Applying liberal arts insights to address challenges around the world


The Lampert Institute encourages interdisciplinary study and debate on civic affairs and public leadership. We combine on-campus educational programs with faculty-mentored off-campus student research, allowing liberal arts insights to shape solutions to the globe’s most challenging public problems.

About the Lampert Institute

A distinguishing feature of the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs is its commitment to the importance of bringing diverse disciplinary perspectives into conversation with one another.

The Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs represents a continuation and expansion of Colgate’s Institute for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), founded in 2007 through the generosity of Edgar Lampert ‘62, P’10 and his wife Robin Lampert P’10. Since its founding, the PPE has provided a forum for study and debate on civic affairs and public leadership, applying insights from the liberal arts to today’s most challenging public problems. 

The Lampert Institute builds on this strong foundation, integrating on-campus educational programs with faculty-mentored student research around the country and the world. Its emphasis on civic engagement in the global context speaks to the great importance of understanding our increasingly globalized world and seeing our lives within that context.  The Lampert Institute is at the vanguard of Colgate's efforts in internationalization. 

The broadening of the institute’s framework will appeal to students and faculty across Colgate’s divisions, departments, and programs. It invites humanists to ask moral questions of value and public purpose. It asks natural scientists to investigate and offer creative ideas to address our most intractable problems in the natural world. It calls on social scientists to analyze our economic, political, and cultural institutions and offer innovative solutions through public policy or leadership. In bringing these voices into dialogue with one another, the institute recognizes the great need for interdisciplinary approaches to challenging and multi-faceted questions.

Summer Fellowships

A signature program of the Lampert Institute is the Lampert Civic and Global Affairs Fellowship program. These competitive fellowships allow students to design research projects under the mentorship of a Colgate faculty member which they then undertake in the relevant domestic or international locale(s). Faculty mentors provide guidance during the students’ off-campus research period, using a range of communication technologies, and then mentor the students, once they are back on campus, in disseminating the research through public presentations and/or publications. This close student-faculty interaction is at the heart of Colgate’s educational mission, and these fellowships extend that work to all corners of the world.

As the Lampert Institute has grown, the number of such fellowships has been substantially expanded. The Institute has become the go-to place for students across campus who seek to undertake rigorous, faculty-mentored summer research beyond the local region (for which the Upstate Institute has a notable summer research program).

Executive Council

Director: Illan Nam, Political Science