Pace Center for Civic Engagement Joins The Alumni Network


Princeton AlumniCorps is proud to announce the addition of Princeton University‘s Pace Center for Civic Engagement to The Alumni Network (TAN), making it the second new affiliate this year! The following interview highlights their approach and dedication to education, innovation, and excellence in public service among Princeton alumni.


Tell us about the Pace Center. What is the overall mission, vision, and strategy of the organization?

The Pace Center for Civic Engagement is the University’s central resource for civic engagement. It supports efforts by undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni to identify and act on the problems of society. The mission of the Center is to integrate civic engagement with the teaching and learning mission of Princeton University by helping all members of the extended Princeton community to identify and address issues of public concern through engaged scholarship, active citizenship, and effective public leadership for the purpose of building stronger communities and societies throughout the world. Pace connects students  with opportunities to thoughtfully address civic problems and have an impact through activities including direct volunteer service, civic action break trips, social entrepreneurship, political action, public service internships and fellowships, volunteer teaching and tutoring, and engaged academics.

The Pace Center manages and support two postgraduate fellowship programs – High Meadows Fellowships focused on the environment and sustainability and the Charles W. Puttkammer ’58 Prisoner Reentry Fellowship.

The High Meadows Fellowships program places recent Princeton graduates in two-year paid positions with three of the nation’s leading non-profit environmental organizations: Environmental Defense Fund, The Food Project, and Vermont Community Foundation. The organizations aim to protect the environment and build environmental sustainability, or bring an environmental focus to building community capacity and increasing the self-sufficiency of community residents.  Generously funded by the High Meadows Fund, Fellows have an opportunity to learn more about the issues these organizations address, while they gain valuable professional experience and explore a career in the public interest. During the course of the fellowship, High Meadows Fellows make a genuine contribution toward advancing the organizations’ objectives and mission. The cohort of fellows is maintained at 8 fellows.

The Charles W. Puttkammer ’58 Prisoner Reentry Fellowship program is a program that places a recent Princeton graduate in a two-year paid position with one of New Jersey’s leading nonprofit organizations, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ). The Institute aims to raise the profile of prisoner reentry issues for state decision-makers and local communities, and to help protect communities from the negative impacts of reentry. The Institute provides job training and appropriate social services to facilitate the reentry of former prisoners into their home communities. Generously funded by the Charles W. Puttkammer ’58 Prisoner Reentry Fellowship program, the Prisoner Reentry Fellow has an opportunity to learn more about the issues the NJISJ organization addresses, while gaining valuable professional experience and exploring a career in the public interest. During the course of the fellowship, the Puttkammer Fellow will take on substantive and challenging work and make a genuine contribution toward advancing the organizations’ objectives. As of 2011, there are two Puttkammer fellows.


Who is eligible to participate?

Current enrolled Princeton seniors in good standing. Depending on the specific positions, non-U.S. citizens may not be eligible to apply.


What are the requirements of the program (s)?

For both the High Meadows and Puttkammer programs, the requirements are as follows:

  • Fulfill the 2-year commitment
  • Mandatory orientation program
  • Participate in requested Princeton-sponsored meetings, conferences, recruitment events
  • Contribute to marketing plan and materials
  • Communicate with Pace Center staff
  • Complete mid-year and end-of-year evaluations


What kind of positions in the nonprofit sector do you offer? (e.g. environment, public health, government, urban development, education) 

Broadly, the High Meadows positions are focused on the environmental sector, and the Puttkammer fellowship positions are focused on the criminal justice sector. Depending on the position, the focus on the work may be on public policy, corporate partnerships, philanthropic grant-making, legislative research, and more.


How long has your organization been up and running?

The Pace Center was founded in 2001. The High Meadows Fellowships have been associated with the Pace Center since 2002. The Puttkammer Fellowships have been with the Pace Center since 2009.


How did your organization begin? What inspired this organization?

The Pace Center was named for John Pace, Jr., a member of Princeton’s Class of 1939. The High Meadows Fellowships were founded by Carl Ferenbach, Princeton Class of 1964, and the Puttkammer Fellowships were founded by Charles W. Puttkammer, Princeton Class of 1958. Both fellowship programs reflect the interest and commitments of the respective Princeton alumni.


How many fellows and interns have you placed in total?

In any one year, there are 8 High Meadows Fellows. The first year of the Puttkammer fellowship program had 1 fellow and in subsequent years, there have been 2 Fellows in a year.


Where geographically do you place fellows/interns?

All High Meadows fellowships are located throughout the U.S.  The Puttkammer fellowship is located in Newark, NJ.


Can you provide an example of a success story within your program?

Sure – visit the Pace Center website to read more –


Who is the primary TAN contact for your program/organization?

Elsie Sheidler,; 609-258-7260.

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