I am pleased to nominate an excellent SUNY Broome student, Karryann Kohlbeck, for the Newman Civic Fellows Award. Karryann Kohlbeck's academic journey has led her from Arizona to Upstate New York, and across the disciplines. While she initially began as a Health Sciences student, she has found her passion in writing - and in public service and social change. Karryann, who is a Navajo Indian, hopes to one day become an attorney focusing on women's rights and public policy. This dedicated student, a Teacher Education - English major seeks to foster civic engagement in all its forms, whether it's helping schoolchildren make tangible differences in their communities, helping community members explore and solve complex problems through the deliberation process, or uniting students to support a daycare center used by their peers. While soft-spoken, she is fiercely dedicated to the democratic process and its ability to solve even our most intractable social problems. Due to her many achievements and leadership abilities, I commend Karryann and recommend her for the Newman Civic Fellows Award.
Several of my educational endeavors at SUNY Broome Community College have focused on civic learning and engagement. From experiences such as Public Deliberations and Public Achievement I have seen the importance of citizen voice in building strong communities. But perhaps more importantly, I have discovered that our youth can and should be a strong catalyst for political and social change. Through my experiences as a Public Achievement coach, I have been able to help children not only recognize their potential to be agents of change but help them effectively make change a reality. I plan to continually educate and prepare myself to be an informed and engaged citizen and civic-minded practitioner; creating learning environments where all children are able to use their voices as instruments of change. Therefore, learning by doing is the primary solvent of civic education in which children are able to develop craftsmanship and express their ingenuity that undergirds a constitutional democracy. As a future educator and lifelong learner, I am committed to educating our youth with the civic tools for creating a better tomorrow.