Centre Summer Scholars


Centre College invites motivated high school students to apply now for the Centre Summer Scholars Program • June 17-30, 2018.

Centre College, a top-50 national liberal arts college, attracts bright, highly motivated students from across the country and around the world; 85 percent of its graduates have studied abroad at least once. Centre is committed to developing global citizens, and the Summer Scholars Program emphasizes global diversity and awareness issues that are critical to any student preparing for higher education.

The program offers a taste of the Centre experience for rising juniors and seniors who seek an enriching academic and leadership experience.

Students walk across campus during the first day of classes


“The goal of the program is to help young people realize their potential, introduce them to a liberal arts atmosphere, and give them the tools needed to take positive action in improving our world,” says Lee Jefferson, director of the program and NEH associate professor of religion at Centre College. “Centre is committed to producing critical thinkers and responsible leaders,” he adds. “By exposing high school students to the nuances of topics such as cultural diversity and religion, film, and philosophy they will gain some insight into the benefits a liberal arts education provides.”

The intensive, two-week program incorporates informed discussion, field study at area locations, and evening programs that include talks by leaders in their respective fields. Students will live on campus and be integrated into the life of Centre College.

Three tracks of courses are being offered during the program, all of which are interdisciplinary in nature and overlap in order to facilitate discussion and reflection with all students in the program.


Total program cost: $1,500. Summer Scholars Program graduates who matriculate at Centre College will receive a one-time $1,000 scholarship.


Email program director Lee Jefferson (lee.jefferson@centre.edu) or Stacey Peebles (stacey.peebles@centre.edu).


Students who would like to attend the program should submit the short supplemental application by May 18.



Global Diversity and Cultures

Lee Jefferson, NEH Associate Professor of Religion

In order to be a global citizen, and particularly a leader within that citizenry, one must be aware of the great diversity our society affords. Especially in our current global climate, it is more important than ever to be literate in the cultures and belief systems that our world offers. Students in this track will examine and study religious diversity, including Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism within our immediate context, as well as examine cultural diversity through the lens of sustainability, including food. By being immersed in contemporary theories, readings, and through experiential learning, students will be well versed and literate in the global diversity of our contemporary world.

Mirror, Crystal Ball, Looking Glass: Film and Society

Stacey Peebles, NEH Associate Professor of English and Film Studies

Why do we like to watch movies? And what do we see when we do? Since its inception, film has been immensely popular both as art and entertainment. This course will follow some of the major movements in film history from the early silent era to the present day, and examine the structures and functions of film in a variety of cultural contexts. We will learn how to describe and analyze film’s textual elements (narrative, character, plot, etc.) and its technical elements (mine en scene, cinematography, editing, sound, etc.), all with an eye to exploring film’s relationship to the larger culture. We will consider questions about the relationship of art and life, authority and resistance, the dynamics of gender and race, and the attractions of genre.

The Medicine of the Forest

Aaron Godlaski, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience & Psychology

Our species evolved in the forest. For 99% of our evolutionary history we lived among the trees, and only yesterday, in evolutionary time scale, did we invent cities. Only this morning becoming an industrial civilization living busy, stressful, modern lives. This course explores the emerging science of how spending time in nature can heal us physically, mentally, and emotionally; and how new research is forcing us to rethink our relation to the natural world. If you have ever wondered why you love being outside, or if trees talk to one another, then this is a course for you.