Grinnell Corps Application

Grinnell Corps Applications

Selection Process Timeline



  • Monday, February 3, 2014: Completed applications due to the Center for Careers, Life and Services, 1127 Park St., by 5:00 pm
  • Late February/Early March: Interviews of qualified candidates
  • Early March: Notification of Fellows and alternates
  • Friday, March 14, 2014: Deadline to accept or decline Grinnell Corps offers (may be extended on a case-by-case basis)
Grinnell Corps Selection Criteria

Grinnell Corps fellows will be selected based on: 

  • Their academic and co-curricular preparation for this position 
  • Their understanding of and enthusiasm for this position 
  • The applicability of this position to their future goals and interests 
  • Their promise of contribution to this program 
Committee Members

 For the New Orleans and Thailand programs, our host partners will also have a voice in the review of written applications. Doug Cutchins administers each committee, but is not a voting member of the committees.


Richard Fyffe (Library) 
Chris Hunter (Sociology) 
Rachel Porath (MICA) 
Susan Sanning (CLS) 


Jayn Chaney (Alumni Relations) 
George Drake (History) 
Rebecca Hamlin (Political Science) 
Elizabeth Prevost (History)


David Campbell (Biology) 
Kathy Jacobson (Biology) 
Emily Westergaard-Hamilton (alum) 
Eliza Willis (Political Science) 


David Cook-Martin (CIS and Sociology) 
Claire Moisan (ALSO program) 
Lee Running (Art) 
Lesley Wright (Faulconer Gallery) 

New Orleans 

Mark Peltz (CLS) 
Asani Seawell (Psychology) 
Deanna Shorb (CRSSJ) 
Justin Thomas (Theater) 


Karen Edwards (International Student Affairs) 
Cori Jakubiak (Education) 
Johanna Meehan (Philosophy) 
Roger Vetter (Music)

Overview of Application

Each Grinnell Corps program requires the following application elements, which should be submitted in the following order:


You must submit a separate copy of the application form for each program for which you are applying. This has been formatted in Adobe Acrobat to allow applicants to type directly onto it and print it, though you may not be able to save your work. Please note that there are three program-specific questions on this form; you may leave these spaces blank if they are not applicable.


All applicants must initial and sign this form. Please note that having been convicted of an academic honesty or conduct offense does not carry an automatic disqualification from the Grinnell Corps; each committee will review the details of an applicant's infraction and make their own decisions.


Attach one copy of the photo and signature page of your passport; make sure that the information is legible and your photograph is clear. If you do not have a passport, you must apply for one and include a copy of the paperwork demonstrating that you have already done so. The passport copy is requested only for administrative reasons, is not a part of the selection process, and will not be given to committee members. This is not required of candidates who are only applying for domestic programs in Grinnell and New Orleans.


No form is included for this application element, but it is required for all applications. On a separate piece of paper, list any courses (including foreign language study) you have had which you consider relevant to your interest in the Grinnell Corps program to which you are applying. For each course, please list the course number, title, the number of credit hours you received for this course, the semester you took this course, and the grade you received. Also include a short (1-2 sentences) statement as to how this course is relevant to the position you are applying for. Be aware that committees may also ask you to explain the relevance of certain courses during an interview.


Write a three- to four-page double-spaced essay in which you explain in some detail why you wish to participate in this program. You should discuss your background, your college years, and your personal goals and aspirations. Include any particular strengths that you feel would contribute to your successful participation in this program (e.g. academic background, previous overseas travel or contact with other cultures, extracurricular activities, special interests, hobbies). You should also address what you perceive to be the key challenges to participating in this program, and how you expect to handle these challenges. The personal statement provides an opportunity for you to give us a sense of yourself as a person likely to derive genuine benefit from the opportunities which the program provides, so you should also explain how participating in this program will impact your future plans. Given the large differences between programs, students who are applying to multiple programs would be wise to submit a different essay with each application.

Advice on writing personal statements


Each application must include an unofficial transcript, which you may obtain from the Registrar's Office in the Chrystal Center. Please note that a copy of your academic history printed from PioneerWeb is not acceptable.


Include a one-page resume specifically tailored to address the program to which you are applying. Resumes should include your extracurricular activities, employment history, and honors and awards. Except in extraordinary cases, students are well-advised to keep their resume to one page.


All programs require two letters of recommendation for each applicant. Letter-writers should be chosen carefully, and should be people who know you well and can speak to your ability to carry out the Fellowship to which you are applying. For example, students who are applying for teaching Fellowships would be wise to choose faculty members who can address the student's oral and written presentation skills, or the student's study of a foreign language. At least one of the letters must come from a Grinnell College faculty member. Grinnell Corps committee members may write letters of recommendation if they so choose (some faculty members have an individually-formulated policy against writing letters when they will serve on the committee). Letters should be submitted directly to the Center for Careers, Life and Service by the author.

Advice for students on obtaining letters of recommendation

Explanations of all of these elements are within their respective drawers. Please ensure that all application documents comply with these submission guidelines. Applicants who are applying to more than one program must turn in separate copies of similar forms for each program; for example, if you are applying for three different programs, you must turn in three separate copies of the application form, as well as three unofficial transcripts, even though they will be the same for all three programs. The exceptions to this are the Permission Form and Waiver and the Passport Copy; we only need one copy each of the permission form/waiver and passport copy, no matter how many programs you are applying for.