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Program Components

Orientation & Retreat

orientation groupImmediately prior to each academic year, new and returning Scholars come together to organize for the upcoming year with an orientation program. Traditionally, orientation has been held the week prior to the arrival of new students to campus. This orientation acquaints new Scholars with both the components of the Program and their individual obligations. It is also a time for Scholars to develop personal relationships with fellow Ingram Scholars and Program staff.



Every Scholar will meet with the Faculty Director at the beginning of each semester to discuss her/his interests, concerns, and plans - both academic and service. At the beginning of each academic year each Scholar will draw up a brief description of her/his plans for the year. At the end of each academic year each Scholar will write up a short analysis of her/his development over the previous nine months.

Monthly Service Commitment

Throughout the Ingram Scholarship Program, Scholars are required to fulfill a 20-hour monthly service commitment. A Scholar’s individual interests and abilities determine the issues his or her work will address. Accordingly, a Scholar may create a new project that has never been done, create a new idea that will augment the mission of an established organization (on the Vanderbilt campus or in the Nashville community), or take a project already created to a much stronger level.

Please see "Community Engagement" for a list of current Scholar involvement.

Weekly Meetings

weekly meetingsEach Wednesday, Scholars come together as a group. These mandatory weekly meetings include:

  • All Scholars: The goal is to bring together the entire community of Scholars for a year-long series of seminars and presentations on a major theme. Ingram Scholars strive to build an environment where critical questions are raised and Scholars are challenged to understand, through the lenses of different disciplines, the implications and effects of community service.
  • Academic Seminars: The Ingram Scholars actively participate in seminars in order to broaden their understanding of the issues that concern their projects and the context in which they serve. The seminars inform and influence their work as students in service to the community.
    • New Scholars meet with Faculty Director, Marshall Eakin, for Ingram 101.
    • Returning Sophomores meet with Frank Wade for an in-depth look at service organizations in the Nashville community.
    • Returning Juniors and Seniors participate in seminars led by a variety of Vanderbilt faculty, administrators, staff, and visitors that will focus on key themes developed to complement the seminar series presented in the All Scholars session.
  • Workshops/Reflections:
    • Summer Program: Scholars engaging in a summer service project or research project with a faculty member attend a monthly workshop and prepare their proposals for the review process.
    • Senior Seminars: Led by Faculty Director Marshall Eakin, senior Scholars discuss the transition from the Ingram Scholarship Program to life after Vanderbilt.
    • Alumni SessionsScholars converse with local Ingram Scholar Alumni about meaningful issues they face in combining their education, careers, and service.
  • Small Groups: Scholars meet in groups of 6-7 mixed by year in school and interests to get to know each other in a relaxed and open environment and engage in meaningful conversations. Groups are led by Ingram Scholar Advisors.

Monthly Journals

The monthly journals will ask Scholars to reflect on the seminars/speakers in the All Scholars sessions with the aim of facilitating the discussions the following week in their Small Groups.

Comprehensive Year-end Report

For sophomore, junior and senior Scholars, the year-end report thoroughly documents the service work of the previous year and guides future Scholars by providing a source of ideas and references. For first-year Scholars, the report reviews the service work completed during the first year and the transition to the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities. All year-end reports highlight the observations of monthly reports and present solidifying conclusions and future goals by narrating and evaluating the service work from the current academic year.

Summer Service Project

summer serviceScholars are required to complete at least one summer service project. A summer project affords Scholars the opportunity to dive deep into a service interest and partner with a community or organization for eight weeks during any undergraduate summer. Scholars submit a written proposal and budget that extensively outlines the objectives of their work. Upon approval, Scholars receive a stipend of up to $5,000. Before orientation, Scholars completing a summer project will gather for a reflection retreat to debrief and reflect on their summer experience. During the orientation program, Scholars will present a summer service report describing their work and the realization of their projects.  Please see "Summer Program" for more information.

Senior Internships

Senior internships provide Scholars with a different perspective on service than they might have experienced in previous work. The internship is to take place with an area not-for-profit organization or private business. Through this commitment, senior Scholars can obtain substantive work experience, develop meaningful contacts with like-minded professionals, and grasp a clearer understanding of “life beyond college” as they prepare to enter the job market upon graduation. These internships are available, as an option but not a requirement, for all seniors. Please see "Senior Internships" for more information.