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Fr. Philip A. Smith, O.P., Student Fellowships for Study and Service Abroad

Fellowship Program Description


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 2016 Smith Fellowships



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. Kevin D. Robb, O.P., Associate Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Chair, and two others, 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 M. James Cuddy, 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.

Altjhough 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. 

For additional information, please contact:
Fr. Kevin D. Robb, O.P
Associate Vice President for Mission and Ministry
Chair, Smith Fellowship Selection Committee
Harkins Hall 110-B
(401) 865-2107


Meet Our Smith Fellows​


Over seven summers, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, there have been a total of fifty-three Smith Fellows studying or serving in eighteen locations in various parts of the world. Many of them created BLOGs describing and reflecting upon their experiences.


Read Six Summers' Worth of

Smith Fellow BLOGs here.


In late September and early October 2015, the Summer 2015 Smith Fellows made four presentations to the Providence College Community describing their study and service experiences abroad.  Those four presentations were videotaped and can be viewed by clicking the link below.  In addition, the four presentations made by the Summer 2014 Smith Fellows in the early autumn of 2014, the four presentations made by the Summer 2013 Smith Fellows in the early autumn of 2013, the three presentations by the Summer 2012 Smith Fellows in the early autumn of 2012, as well as two of the three presentations made by the Summer 2011 Smith Fellows in the early autumn of 2011 may also be viewed.


View Summer 2015, 2014,

2013, 2012, and 2011

Smith Fellow Presentations here.


The Office of Mission and Ministry
Harkins Hall 110
Phone: (401) 865-1210
Fax: (401) 865-1225
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