Matthew Bell

University of Puget Sound

Matthew Bell, a sophomore at the University of Puget Sound, demonstrates great commitment to civic and political engagement for the greater good. He serves as our campus Voter Engagement Specialist, working in our Center for Intercultural and Civic Engagement to increase access to voter registration and help students register to vote. Matthew actively questions the causes of social inequity, viewing engagement both as a privilege and as a necessity for creating change. In his work, he recognizes that access to voting and participating in electing those who create our laws is not made equitably available for all people, particularly those from minoritized backgrounds. He attempts to combat this reality by reducing barriers to registration and voting for young adults while fostering a culture of engaged, intentional involvement in our political systems. I am pleased to nominate Matthew as an individual with a deep excitement for learning and desire to improve the world through civic action in the political realm. He will be an asset to the program, a great representative of the university, and will also grow and be shaped by the experience in service to others.

Isiaah Crawford
University President
University of Puget Sound

Personal Statement

I have helped register young people to vote long before I was in any official role. In high school I constantly reminded my peers to register to vote once they were eligible to do so. Additionally, I have served on various campaigns in my hometown school district where I was tasked with encouraging young people to vote. I believe in voter and civic engagement because it allows us all to be active participants in our democracy. While the institutions are far from perfect, I want to use my talents and abilities to change the system so that more young people are able to participate. As the current Voter Engagement Specialist at the University of Puget Sound, I take seriously the responsibilities I have to make the ballot box more accessible to our students who come from a variety of states. I acknowledge that not all students have the interest to register to vote or file for an absentee ballot; I am working to make the process of doing so easier. Through reaching out to residence halls and campus organizations or hosting voter registration drives, I am finding ways to overcome institutional factors that make voting inaccessible to college students.

Matthew Bell
Politics and Government, Spanish minor: Class of May 2020
written 2018

2018 Fellows Alphabetical by Institution

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Terrell Saunders, UNC Greensboro Lizbeth Morales, Univeristy of North Texas at Dallas Evelyn Denisse Monreal Pitones, Universidad de Monterrey Mikita Thompson, University of Baltimore Jayda Williams, University of Central Arkansas Madeline Mills, University of Central Florida Kalen Russell, University of Central Oklahoma Wanjiku Gatheru, University of Connecticut Sarah Richard, University of Dayton Liliana Diaz-Solodukhin, University of Denver Krista Smith, University of Florida Mariana Grijalva, University of Houston-Downtown Marvin Slaughter, University of Illinois at Chicago Alix Fisk, University of Kansas Cynthia Corona, University of La Verne Taryn Jones, University of Maryland Eastern Shore Stephanie Milani, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Josue Rivera Valdez, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Faith Boone, University of Miami Anna Maria Genovesi, University of Michigan-Flint Jennifer Mossgraber, University of Missouri - St. Louis Sophie Moon, University of Montana Spencer Whyte, University of Mount Union Cassandra Griffin, University of Nebraska Omaha Daniel Suber, University of North Carolina Asheville Sreevidhya (Vidhya) Balasubramanian, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Katherine Rasmussen, University of North Florida Brittaney Dyer, University of North Georgia Ashley Sánchez, University of Northern Iowa Prathm Juneja, University of Notre Dame Sabine Brown, University of Oklahoma, Tulsa Heidi Lee, University of Pennsylvania Matthew Bell, University of Puget Sound Victoria Stabile, University of Rhode Island Alicia Jiggetts, University of Richmond Josefina Jaramillo, University of San Diego Daizha Green, University of South Carolina Tiana Burgess, University of South Carolina Beaufort Michael Sullivan, University of St Thomas Wendy Hoang, University of Wisconsin - Madison Yoger Aguilar, University of Wisconsin - Parkside Zoe Betancourt, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Sydney Mastey, University of Wisconsin-Superior
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