Learn more about ENACT: the Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation.

Read about the ENACT Faculty Fellows here.

See the list of ENACT schools here

Second ENACT Institute Brings new Cohort of ENACT Faculty Fellows to Brandeis

2018 State House

ENACT Faculty Fellows and staff with State Legislators and aides in the House Chambers of the Massachusetts State House

May 20-24 2018 

At a time when people across the United States are looking toward state and local government with a heightened focus, ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation, an innovative program that engages undergraduates in state-level legislative change through an experiential approach is expanding. The Ethics Center welcomed to Brandeis the newest cohort of ENACT Faculty Fellows for a multiday institute from May 20th to 24th.

“In our current political times, my students are looking to not just learn about politics but to apply that knowledge to the world around them,” said new ENACT Faculty Fellow Stephen Danley, Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers-Camden University. “The ENACT model provides support for professors like myself who believe students are most engaged when they’re doing.”

The 13 new Faculty Fellows hail from Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. They join a thriving national network of 16 Fellows who have created and taught courses designed to foster civic activism for the past two years, expanding the program’s reach to a total of 29 states. All teach at colleges and universities located in or near state capitals.

Launched in 2015, ENACT is a national program based at the Ethics Center that is focused on providing undergraduate students at colleges and universities around the nation skills necessary to effectively participating in state-level legislative action.

The new Faculty Fellows, known as Cohort Two, were joined at the Institute by six Fellows from the inaugural cohort, Brandeis program staff, and guest speakers. Bringing their varied experiences as professors of environmental sciences, sociology, political science, and politics, Cohort Two brought new perspectives as they discussed their plans for integrating the ENACT model into courses they will bring to their home institutions.

Fellows explored the process of state legislation from several perspectives, and discussed the challenges their students might face when working with legislators, legislative staff, and community organizations. ENACT Academic Program Director Melissa Stimell, whose Brandeis ENACT course “Advocacy for Policy Change” serves as the model for the program, offered her guidance and feedback, and Cohort One Fellows shared their experiences teaching ENACT courses across the country.

L TO R: faculty fellows Michelle Inderbitzin (L) and Jason Gainous (r)
speak with Brandeis enact student max Everson about his experience

The Fellows also spent a day at the Massachusetts State House, where they met with state legislators and their staff and were recognized from the floor of the House by the Speaker while the legislature was in session. Representative Jay Kaufman ’68 MA '73, ENACT's Distinguished Legislator, and Representative Jonathan Hecht, who has been a frequent guest lecturer at the Brandeis ENACT course, also met with the Fellows.

faculty fellows Candis watts smith (L) and Stephen Danley (middle)
speak with a legislative aide at the Massachusetts state house 

“I am very impressed with the intuitiveness of the ENACT program in terms of its goals for student civic engagement,” said new ENACT Faculty Fellow Stella Rouse, Professor of Government and Politics and Director of the Center for American Politics and Citizenship at the University of Maryland, College Park. “Yet it is really the road map and its adaptability that makes the program unique. I came away from the Institute with a good understanding of how I can apply the ENACT model at my own institution, along with the confidence that I will have continual support from the ENACT community throughout the process of implementation.”

“The strength of ENACT lies in our growing network of skilled faculty members, dedicated students, and engaged alumni,” said ENACT Coordinator David Weinstein. “Each of our Faculty Fellows brings to ENACT knowledge from their discipline and wisdom from the civic engagement work they have been doing. Bringing this group from around the country together in person for the ENACT Institute – and continuing our collaboration throughout the year – has produced incredible learning for ENACT students throughout our network.”


ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation is a new national program to engage young people in state-level legislative change. Students enrolled in courses taught by ENACT faculty fellows at colleges and universities in or near state capitals around the country are learning how to work with advocacy organizations, legislators and legislative staff members to advance policy. For more information, visit go.brandeis.edu/ENACT.