Emma Harrison, a junior at West Virginia University, is a passionate and tireless advocate for social justice with a particular interest in prison education. Emma has already taught two courses in our local federal correctional facility: Stigmatization and Leadership Lecture Series. She was also selected to be a member of Think-Tank, a council of imprisoned persons and volunteers that develops programs, workshops and seminars for men in the facility. She also serves as a legal intern with West Virginia Innocence Project. Through these various related experiences, Emma has become not merely aware of but deeply attuned and sympathetic to the challenges facing imprisoned persons throughout their reentry into the community. In response, she has identified the need to expand prison education programming. She has proposed expanding book clubs specifically, starting here at our two local facilities and then progressing statewide.+ Read More
Nathan Bodger, a third-year Religious Studies major and Environmental Science minor at Stetson University, is a committed campus and community leader in the issues of environmental sustainability and public policy. As a first-year student, Nathan served as a campus Environmental Fellow, through which he coordinated recycling and food waste reductions programs while educating local youth on environmental sustainability. During his second and third years at Stetson, Nathan helped create a community garden in a local food desert, led environmental policy lobbying efforts through campus and community campaigns, and initiated the Stetson Revolving Green Fund (RGF), a fund for sustainability projects that is student-funded through a $5/semester "Green Fee" - the first of it's kind at a college or university. Nathan has also completed environmental fieldwork across the world, including reforestation and agriculture education efforts in rural Guatemala. Upon graduation, Nathan intends to pursue a J.D., as well as a doctorate in political philosophy, through which he will focus on international human rights and environmental law.+ Read More
Allison Hopkins, a Senior at Indiana University Kokomo, has been engaged in community service since she arrived on campus as a Freshman. Social justice is important to Allison. She is President of Enactus, a student organization that utilizes an entrepreneurial approach in developing projects to address needs on campus and in the community. Recognizing that hunger is an issue everywhere, even for some of her fellow students, she has helped to run the on-campus food pantry, and taught professional development to women residing in our local domestic violence shelter. She has participated in IU Kokommo's Social Entrepreneurship Exploration program where she and her classmates traveled to England to study social enterprises. Upon returning, Allison and two of her fellow students developed a model for a social enterprise that would provide mentoring to address the social interaction customs and cultural understanding that refugees, immigrants and/or displaced individuals may not understand. Developing this model has inspired her to continue to look for new and innovative ways to help people.+ Read More
Prathm Juneja, a third year student at the University of Notre Dame, is an outstanding student leader with unique capacity to integrate his political science and computer science skills. In so doing, he promotes civic and political engagement both on campus and off campus, grounded in theory and research. His leadership in Student Government and commitment to strengthening community earned him respect from his peers, faculty, and administrators while working together to address controversial issues we face. Mr. Juneja draws upon his deep understanding of others, personal experiences, and classroom learning to create opportunities for his fellow students to practice civil discourse, advance voter education, and increase electoral turnout among students and local residents. We look forward to supporting Mr. Juneja as a Newman Civic Fellow as he pursues his goal of activating political and civic engagement to further the common good among our student body and in our local community.+ Read More
Veronica Fernandez-Diaz, a third-year student at Colorado College, is a civic leader committed to building a more equitable and inclusive society. She acts as an unwavering advocate for marginalized communities, engaging in immigration reform efforts both locally and nationally.
On CC's campus, Veronica works to broaden support for first-generation and DACA students through her work in the Office of Admissions and as a Bridge Scholars Program Mentor. She leverages her sociology major to create opportunities for students to learn about and engage with immigrants in detention facilities across the country.
When legislative actions last fall threatened the community of "Dreamers," Veronica applied her dedication, passion, and leadership to national activism efforts. She has collaborated with United We Dream and the Catholic Immigration Network to engage in organizing training in Washington, D.C. She has also pursued these efforts locally, as a core leader of the community's Dream Team.
Veronica is on track to complete CC's 3-year Community Engaged Leadership Certificate Program, demonstrating her long-term commitment to civic leadership. With her collaborative spirit and passion for community organizing, she holds great potential to solve issues of access and equity.+ Read More
Faith Boone is a junior at the University of Miami studying Health Sector Management and Policy and minoring in Public Health and Finance. As a student leader at the University of Miami, Faith has demonstrated a passion for serving local youth through mentorship and early childhood education. In her first year at the university, Faith developed the Canes ConqHER service event to empower young elementary-aged girls through workshops on self-esteem, personal development and self-expression. She currently serves as the president of a student organization dedicated to helping kindergarten and first-grade youth improve their literacy capabilities on a weekly basis.+ Read More
During her three years at Mercer, Elliza Guta has demonstrated a passion for women's advocacy, particularly in the field of domestic violence prevention. In both her extracurricular and academic activities, Elliza has demonstrated initiative, perseverance, and determination. As a Mercer Service Scholar, Elliza helped lead a program on intimate partner violence prevention in South Africa. She worked diligently to create a comprehensive curriculum to educate primary students about healthy relationships and conducted focus groups and interviews with parents to assess the impact of cultural norms on the acceptance of relationship violence. Further, she traveled to the Republic of Georgia to conduct research about the influence of religious ideology on women's pursuit of equality. She presented her research on domestic violence and child marriage rates in the Republic of Georgia at the Southern Undergraduate Research Forum. Through her study abroad experiences and her volunteer work with a local battered women's shelter, Elliza saw first-hand the detrimental effects of abusive relationships and the need for a relationship violence prevention program in the Macon community. Consequently, Elliza has created a mentorship program for Mercer students to educate local high school students on teen dating violence.+ Read More