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Eight NC Students Receive National Civic Engagement Honor

On March 18th national Campus Compact announced the 2014 Newman Civic Fellows Award recipients. College and university presidents from 36 states – all members of Campus Compact – nominated 197 promising student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in their community to be Newman Civic Fellows. In North Carolina, eight students were selected.

“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world,” notes Campus Compact Board Chair James B. Dworkin, chancellor at Purdue University North Central. The award is generously sponsored by the KPMG Foundation.

Each year, the Newman Civic Fellows Award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Through service, research, and advocacy, the Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.

The 2014 North Carolina Newman Civic Fellows (read their bio by clicking on each name) :

Andrew Ryan Hall - Campbell University
Naomi  Coffman - Davidson College
Omolayo Ojo -Elon University
Beverly Mecum - Meredith College
James   Whalen  - UNC Asheville
Austin Halbert - UNC Charlotte
Ana Lara - Warren Wilson College
Aaron Marshall - Western Carolina University

This is an accomplished group. Western Carolina’s Aaron Marshall was honored by NC Campus Compact at the annual CSNAP Student Conference last fall as a Community Impact Student Award Winner. Aaron is a leader in Western’s alternative breaks program, participating in 10 trips during his time at WCU and working to market and evaluate break service.

At Elon, Omolayo Ojo is a top academic performer and a leader in community service, coordinating student volunteers in work with a local non-profit that serves immigrants. Omolayo’s passion for the work stems from her own childhood experience immigrating to the U.S. from Nigeria. Among her accomplishments are launching a program that enables Elon students to teach citizenship classes.

“Omolayo is an inspiring leader,” says Mary Morrison, director of Elon’s Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. “She really has an inner light and spirit that draws others to her.”

Aaron, Omolayo, and other Newman Fellows receive a certificate of recognition and the chance to leverage an even greater capacity for service and change through online networking. National Campus Compact maintains an exclusive online community especially for Fellows where they can share ideas and materials to further their work.

“Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who are eager and prepared to make a difference,” explains Campus Compact President Maureen Curley. “He dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform and this new group of Newman Civic Fellows would have inspired him. They are reflections and affirmations of his life’s work.”

Learn more about the Newman Fellows award here. To learn more about the statewide awards North Carolina Campus Compact presents to students, faculty, and administrators visit our Awards Page.

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