Newman Civic Fellowship

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are change-makers and public problem-solvers. Fellows are nominated by their president on the basis of their potential for public leadership. 

Through the yearlong fellowship, Campus Compact, a national civic engagement organization, provides students with training and resources that nurture their assets and passions and help them develop strategies for social change to build equitable communities and respond to public problems. The program includes virtual learning opportunities and networking as part of a national network of engaged student leaders (along with an optional in-person convening). 

The Fellow not only represent Kent State nationally in meetings and conversations with other institutions’ Fellows, but she also plans to use her fellowship to collaboratively design and implement a series of opportunities with university and community stakeholders that empower others and create spaces in which people can connect and feel like they are not alone.

The 2024-2025 Kent State Newman Civic Fellowship Application is available here. 



A group of Newman Civic Fellows participate in the national meeting.

Additional Information about the Newman Civic Fellowship:

What are the criteria?

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes community-committed students who:

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

In addition to these core characteristics, the Kent State Newman Civic Fellow nominee must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The nominee must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at Kent State during the Spring 2024 semester (preference is given to undergraduate students)
  • The nominee must have at least one year of their education remaining (either at Kent State or at a different institution) such that they will be enrolled in higher education for the duration of the academic year
What are the program components?

The Newman Civic Fellowship includes:

  • A national convening of Newman Civic Fellows
  • An opportunity to design and implement a community change project over the course of the Fellowship
  • Regional and state gatherings of Newman Civic Fellows
  • Virtual events focused on skill development and professional learning
  • Opportunities to submit conference proposals to present at Campus Compact-affiliated conferences
  • One-on-one leadership development with a local mentor
  • Participation in a national network of engaged student leaders

In addition to these program components, Newman Civic Fellows also receive:

  • National recognition through Campus Compact website and media
  • Special scholarship opportunities from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute to participate in its Leadership and the American Presidency program
How do I apply to be the 2024-2025 Kent State Newman Civic Fellow?

The 2024-2025 Newman Civic Fellowship Application is now live and available here

What does the timeline look like for the application process?

The timeline for Kent State's 2024-2025 Newman Civic Fellowship application process is as follows: 

  • January 23, 2024: Kent State application due 
  • Early February 2024: Interviews with recruitment and selection committee
  • Mid-February 2024: Finalists notified of President Diacon's nomination decision
  • Spring 2024: 2024-2025 Fellow works with KSU staff to learn requirements of Fellowship and brainstorm project ideas.


How can I learn more about what the fellowship experience is like?

Here are a few great perspectives from previous Newman Civic Fellows across the nation: 

What are the learning outcomes associated with the Newman Civic Fellowship experience?

Campus Compact's primary goals for the Newman Civic Fellowship are: 

  • To support community-committed students 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
  • Connect civically-oriented college student leaders and alumni through the development of vibrant and productive relationships

To advance these goals, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning opportunities for fellows through national and local gatherings as well as web-based offerings. The following skills were identified as priority areas for learning opportunities in this fellowship.

  • Relationship-building skills (to address the challenges facing our democracy and our communities—particularly exploding inequality and political polarization—we need leaders who can build relationships and collaborate effectively across lines of difference)
    • Awareness of self
    • Collaboration
    • Cultural competence and social intelligence
    • Effective interpersonal communication skills
    • Networking skills
  • Tactical skills to facilitate action (student leaders must apply the skills they’ve learned to create positive change in their communities)
    • Asset mapping
    • Attracting resources to advance a cause
    • Community organizing
    • Design thinking
    • Root cause analysis
    • Systems thinking
Do Newman Civic Fellows receive any monetary awards through the program?

No. Newman Civic Fellows do not receive any monetary awards or scholarships through the fellowship. 

Becoming a Newman Civic Fellow might make a student eligible for certain scholarship or fellowship opportunities through partner organizations, but students do not receive any direct financial gain through participation in the Newman Civic Fellowship.

Can institutions nominate more than one student?

No. Institutions may nominate only one student per academic year.

Kent State's Newman Civic Fellowship Committee will review applications, identify and interview finalists, and then submit its recommendation to President Diacon on who he should nominate. President Diacon then will formally nominate Kent State's 2024-2025 Newman Civic Fellow to Campus Compact.

Who were recent Kent State Newman Civic Fellows, and what work have they done?

Makayla Sejat served as the inaugural Newman Civic Fellow from Kent State during the 2021-2022 academic year. In her term, Makayla identified homelessness as a challenge confronting the Kent community and recognized an opportunity to convene city officials and partners for a series of gatherings to streamline communication regarding the issue.

Isobel Day served as Kent State's Newman Civic Fellow during the 2022-2023 academic year. Isobel partnered with Kent State's Women's Center to run a campus-wide menstrual product drive that provided free menstrual products to Kent City Schools. This project, named "Go with the Flo," also incorporated service events at the Women's Center where Kent State students helped decorate cosmetic bags in which Kent City Schools students can keep menstrual products to overcome period poverty and stigma. 

Anaya Spencer serves as Kent State's Newman Civic Fellow for the 2023-2024 academic year. Anaya will be leading a series of community engagement projects and an immersive experience designed for Kent State students that address the Black maternal health and infant mortality crisis. Anaya is also pairing this work with her research examining the same topic. 

Who can I contact with additional questions?

You can contact Craig Berger, Associate Director of Community Engaged Learning, at