News Release

Published on Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Boston, MA - Dr. Frank Newman—one of the founders 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. He dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform and he would have been inspired by this first group of 135 Newman Civic Fellows, named today by Campus Compact. They are, quite simply, reflections and affirmations of his life’s work.

From 30 states, college and university presidents have nominated the best-of-the-best: promising college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Through service, research, and advocacy, these Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.

“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,” explains Campus Compact President Maureen F. Curley.

Mao Kong, a second-year nursing student at Western Technical College in La Crosse, Wisconsin, is passionate about giving back to her community. She has worked and volunteered with domestic violence prevention for the college as well as the city of La Crosse, specifically with services to the Hmong community. Under her leadership, large community events provided valuable information to diverse populations. As a refugee from Thailand, she has a unique perspective and infinite compassion for Hmong families as they assimilate to the United States.

Through service-learning courses and other opportunities for community engagement, colleges are developing students’ critical public problem-solving skills such as the ability to research and analyze community needs, a willingness to lead and participate in public processes and debate, the commitment to raise awareness about community challenges, and the ability to inspire people to become part of solutions.

Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents—representing some 6 million students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. Through the Newman Civic Fellows Awards, college and university presidents acknowledge students with the ability and motivation to create lasting change in our communities. For more information about the Newman Civic Fellows, visit www.compact.org