Undergraduate Fellows Annual Theme


The Future of Work: Labor and Climate Change

This yearlong fellowship examines the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable communities here in Adams County and around the world. Students selected to participate will study and share how climate change impacts society, business, and the environment globally, from rising sea levels to the increased frequency of natural disasters. Despite policymakers’ efforts to slow the effects of global warming, continued dependence on fossil fuels and nonrenewable resources limits the impact of these efforts. The effects are disproportionally felt by the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, including ethnic minorities, poor communities, and migrants or displaced people.

This fellowship will focus on the agricultural industry, where less rainfall and temperature changes lead to crop failures and lower yields. Frequent flooding closes highways and railways, and disrupts supply chains. Field workers not only experience environmental threats, many face new health threats brought on by climate change, including heat stroke, cardiovascular illnesses, and respiratory illnesses. The complexity of these challenges can lead to stress and depression, affecting both employers and employees.

The 2024-25 Undergraduate Fellows will conduct field work to learn on how climate change is affecting migrant workers in Adams County, Pennsylvania. They will compare what’s happening locally to case studies across the U.S. and internationally. Fellows will examine labor policies, and participate in an international experiential learning trip to compare and contrast foreign policy with U.S. policy.

As a part of this theme, the undergraduate fellows will:

  • Visit agricultural farms in Adams County and interact with workers and employers to learn about the impact of climate change on the industry.
  • Work closely with migrant agricultural workers to learn about their challenges.
  • Organize workshops and/or conferences to create awareness about the rights of migrant workers in the agricultural industry.
  • Study how labor policies have changed over 100 years, including adaptations resulting from globalization, technology, and climate change.
  • Explore different generational reactions to climate change.
  • Study how new technologies positively and negatively contribute to climate change.

As part of the Undergraduate Fellowship, Fellows will be expected to:

  • Participate in a three-day orientation prior to the start of the fall term
  • Attend and contribute to weekly lunchtime meetings during the academic year
  • Conduct field visits to agricultural farms around Adams County
  • Participate in an international study trip during J-Term (January 2025)
  • Actively contribute to a cumulative group project throughout the academic year
  • Present group findings in April 2025

Previous Themes

  • 2023-24: The Future of Work: Man vs. Machine
  • 2022-23: The Future of Work: Labor Policy and the Post-COVID Economy
  • 2021-22: U.S.-China Relations: Is a New Cold War Coming? Is It Already Here?
  • 2020-21: The Domino Theory and Eisenhower's Foreign Policy
  • 2019-20: The Government We Pay For
  • 2018-19: Common Security, Common Prosperity
  • 2017-18: Transportation & Infrastructure
  • 2016-17: Refugee Policy
  • 2015-16: Energy Policy
  • 2014-15: Intelligence Policy
  • 2013-14: Space Policy
  • 2012-13: Presidential Elections

Prospective Applicants

The Undergraduate Fellowship is open to students who will be graduating in May 2025. Students who wish to participate must be available on campus throughout the 2024-25 academic year to participate in in-person meetings, activities, field work, and travel. Selected Fellows must have a passport, or are required to obtain a passport by November 1, 2024. Fellows are responsible for obtaining visas for international travel, if required. 

Application Center