Southwestern University student honored as Newman Civic Fellow • Southwestern University

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Eugenia Agobe ’23Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities working to advance public goals for higher education, has named 173 student civic leaders who will make up the organization’s 2022-2023 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. from the southwest Eugenia Agobe ’23 will join students from 38 states, Washington, DC and Mexico to form the cohort.

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes students who stand out for their commitment to creating positive change in local communities and around the world. The scholarship is named after the late Frank Newman, one of the founders of Campus Compact, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, Scholars are nominated by Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors, who are invited to select one outstanding student from their campus each year.

Agobe, the daughter of a Nigerian immigrant, has always had a passion for the promise of democracy. After creating a bilingual, nonpartisan voter education site for the Southwestern campus during the 2020 election, she noticed that many students, especially those from marginalized communities, found voting inaccessible.

“I wanted to make civic engagement part of the conversation from the moment students set foot on campus, so they felt empowered to use their voice,” Agobe said.

Working with the League Voting Coalition and the Office of Diversity Education, she proposed and implemented programs for the new student seminars – one based on equity and inclusion, the another on increasing civic engagement – ​​which have been widely embraced by faculty. She helped create a standardized presentation on the value of democratic participation and the logistics of submitting voter registration forms, and gave students resources for finding polling places and ballot information. She also applied for and received a grant to provide the League coalition with funds for 2022 midterm outreach.

“These experiences have taught me that change only comes from listening first to the needs of your community. Situated in the liminal space between theory and practice, I seek to transform my core values ​​of equity, inclusion and empowerment into lasting change.

Through the scholarship, Campus Compact will provide these students with a year of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, Fellows participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities to help them build the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the annual fellowship meeting, which provides intensive skills building and networking over the course of two days. The scholarship also provides pathways for scholars to apply for exclusive scholarships and postgraduate opportunities.

“Eugenia is passionate about engaging her generation in political processes,” said South West President Laura Skandera Trombley. “She is an active participant in campus-wide efforts to promote education, registration, and voter participation at Southwestern. She thinks it is extremely important that young people are well informed and strongly engaged in democratic processes.

“We are proud to name such an exceptional and diverse group of students Newman Civic Fellows,” said Bobbie Laur, President of Campus Compact. “Their passion and determination to act on the wide range of issues facing our neighborhoods and communities is inspiring and deeply needed. We look forward to engaging with them through this transformative experience.

the Newman Civic Fellowship Program is supported by the KPMG Foundation. You can learn more about each of the student leaders selected for this year’s cohort here.

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