WOOSTER, Ohio – Halen Gifford, a junior at The College of Wooster, has been selected as a Newman Civic Fellow for the 2020-2021 school year by Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to advancing the public purposes of higher education.
Gifford, from New Albany, Ind., is one of 290 students from across the U.S. and Mexico who will take part in the yearlong program. Students selected for the fellowship were nominated by the president or chancellor at their school and are leaders on their campuses who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally, and internationally.
A communication studies major, Gifford was nominated by Wooster President Sarah Bolton for her leadership on campus and in the local community, saying she “made an exceptional impact in our local community from her very first days on campus. Through her leadership on local policy, she created changes in local housing, land bank, and emergency shelter access, which have been adopted by our city.”
Bolton goes on to say in her nomination, “She has also spearheaded research to support the hiring of those who had been formally incarcerated, and her results were taken up by local businesses and recognized with our local NAACP Community Enrichment award. She has also been engaged with increasing voter registration, and is currently working with students and faculty to establish a course-based collaboration with a local domestic violence shelter. She also chairs our Campus Council, an elected body of students, staff, and faculty.”
Gifford feels receiving this fellowship is “extraordinarily meaningful, for it is a recognition of my work not only from Campus Compact but from Wooster. It is an honor to know that my college appreciates my contributions to the community and would nominate me. I am proud that I have been able to make positive civic change during my time at Wooster.”
The Newman Civic Fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. Through the fellowship, students are provided with a variety of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, fellows are invited to a national conference and participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities. The fellowship also provides exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.