CIG Accepting Nominations for Ratcliffe Student Fellows

The CIG (Center for Innovation and Growth) is accepting nominations for their Student Fellows program called the Ratcliffe Fellows. This program is designed with a focus to help prepare students for the future.

Thomas Sutton and David Shapiro head the program. According to Sutton, Director of the Community Research Institute, one of the most beneficial parts of the program is the connections made. When students graduate and are in the workforce, the connections they made in university can make the difference of whether or not they get a job they apply to.

The Ratcliffe Fellows is a diverse program, as it accepts students from all majors and backgrounds. The reason for this is that the program focuses on instilling virtues into the participants. In the program, the students are expected to read from a book called Exception to the Rule by Alan Kolp, James Stoller, and Peter J. Rea.

To participate in the program, students need to be nominated. Students can be nominated by advisors, professors, peers, and themselves. There is a low-risk of being apart of the program, according to David Shapiro, Practice Manager, and a member of the department Center for Innovation and Growth. He states a lot of the students’ work comes from the book Exception to the Rule, which they have to read.

Shapiro states that students are given readings that they are to respond to, like any class at BW they attend. Still, the students are the focus of this program. Participants will get what they put into the program.

The Ratcliffe Fellows program does not necessarily have a limit to the students, but the runners of the program do like to keep the group on the smaller side. The reason for this is that it is easier to give each student the attention they need when the group is smaller.

One program that significantly reflects the Ratcliffe Student Fellows is the Student Athlete Fellows. Both programs are very similar, and the Student Athlete Fellows began because of overlap with the class meeting times and student-athlete obligations. The had become two different programs back when the Ratcliffe Student Fellows lasted a whole school year.

The Student Athlete Fellows had been shortened to one-semester to benefit the schedules of the participants. Nowadays, both programs only last one semester though there are still some key differences. While both programs follow the same book, Alan Kolp leads the Student Athlete Fellows and puts a focus on the students’ teams and coaches.

The Ratcliffe Fellows program started fifteen years ago in 2005. The program’s primary goals are to get more students involved in the CIG and to help prepare students for life beyond college.

When asked about his opinion of the program, Shapiro states, “It’s [Ratcliffe Student Fellows] space where we talk about real-world situations and scenarios.”

While the program only lasts a semester, Sutton stated that the program goes beyond that time frame.

According to Sutton, “About five percent of the students at BW are a part of the Ratcliffe Student Fellows each year.”

The program helps students to develop skills and connections and skills that could benefit their future. Students who stay at BW beyond the semester get the chance to be a part of internships, helping them to further their connections made through the program.