The Emerson Fellow of the Netter Center


Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Apply now!


Attend an information session!

Friday, February 9th - 3:00-4:00pm over Zoom.
Friday, February 23rd - 3:00-4:00pm over Zoom.
Monday, March 18th - 4:0
0-5:00pm over Zoom.
Register to receive the link:


The Emerson Fellow of the Netter Center offers one graduating Penn student—who has worked with the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses, and/or university-assisted community schools (UACS) programs—an opportunity to engage meaningfully in practice, research and policy and to disseminate their work to a national audience through a one-year (potentially renewable to a second year) appointment.

Based at the Netter Center as a full-time employee, the Emerson Fellow will work on two main areas:

First, the Fellow will work to advance university-assisted community schools locally in West Philadelphia. The Fellow will be tasked to increase the amount of resources from Penn, the community, and governmental agencies to support university-assisted community schools, as well as the integration of these resources. The Fellow will work closely with Netter Center Associate Director Cory Bowman, as well as the Center's Director of University-Assisted Community Schools and its Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) Coordinator on strategies to identify and integrate such resources at the school sites. The Fellow will also write reports and assist in evaluation of the effort to engage and coordinate additional Penn, governmental and community resources.

Second, the Fellow will work to advance the Netter Center’s national and international activities. The Fellow will work with Rita Hodges, the Netter Center’s Associate Director for National/International programs, to help advance the Netter Center’s national and international work. The Netter Center expects to provide unique opportunities to engage with policy and practice, meet leaders of major national organizations, as well as become involved with influential national organizations such as the Coalition for Community Schools and the Anchor Institutions Task Force. The Emerson Fellow will support the development of a university-assisted community school network of over 100 national leaders that the Netter Center has developed in collaboration with the Coalition for Community Schools. The Netter Center expects that Emerson Fellows will, as young scholars, begin to contribute to the field through research, publications, and presentations at national conferences. While most of this work will be done from the Netter Center’s offices, there will be occasional travel, mostly to NYC and D.C.

Emerson Fellows Application Process

The Netter Center will select one Fellow from the pool of graduating Penn students who have outstanding academic credentials and have shown leadership in and commitment to the university-assisted community schools program. Indicators of such involvement would include: number and types of academically based community service courses taken and performance in these courses, leadership roles in student programs that support the Netter Center’s university-assisted community schools (e.g., Community School Student Partnerships), and participation in an academic year and/or summer internship.

Students must develop an application portfolio - that includes:

  • An essay on interest in and goals for being an Emerson Fellow, as well as the relationship of the position to their future career goals
    • Note: This essay will serve as the cover letter. Please also separately attach the following:
  • List of ABCS courses completed, as well as internships and Netter Center-related work-study positions.
  • Resume
  • Recommendation letter waivers - download here:

The following should be sent directly from your references to the Netter Center:

  • Letters of recommendation from at least two Penn faculty members.
  • Letter of recommendation from a university-assisted community school principal, teacher, community school director, or community partner.

In addition to submitting a copy of the completed application portfolio along with a transcript (can be unofficial) to the Netter Center (, applicants must also apply online at WorkDay. For more information, please contact Hakiem Ellison at

Penn students who are graduating or have recently graduated are invited to apply for the Emerson Fellowship!