Newman Civic Fellowship

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are changemakers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact member institutions across the country. Fellows are nominated by their president or chancellor on the basis of their potential for public leadership.

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides students with training and resources that nurture their assets and passions and help them develop strategies for social change. Named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, the yearlong Fellowship program includes state and national learning and networking opportunities.

We view the Newman Civic Fellowship as a core component of our strategy to build a national network of engaged student leaders who can support one another in building transformational partnerships between campuses and communities.

Developing Student Leaders

The Newman Civic Fellowship offers students from member CCNH campuses a range of opportunities and benefits:

  • A convening of Newman Civic Fellows from across the country
  • Virtual events focused on skill development and professional learning
  • Opportunities to submit proposals to present at Campus Compact affiliated conferences
  • Leadership development with local mentors
  • Participation in a national network of engaged student leaders
  • Statewide and national recognition for their work

Nomination Process

The nomination process takes place during the fall and winter for Newman Civic Fellows whose terms will begin in the succeeding academic year. Each CCNH member president or chancellor may nominate one student who:

  • Engages in collaborative action with others from campus or from surrounding communities in order to create long-term social change.
  • Takes action in addressing issues of inequality and political polarization.
    Demonstrates the motivation and potential for effective long-term civic engagement.

Meet the CCNH Newman Civic Fellows

Newman Civic Fellows from CCNH member institutions work on a wide range of issues affecting New Hampshire’s communities, including food insecurity, poverty, homelessness, college access, K–12 education, cultural diversity, disaster relief, and more.

Jonathan CacatianHellenic American University
I was first exposed to the importance of community volunteerism in high school when I joined the program “Youth Leaders in the Diaspora” (YouLeaD), a cultural immersion program run by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas for overseas Filipino youth, with little knowledge of their home culture. Through this program, I was able to learn about various actions such as tree planting and gift-giving to improve the lives of the vulnerable population in the Philippines, which included indigenous people and minority groups. Hellenic American University has given me the opportunity to participate in various volunteer programs, such as supporting minorities by attending upcycling workshops with “Shedia,” participating and acting in the first American play on the Greek War of Independence, “The Grecian Captive,” fulfilling children’s wishes by preparing posters sent to the schools of children with critical illnesses in Greece with “Make a Wish,” and providing for those in need with “O Allos Anthropos'” social kitchen. My time at HAUniv has shown me the value of lending a helping hand to others. I saw the impact that one person can have on others, and it inspired me to keep making a difference. Our small efforts will undoubtedly have a large impact.

Emily InfingerPlymouth State University
When it comes to volunteering, I had little experience before starting college. I had made a small decision to join a club called the PSU Volunteers my first year, and I discovered I had a real passion for service. I had always planned to go into a human service field, with my major being Psychology, but I had no idea how rewarding acts of service could be until I also started working at the Office of Community Impact at Plymouth State or what I would learn from the experience. For the last two years, I have coordinated our Angel Tree Project, which provides winter needs and holiday gifts to over 350 children and youth around the Plymouth area. With the rise of Covid-19 we have all learned the importance of community connection. I am so grateful that I have the chance to cultivate that connection, and the mindfulness to learn how to be an active citizen in my community. I know that wherever the future takes me, I’ll continue to share the importance of creating a positive impact, learning from others, and approaching any situation from a place of empathy and love.

Jillian BarrettSaint Anselm College
My passion for social justice began in 8th grade; I created an organization to provide resources and evangelism to the homeless population of Worcester, MA. At that time, I did not understand the depth of the inequity my community faced or even my own identity as a Black woman. In 2020, I launched a business, Love Your Reflection, to support youth struggling with mental illness, but through this, I began to learn about the inequity in access to mental healthcare. I began to use my voice to create positive changes for students of color at my PWI with involvement in racial dialogues and on diversity equity and inclusion committees. I received the unique opportunity to work with the Meelia Center to manage the Impact Fellowship Program. This program provides a voice to students of color by allowing them the space to share their experiences in weekly dialogue and engage with and mentor youth of color in Manchester. I have learned so much about our vibrant community through my work tutoring Manchester School District students of color and giving them one-on-one support in their classwork. I want to continue my work of uplifting communities of color and creating positive social change.

Kate MathewsUniversity of New Hampshire
The strengths-based perspective that is central to the classes I’ve taken as a Human Development and Family Studies undergraduate has greatly influenced my approach to social justice work. Appreciating strengths has encouraged me to ask questions such as “What qualities do I possess that can have the greatest impact in the organizations I participate in?”, or to explore more broadly what features have consistently made activism movements successful. Belonging is a word that is of great importance to me, again influenced by my coursework in creating environments conducive to personal growth. When people feel that their voices are valued in the organizations they are part of, both the individual and group have greater capacity to make sustained change. This is why I became a leader for PrOVES, a service program for incoming freshmen – to connect students to resources and peers who genuinely want them to feel confident in themselves and welcome in a new environment. I’m enthusiastic to learn more about creating community spaces through this fellowship, as it’s an asset to remaining hopeful- a mindset that is necessary in sustained fights for change.

Aditi GuptaDartmouth College
No woman should sacrifice their dignity for their menstrual cycle. Armed with this conviction, I have dedicated myself to combatting hygiene insecurity for communities at home and abroad. Before my sophomore year, I interned at a medical technology non-profit, where I learned the immense need for hygiene products, stretching from the States to the Sahara. When I returned to Dartmouth, I started a service club to promote hygiene security through menstrual hygiene drives & workshops with Greek spaces. Back home in California, I hosted a virtual fundraiser to provide dignity kits to housing-insecure families in the Bay Area. And now, I’m spearheading a pilot project with the non-profit CARE to understand how menstrual cups can sustainably combat period poverty for students in Africa. So, when I see an opportunity to make an impact, there is no stopping my drive to uplift others. Service is my love language to the world, and it’s how I honor all the women who taught me that dignity starts with wellbeing. Now, it’s my mission to help women and girls feel dignified, one pad at a time.

Alyssa GriffinPlymouth State University
Giving back to the community was something my parents made sure my brothers and I partook in to humble ourselves, learn compassion, but most importantly help others. Today, I still try to bring this mindset to everything I do. Since learning upwards of 40% of college students face food insecurity, I knew I had to do my part to lower that number through being a part of the Student Support Foundation (SSF) and acting as the Food Pantry Manager. Through connecting with local supermarkets, organizing food drives, opening satellite pantries across campus, programming an inventory and donation system, and advocating for funding, the pantry has been able to provide several students with food and toiletry items. As a Board Member, I have voted to award more than 100 students emergency financial grants, totaling over $10,000. It is extremely gratifying to know this work helps my peers succeed at Plymouth State. I hope the work SSF does inspires others to give back to their communities. I aspire to take the skills learned in my leadership position to my future career in researching and communicating the risks of climate change while finding new ways to give back to my community.

Nini LomsadzeHellenic American University
Being an immigrant myself, I know how hard it is to leave your country of origin. I am originally from Georgia, where I was born and raised until the summer of 2008. When war struck our country, we escaped to Greece, where I spent my first years learning a new language and culture. Due to my experience, I had the opportunity to develop into an open-minded and active citizen. I have volunteered at NGOs related to minorities, homeless people, migrants, and refugees. For the last four years, I have supported the Greek Forum of Migrants in their activities. Moreover, I have helped with festivals, including the African Festival and Integra Fest in 2018. Lastly, Ι worked over the past year to provide Greek language lessons for free at the Georgian Institute at Athens. At HAUniv, I decided to study psychology because knowing the language of the soul provides an opportunity to help people. Also, I am interested in human rights and committing myself to serving those in need. These two areas of interest are intertwined through my work as the president of the Psychology Club. My goal is to leave this world a little bit better than I found it.

Anastasia MorrisonSaint Anselm College
I became involved with serving underrepresented high school students my freshman year of college when I became an Access Academy Coordinator, an after-school program where high schoolers who are underrepresented in higher education can earn credits for taking courses taught by college students. This position allows me to get to know these students, who despite being nearly the same age had lived drastically different lives than myself. As coordinators, we foster an inviting and creative environment for students to practice the important life-skills of communication, collaboration, and self-advocacy within a safe and respectful space. This spring, I am preparing to coordinate my fifth class with Access Academy which is a blended ethics and law course that focuses on what it means to treat individuals, especially those who have been criminalized, in an ethical manner and what we can do when ethical treatment is not granted. As a member of Access Academy, the Saint Anselm College Tutoring Initiative, and a leader of the campus Racial Justice Dialogue program, I am determined to help provide a more equitable and ethical future for the students that I am lucky enough to work with and everyone who has faced discrimination based on their background.

Smriti Sharma SapkotaColby-Sawyer College
Being an international student at Colby-Sawyer College from Nepal, I am constantly looking for chances to educate people about diversity and racial matters. As I am the vice president of Cross-Cultural Club and President of the class of 2022 in SGA, I have been organizing cultural events and participating in talks touching topics like cultures and races. I am organizing an event called the International Festival where we showcase different cultures and their components like food, clothes, dances, etc. This has given us a ground to talk about our experiences and show who we are apart from being a student on campus. This has proven efficient because we have been able to explain to people why diversity matters, and why do we need to include people from all races and nationalities to our community. One of my future plans is to conduct monthly talk sessions ‘CSC Talks’ where we will give a platform to students, faculties, and staff to talk about their experiences regarding racial issues on campus and in their life.

Sachin ShivaDartmouth College
Children have the wonderful gift of questioning why the world is the way it is. As a child, I often asked why some individuals had to beg on the street, while I had a roof over my head and food on the table. This was my first exposure to injustice. Over time, I developed a passion for interrogating what are accepted as givens – inequality, homelessness, war, and so on. I got involved with political campaigns to advocate for more just policies in our society. However, I knew I wanted to examine these injustices at the ground level. Therefore, I constructed an Eagle Scout project to provide 100 backpacks packed with winter supplies to homeless individuals in the Chicago area. When I got to Dartmouth, I immersed myself in an ethical leadership program, where I learned the importance of vulnerability and collaborative communication. Last summer, I worked with a food bank called Philabundance to increase food donations from grocery stores that were donating surplus food to the food bank. These experiences have shown me that we must continue to demand justice for disenfranchised individuals, and as children often do, we must not hesitate to change the givens in our society.

Elpis-Sofia Bougiouk-VerveroglouHellenic American University
Hellenic American University has provided me with the opportunity to help many children in need through volunteering at the Hadzikonsta Foundation in Athens, Greece. With the guidance of my mentors, I became connected with the organization – one that houses and cares for children who have unfortunate family issues. I have been lucky to serve a population in need. At the Foundation, I taught English and assisted in exam preparation by developing revision and practice material, as well as by conducting mock examinations. Fortunately, my relationships with the children extended outside of the classroom thanks to tree planting events and other community gatherings. In addition to my work with the Hadzikonsta Foundation, I have volunteered for the past three years as a teaching assistant at the Hellenic American Union, my University’s partner institution. Most of my time was spent with young children, especially those who required special assistance and attention. Because of my experiences at the Hellenic American Union as well as the Hadzikonsta Foundation, I hope to become an EFL instructor and revolutionize foreign language teaching by intertwining my two passions, teaching and computing. My dream is to design video games for EFL students of different language levels.

Tallie Tam PhanPlymouth State University
The person I am today is shaped by my involvement in the community and by helping out others when they’re in need. I also learned that compassion is something that you learn and practice to cultivate every day. I bring this mindset to my work at the Office of Community Impact as a Student Impact Ambassador and to my classes as a student at Plymouth State University. Recently, I became the President of the student organization PSU Volunteers, but I know that this opportunity was only made possible by the support of my peers. As a daughter living thousands of miles from home, I try to make a home out of the campus where I live by pursuing my passion to volunteer and connecting with others through doing service. Some of the most remarkable volunteering experiences I had were with Social Action Trips, where we went south to Mississippi to contribute to hurricane relief efforts, PSU Volunteers and other programs organized by the Office of Community Impact. I hope that I can be a role model for the youths and my peers through perseverance, kindness, and empathy.

Theresa BeardsleySaint Anselm College
I was president of my high school service club, but it wasn’t until college that I began to understand the depth of community engagement opportunities and the importance of those experiences to build awareness. As a service-learner my freshman year I connected what I was learning in my social work courses to community organizations, and I began to see unique ways that community was trying to meet the needs of vulnerable populations. I quickly saw the many obstacles that created vulnerability. This motivated me to become a student coordinator where I had the privilege of supporting volunteers in work at a center for adjudicated youth. I now help manage dozens of community coordinators and continue to facilitate conversations about new ways to engage as a college community to better understand and address needs we see in community. My favorite part of the job is allowing students to explore solutions to community challenges and then join with community in action. While community creates a great lens to help people to understand social problems, the process of dialogue and reflection has helped bring about concrete ways for students on campus and people in community to define engagement that makes lasting change.

Alexandra VergaraUniversity of New Hampshire
I believe in radical empathy. I went to high school in Hartford, CT – the poorest city in the state, and mostly inhabited by people of color. I went to a magnet school that specialized in the arts, and majored in Theatre. Doing theatre in Hartford, I was exposed to the city’s incredibly rich artistic community and saw firsthand the resiliency these spaces possess.

Theatre teaches you how to be empathetic. One must learn why a character does what they do and what holds them back from achieving what they want. When that mindset is applied to people- you start to see them in a different light.

To build a strong community we have to be able to hear people’s stories, and understand what drives them and what gets in their way. Everyone has done that- told a story that was slightly uncomfortable to a friend in an effort to make them feel better. After that, we exchange notes. How do we heal? What is already working? If you’re coming from a place of privilege, how do you use that to lift up others, or when do you step back and make sure other voices are being heard?

Hear more about this national fellowship opportunity