Campus Compact Announces Newman Civic Fellowship Campus Innovation Cohort

Campuses receive funds to help enhance the Newman Civic Fellowship experience.

Thanks to support from our partners at Lumina Foundation, Campus Compact selected six teams across seven Campus Compact member institutions to receive funding to take on projects that will help enhance the Newman Civic Fellowship program and support student civic development.

Each team will lead individual work on their campus, pursuing strategic goals in areas including improving access for historically underrepresented students, developing student professional development opportunities, improving mentoring processes, and generally raising awareness of the Newman Civic Fellowship and the impact of student changemakers in our communities. In addition, all grantees will participate as a member of a nationwide cohort that will collaborate to deepen student civic leadership development across higher education. Read more below about the recipients and the work they’ll be pursuing this year.

University of North Florida

Justin M. Sipes

Director, Office of Experiential Learning

“As a Campus Innovation Cohort member, I will work with our Newman Civic Fellow to establish a sustainable infrastructure that increases awareness of the Newman Civic Fellowship opportunity and formalizes the nomination and selection processes. This will institutionalize the opportunity and ensure it meets the criteria for recognition as an experiential learning activity. Furthermore, we will explore mechanisms for Newman Civic Fellow compensation, compile materials to support mentors, and develop a marketing campaign to expand the applicant pool to additional students.”

Spelman Collage

Jilo Tisdale

Director, Bonner Office of Civic Engagement

“As a participant in the Campus Innovation Cohort, I will work with our Newman Civic Fellow to explore strategies to identify, recruit, and support dynamic mentors who increase student development during the fellowship year and encourage sustained engagement. We will also review our nomination and selection process with a goal of increasing awareness of the Newman Civic Fellowship opportunity and creating a selection process that aligns with our institution’s values around civic engagement and leadership.”

Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Worcester State University

Laura Roberts

Assistant Teaching Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Amanda Wittman

Director, John J. Binienda Center for Civic Engagement, Worcester State University

“We are collaborating to increase participation in the Newman Civic Fellowship among Worcester area Campus Compact Institutions. Together, we will provide technical support to Worcester area institutions interested in refining or establishing an internal nominating process for the fellowship. In addition, we will bring together current and past Worcester-area Newman Civic Fellows for in-person convenings each semester. The convenings will provide additional opportunities for the current fellows and program alumni to network and build community. The networking opportunities with local fellows will enhance the Newman experience for current fellows, spur their understanding and passion for civic action in the local community, and connect them with service opportunities and local nonprofit organizations and civic leaders.”

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Center for Civic Engagement Team

From left to right: Dr. Katia Levintova, Co-Director; Ashley Heath, Academic Program Manager; Dr. David Coury, Co-Director; Jacob Lau, Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA Member.

“The UW Green Bay Center for Civic Engagement is eager to establish an enriched civic engagement pathway on our campus. This initiative not only seeks to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our students to civic life but also aims to empower them to share their civic expertise with the wider community. This pathway will bridge the Civic Scholars Leadership Program with the Newman Civic Fellowship. The Civic Scholars program equips sophomore students with the skills and knowledge required to become civic professionals and exemplary citizen leaders. This initiative includes engagement in community workshops, learning from community leaders, and service internships, fostering civic identity development. 

To strengthen the connection between Civic Scholars and Newman Fellows, we're introducing the Student Civic Dialogue Program. Led by Newman Fellow alumni and mentored through partnerships with both the campus and community, this program aligns with the UW System's "Bridging the Divide Civil Discourse Campus Leader" initiative. It not only extends the development of civic leaders but also opens doors for the broader community to join in meaningful dialogues.”

Raritan Valley Community College

Lori Moog

Director of Service Learning and Community Outreach

“​​Raritan Valley Community College’s Newman Civic Fellowship redesign project seeks to provide students with a community-based learning experience, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Students will address important community issues and advocate for social change with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion while helping them prepare for future careers. The community will benefit from students who are passionate about their projects, contribute to the organization's goals, and generate fresh ideas and talent. Raritan Valley Community College’s Campus Innovation Cohort Project will focus on the following outcomes.

  • Re-designing a Newman Civic Fellowship nomination process and application that identifies exemplary students and an assessment tool for selecting an outstanding nominee.
  • Building a professional network by increasing engagement in regional and national organizations and networks that provide new ideas and resources for educating others to help with responding to community needs.
  • Promoting and advocating the Fellowship for greater faculty and community partner participation in supporting curricular and co-curricular engagement activities for students.

The activities will address the following outcomes:

  • Development of new materials to market the Fellowship;
  • Broaden the request for nominations and selections for the Newman Civic Fellowship among campus constituents. The new process for finding the right student candidate will help improve the number of nominations from a larger cross-section of the campus and ensure the inclusion of diverse populations, especially historically underrepresented students;
  • Preparation of a new scoring rubric and student work plans for project/activities/goals and final project evaluations;
  • Presentation at Compact24 and 25 conferences, as well as a NJ statewide student conference in February 2024 to share the RVCC model that has been developed, best practices, and lessons learned;
  • Continuation of alumni Fellows in subsequent semesters to help re-engage other Newman Civic Fellow alumni and with the development of the new fellowship program.

Colorado College

Sarah Elsey

Student Engagement Coordinator, Collaborative for Community Engagement

Jordan Travis Radke

Director, Collaborative for Community Engagement

“We will focus on improving the mentor selection process and expectations for the mentor role, starting with the application cycle on our campus. This opportunity will also allow us to explore funding opportunities for mentor/mentee experiences, including off-campus activities with local leaders.”