Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

Welcome to the UW Seattle NextGen Civic Leader Corps!

We are a growing community of University of Washington undergraduate students who are passionate about public service, community engagement and civic leadership.

Through a combination of coursework, events and networking experiences, our goal is to connect like-minded peers and deepen an understanding and commitment to public service. This program is part of a growing network of similar programs across the country powered by the Volcker Alliance Next Generation Service Corps.

This program is open to all UW undergraduate students, year-round.

What is NextGen?

Our Community and Events

Throughout the academic year, the NextGen community engages in an array of activities that center on public service: from engaging with leaders in the field, skill building workshops, community service and networking events

Dean’s Forum on Race & Public Policy: Political Participation and Voting Access | April 19, 2024 12:00 PM-1:00 PM PT

During this election year, we are constantly reminded of the importance of voting and other acts of political participation. This election comes at a time when racial and ethnic disparities in voting and participation persist. The election system is under scrutiny and federal protections against racialized Adisenfranchisement, such as the Voting Rights Act, have been invalidated by Supreme Court. This Dean’s Forum will probe the national historic and contemporary dynamics around the most basic of our rights as citizens in a democracy. Understanding these matters is critical if we are to strengthen institutions of democracy nationally and to continue Washington State’s leading work around election administration integrity.  

 Action step: Please RSVP, here.

Spring 2024 lineup of speakers for the Evans School Research Seminar Series. 

Spring 2024 Schedule:

**Coffee/Tea and refreshments will be available at Wednesday Seminar sessions.

**All are welcome and encouraged to join!

Wednesday, April 24th, 2024 – 11:30 – 12:30, Parrington Hall 360

Dr. Bethany Gordon, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington

Dr. Gordon specializes in applications of behavioral science and psychology to improve design processes for a more equitable built environment. Her research also focuses on climate justice and addressing designer positionality (i.e., framing assumptions, stakeholder perspective-taking) in large-scale infrastructure design.  Dr. Gordon’s work aims to increase knowledge about how individuals or teams: 1) conceptualize collective identities in increasingly diverse spaces, 2) can overcome the environmental cues that restrict inclinations for equitable and resilient decision-making, and 3), can leverage climate adaptation to remediate past harms enacted by the built environment. 

Wednesday, May 1st, 2024 – 11:30 – 12:30pm, Parrington 360

Dr. James M. Thomas,  Department of Sociology,  University of Mississippi

Dr. Thomas’s research has been driven by questions within two interrelated fields of inquiry: histories of race and racism, and contemporary practices of race and racism. He employs a variety of interpretive methods to illuminate how meanings of race and racism arise within certain socio-cultural contexts, and how social actors reproduce and contest those meanings in everyday practices and encounters. Dr. Thomas has examined how institutions of higher learning implement diversity initiatives and where these efforts fall short. His most recent project examineswhiteness amongst individuals in the American South.  This new project seeks to bring into sharp relief the ambivalence, discomfort, and reflections around whiteness that are broadly missing in the sociological study of whiteness.   

This session is co-sponsored with the Department of Sociology
There will be opportunities to meet with Dr. Thomas during his visit.

NextGen Teams provide an opportunity to meet other Huskies, build meaningful connections and explore opportunities together.

  • NextGen Teams are comprised of 4 to 5 UW students who are passionate about public service and leadership. We aim to create teams that share interests but vary based on major. 
  • NextGen Teams complete 4 activities together:
    • Host a team orientation session +fun “get to know you”
    • Attend at least one public service-related event, learning experience or volunteering engagement
    • Organize and execute a NextGen Signature event*
    • Meet with NextGen staff for an end of the quarter reflection
  • Those who complete the NextGen Team requirements will receive themed swag
  • NextGen Teams Sign Up for Spring Quarter is currently closed, and will reopen in September for the Fall Quarter.

The Curriculum

All NextGen Civic Leader Corps members are highly encouraged to take a minimum of one course in the Public Policy or Leadership minor. This coursework provides an academic anchor for your public service career exploration, builds your understanding of theoretical frameworks, and can prepare you to talk about your community-engagement and leadership experiences in job interviews and/or graduate school applications.

  • LEAD 100: Learning Leadership (Autumn or Winter)  
  • PUBPOL 201: Introduction to Public Policy & Governance (Autumn or Winter)  
  • PUBPOL 302: Public Service Leadership (Spring and Summer)
  • LEAD 490 (Leadership Certificate)
  • Many courses outside the PUBPOL or LEAD course headings will also count!  
  • Electives that count for either minor may also count toward this requirement. This includes many courses outside the PUBPOL or LEAD course headings.

NextGen participants are strongly encouraged to consider a minor in Leadership or Public Policy.

Grow Your Leadership Experience

In addition to participating in NextGen community events and connected coursework, we also provide support with searching for or reflecting on leadership opportunities. Leadership experience could be an internship, ongoing volunteering commitment, role in a public service organization or participation in a mentorship program. There are also opportunities to serve in a NextGen student leader position!

What do NextGen Members Gain?

There are many ways to get involved in the NextGen community.

NextGen Members: sign up and attend an event. You’ll have opportunities to expand your network and develop new skills through an array of experiences.

NextGen Leaders: members who attend at least two events, engage in a leadership experience, and take at least one connected courses. You’ll receive:

  • NextGen Leader Certificate
  • Graduation stole
  • Receive priority consideration for two funded opportunities: the UW Alumni Reunion and Class Gifts Scholarship and Jackson Munro Public Service Fellowship

NextGen Scholars: members who complete the above and minor in either Public Policy or Leadership. You’ll receive

  • NextGen Scholar Certificate
  • Graduation stole
  • A scholarship
  • Transcripted minor

How do I join NextGen?

Joining NextGen is easy, there is no formal application process. The program is open to all University of Washington undergraduates. Those with a demonstrated history of work with underserved and underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to consider participation.  

Ready to join NextGen? Sign up today.

What happens after I join?

You will receive an email welcome from our team followed by our weekly newsletter highlighting upcoming events and opportunities. We hope you’ll join us!


Please email nextgenleader@uw.edu with questions or set up a time to chat with Dahn Bi Lee-Hong (they/them), the NextGen Civic Leader Corps Coordinator, via Zoom. Our office is located in Mary Gates Hall (MGH)#171.