAGES —the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship. Created in 2002, SAGES introduces students to academic inquiry in a series of seminars designed to foster critical discussion and active engagement. A seminar provides an ideal setting in which to explore ethical issues, consider diverse perspectives, and learn how various disciplines frame and solve important problems.

Each Presidential Fellow will design and teach a seminar on one of three themes:

  • Thinking about the Symbolic World
  • Thinking about the Social World
  • Thinking about the Natural/Technological World

These themes are sufficiently general to allow considerable variation in the choice of specific seminar topics.

Not every seminar topic falls neatly (or exclusively) under a single theme; much depends on the course content and the instructor's intentions. For instance, an art history seminar could be listed under Symbolic World if it dealt with aesthetic language, under Social World if it dealt with patronage of the arts, or under Natural/Technological World if it dealt with art conservation. Similarly, a seminar exploring mathematical descriptions of nature could be listed under Symbolic World.

Because SAGES places a high value on the articulation and exchange of ideas, Presidential Fellows often collaborate with co-instructors (usually graduate students in English) who have expertise in the teaching of writing. The Fellows' seminars are open to students who have already completed a First Seminar, led by a faculty member, during their freshman year.

Why become a Presidential Fellow?

Presidential Fellows will:

  • engage with vibrant young scholars while exploring topics of mutual interest
  • communicate regularly with other Presidential Fellows, administrators, and faculty, and develop an ongoing relationship with the University
  • receive compensation ($5,000 per seminar)
  • be eligible to audit CWRU courses

With the opening of the SAGES center and café in Crawford Hall, the Fellows have an accessible meeting and work space where they can interact easily with one another, with students and faculty, and with SAGES staff.

What are the Presidential Fellows' responsibilities?

Presidential Fellows will:

  • work with the director of the Presidential Fellows Program to develop a detailed course plan
  • teach a regularly scheduled seminar (generally three 50-minute sessions or two 75-minute sessions per week, on weekdays only) during the fall or spring semester
  • meet with students outside of regular class times to discuss course material and student progress
  • collaborate with a co-instructor who offers support for writing instruction and answers questions about academic procedures at CWRU
  • participate in three half-day orientation sessions before the semester begins
  • meet regularly as a group with the director of the Presidential Fellows Program

How does the application process work?

Applicants to the Presidential Fellows program are asked to submit the following materials:

  • a letter of interest
  • a CV that includes names and email addresses of two references
  • a writing sample
  • a proposal for a University Seminar, outlining essential questions that the course will address, the sequence of thematic units, and major reading and writing assignments

The Presidential Fellows selection committee will review applications on a rolling basis and submit its recommendations to the university president, who will make the final selections. Interviews may be conducted as part of the selection process.

When candidates are accepted into the program, we ask them to contact the university where they obtained their most recent degree and have a transcript or certification of completion sent directly to the SAGES office.

Prospective fellows should send materials electronically to Inquiries about the program are always welcome.

In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity.