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Smith Fellow

Fellowship Program Description

Fr. Philip A. Smith, O.P.The Fr. Philip A. Smith, O.P. Student Fellowships for Study and Service Abroad are awarded on a competitive basis to rising juniors and seniors. The Fellowships enable students to undertake summer study or service at Catholic and Dominican sites outside the continental United States. The Fellowships cover travel, living, and incidental expenses, and provide Fellows with a modest stipend. The Fellowships are funded through the generosity of, among others, members of the Providence College Board of Trustees, current and former.


The Fellowships are designed to encourage highly motivated students to deepen their acquaintance with the Catholic and Dominican intellectual tradition and the ethos of Christian service, and to introduce them to the breadth and richness of the church universal. They are also intended to act as a leaven within the College community.

Criteria for Selection

Proposals from rising juniors and seniors are considered on the basis of a) the aptness of the proposed course of study or service, given the purpose of the Fellowships; b) the demonstrated ability and readiness of the student to undertake what is proposed; and c) the feasibility and timeliness of the proposal. Although study and service undertaken as a Fellow may contribute to ongoing interests and scholarship, study or service for credit is excluded.

Instructions and Guidelines for Summer 2019 Smith Fellowship


Each year an announcement of the Fellowships is made in late September, to be followed by informational meetings in early October. A letter of application, with a preliminary description of the proposed course of travel, study, or service, is due on the Friday before the Thanksgiving Break and is reviewed by the Selection Committee. This should be accompanied by a completed Application Form. The Committee then communicates with each applicant about how to proceed with the drafting of the formal proposal, which is due in January on the Friday following the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. Fellows will be announced in February.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee consists of:  Fr. R. Gabriel Pivarnik, O.P. , Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Chair, and Campus Ministers Robert Pfunder and Heidi Fraitzl, appointed by Fr. R. Gabriel Pivarnik, O.P., Vice President for Mission and Ministry.  Consultants to the Selection Committee include Ms. Marifrances McGinn, Esq., College Counsel, and Ms. Gail Dyer, Associate College Legal Counsel. College Chaplain Fr. Peter Martyr Yungwirth, O.P., serves as a peritus.

Additional Considerations

Fellows must be full-time undergraduates in good standing. Three letters of recommendation are required, at least one of which must be from an ordinary member of the Providence College faculty. Fellows agree to give a presentation about their experience in the Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies during the semester following their return.

Although prospective Fellows may propose a course of study or service according to their interests, the Program has established relationships with sites and individuals in Ecuador, Argentina, South Africa, the Philippines, Australia, and the Solomon Islands.  Students may wish to contact the individuals involved to determine whether they can pursue their study or service at one or more of these sites.

Fr. Philip A. Smith, O.P.

Fr. Philip A. Smith, O.P. was the 11th President of Providence College (1994-2005). A native of Prince Edward Island, Canada, Fr. Smith graduated from Providence College and entered the Dominican Order in 1961. A philosopher by training and a specialist in bioethics, Fr. Smith also served as President of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC; as a member of the Provincial Council of St. Joseph Province of the Dominican Friars, and as a delegate to the 1995 General Chapter of the Dominican Order in Caleruega, Spain. In gratitude for his many years of service to the Church, Order, and to the students of Providence College, these Fellowships are named in his honor.