Newman Campus Compact Award News
What is the Newman Civic Fellowship?
The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country and abroad. The fellowship, named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, provides training and resources that nurture students’ assets and passions to help them develop strategies to achieve social change. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides learning opportunities focused on the skills fellows need in order to serve as effective agents of change in addressing public problems and building equitable communities.
The fellowship is a one-year experience for current undergraduate and graduate students at Campus Compact member institutions. Students are nominated for the fellowship by their college or university’s president or chancellor. Fellows are selected in the spring each year and their fellowship term runs for the following academic year.
The primary goals of the Newman Civic Fellowship are:
- To support community-committed students from Campus Compact member institutions in their personal, civic, and professional development so as to prepare them for the long-term work of public problem solving and of building equitable communities
- To build a network of civically-oriented college student leaders and alumni characterized by vibrant and productive relationships
To advance these goals, Campus Compact provides a variety of virtual and in-person learning opportunities for fellows, all of which are focused on helping fellows build skills in the following areas:
- Awareness of self: An understanding of one’s own identity and the manner in which one’s identity impacts one’s experience and relationships. Key elements of this competency include: a) understanding one’s own social identities and how those identities relate to systems of power and inequity and b) being willing to receive constructive feedback and to engage in critical self-reflection.
- Collaboration: The ability to work with others to reach shared goals and mutually beneficial outcomes. Key components of this competency include: a) ability to share power within teams b) knowledge of potential strategies to address group conflicts and c) understanding of and attention to group dynamics.
- Cultural competence: An awareness of how individuals’ backgrounds, environments, and social identities can shape their views of the world as well as their interactions with others and with social systems. Cultural competence also includes educating oneself about cultures, customs, and perspectives that differ from one’s own and practicing empathy and humility when encountering situations or individuals whose cultural expectations, values, or norms differ from one’s own.
- Social intelligence: Attention to the feelings and needs of oneself and others as well as
an ability to navigate complex social situations.
- Effective interpersonal communication: The ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with others. Key elements of this competency include: a) listening deeply to others b) engaging thoughtfully with opposing viewpoints c) viewing issues from numerous perspectives and d) articulating clearly one’s own perspective.
- Networking skills: The ability to build mutually beneficial professional connections and networks.
- Asset mapping: as described by John Hammerlink in his article “Asset-Focused Leadership” asset mapping is “systematically finding out what skills, talents, knowledge, relationships, and other assets currently exist in the community.”
- Attracting resources to advance a cause: A grouping of skills that are involved in attracting and sustaining the human and material resources needed to advance a cause or an organizational mission. Key elements of this competency are: a) ability to craft messaging that speaks to target audiences and an understanding of how to disseminate that messaging b) knowledge of fundraising strategies and finance management, and c) understanding of how to build opportunities that attract and engage others in your movement/cause.
- Community organizing: Organizing people around a shared vision and goals in order to create change around a specific problem or set of problems. To do this effectively one must know how to move from vision to action and how to support others’ development as leaders so as to build a network of people working collectively to solve a problem.
- Design thinking (borrowed from IDEO): a method for creative problem solving in which those who are developing potential solutions place human experience at the center of their process for designing solutions.
- Root cause analysis: Thoroughly exploring the complexities of a problem in order to identify the underlying cause(s) for that problem.
- Systems thinking: A method of analysis in which people examine an entire system rather than a single component of that system so as to develop more effective strategies for addressing a complex problem.