The Steinbeck / Gentlemen of the Road Service Fellowship brings together students from Stanford and San José State. In the spirit of John Steinbeck, the students will complete a summer of service in California’s Salinas Valley or Central Valley. The overall mission is to respect Steinbeck’s legacy by combining public service and creative writing, and to encourage engaged collaboration between students from the two great universities of “Steinbeck Country”. The Fellowship is funded by “Gentlemen of the Road” (the community engagement organization of the folk-rock band Mumford & Sons) from the proceeds of a concert the band played at Stanford University in September 2019, where they received the John Steinbeck Award.
Despite having the word “Gentlemen” in its name, the Fellowship is open to all students.
The program will sponsor six undergraduate students: three from Stanford and three from San José State. Students will spend a quarter working full-time with a supervisor/mentor in a community organization that they choose from a variety of prearranged opportunities with partner organizations serving the communities where Steinbeck set his fiction. For example, participants might tutor the children of farmworkers at a Castroville high school; conduct a creative writing workshop for teenagers in Salinas; or introduce young people to marine biology at the Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove. The Fellowship also has a creative aspect as students will produce a piece of writing that reflects on their experience and service.
Please review the program policies in their entirety before applying.
Each Fellow receives a base stipend of $5,500 to cover most of the essential costs associated with an unpaid service experience. Financial aid and supplemental funding is available to students who qualify.
This fellowship program is sponsored by the Stanford English Department. For additional information, please contact Professor Gavin Jones.
For complete eligibility requirements, please review our program policies in its entirety.
Undergraduates from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply, and applicants may vary in academic interests, public service involvement, and experience. Priority will be given to students who have completed fewer than two previous Cardinal Quarter opportunities. Graduating seniors may have lower priority. Students who have begun their coterm programs (i.e., students who are paying for graduate tuition) are not eligible to apply.
*This application is for Stanford University students. San José State University students may apply here.
Selected fellows are expected to begin service following the completion of spring quarter classes and no later than July 5, 2022. All fellows are required to work with their community partners at least 35 hours/week for nine consecutive weeks. Fellows are expected to work on-site at their host organizations (University policies and health conditions permitting), but some hybrid or fully virtual experiences may be allowed on a case-by-case basis. Fellows must have a designated full-time professional staff member on-site as their supervisor/mentor. Please review the complete program policies for additional requirements. Other commitments include the following:
- Meet several times as a program cohort (to be arranged by faculty director overseeing the program)
- Participate in placement identification process, and secure summer internship experience
- Complete the program orientation.
- Complete Engaging in Ethical and Effective Service workshop or worksheet.
- Design a personal learning plan for the summer.
- Share learning plan with site supervisor and update accordingly.
- Submit a brief preliminary report.
- Submit a final report, complete a program evaluation, and correspond with fellowship donor(s) as requested by fellowships program staff.
- Complete a creative writing piece (or other creative project).
- Meet with academic mentor and cohort for debrief and reflection activities.
- Participate in outreach activities to share your experiences and help publicize the program.
This fellowship is intended for individuals whose application, references, and interview demonstrate
- an ability to undertake intensive, full-time work over the summer
- a high level of motivation and initiative
- an interest in public service and the California Central or Salinas Valley
- the ability to interact comfortably and effectively with diverse populations and professionals
Complete applications are screened, finalists interviewed, and fellows selected by the program’s faculty directors with the intention to award fellowships prior to spring break. Applicants should respond promptly (within 48 hours) via email to a fellowship offer, or the offer will be rescinded. Once an applicant accepts a fellowship offer, the student should promptly notify all other Stanford and non-Stanford programs to which they have applied that they have accepted another offer and to withdraw their candidacy.