Boston, MA – From across the country, college and university presidents—all members of Campus Compact—have nominated promising student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in their community to be Newman Civic Fellows, including three students from Ivy Tech Community College.
Elizabeth Sparks from the Bloomington Campus, Satya Sunkavalli from the Fort Wayne campus and Angelic Wood from the Muncie campus, join award winners from other colleges and universities including Yale University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Johnson & Wales University.
As these students tackle community challenges, they provide fresh energy and perspective, inspire and mobilize others, and develop their own skills and potential. This year’s record amount of Fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for engagement and change through online networking. In keeping with their generation’s emphasis on networks over hierarchies, Newman Civic Fellows will share ideas and materials to further their work through an exclusive online community especially for Fellows.
“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,” says Campus Compact board member Richard Guarasci, president of Wagner College (NY).
Sparks, a second year liberal arts student, is a leader on campus and an advocate for the LBGT community. She is a graduate of the Student Leadership Academy, a member of the Campus Activities Board, and a writer for the student newspaper, Ivy Student Voice. She became president of Campus Pride last year and created a partnership with Positive Link to host HIV testing days on campus. Sparks was also recently appointed to the oversight committee for the Midwest BLGTA College Conference. She will transfer to Indiana University in the Fall to major in Communication and Culture and Gender Studies.
Sunkavelli, an international student, is studying aviation maintenance technology and is an active volunteer on campus with the local Aviation Explorers Post 2305, an organization focused on educating young adults and informing them about aviation while educating them on diverse career options within aviation. She has also been involved in planning campus events for local children to inspire their love for science and has worked with faculty to coordinate STEM camps for international students.
Wood has been with TEAMwork for Quality Living since 2008. She became a Circle Leader where she was paired with allies from the community to support her while working toward her self-sufficiency goals. During this time she decided to go back to school where she was an AmeriCorps with duties related to daily operations and volunteer coordination. Wood has a key role setting up poverty simulations in the community which allows individuals to experience the challenges of poverty first hand. She works in the community with projects such as ELITE (Encouraging Leaders in Their Empowerment), Women in Work, and as the Community Team Leader for the Guiding Coalition.
The Newman Civic Fellows Award is generously sponsored by the KPMG Foundation. Through service, research, and advocacy, these 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.
Through service-learning courses and other opportunities for community engagement, colleges are developing students’ public problem-solving skills, such as the ability to analyze community needs, the willingness to participate in public processes and debate, the commitment to raise awareness about challenges, and the ability to inspire others to become part of solutions.
“With this recognition, Campus Compact is highlighting the remarkable impact these students are having on their campuses and communities,” says Bernard J. Milano, president of the KPMG Foundation and Campus Compact board member. “We are proud to support Campus Compact in bringing attention to these extraordinary students. KPMG seeks a diverse talent pool of students who share our values, one of which involves service to the communities in which we live and work.”
Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. For more information about the organization and the award, visit Compact.org.