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Pennsylvania Mu (Widener) Phi Among 181 American Students To Be Named A Newman Civic Fellow


Melvin HolmesCampus Compact has honored 181 students from 36 states as 2013 Newman Civic Fellows.

Among the honorees is Widener University junior Melvin Holmes of Yeadon, Pa. The Newman Civic Fellow Awards recognize inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.

Holmes, an accounting major, serves as a Widener Community Fellow by participating in 300 hours of service a year in Chester, Pa. by actively engaging in leadership retreats and weekly leadership development programs as the campus and community collaborations coordinator.

Holmes is an active representative of the Office of Civic Engagement and promotes service opportunities for students across the Widener campus. He effectively builds the capacity of the Office of Civic Engagement by recruiting students for one-time and ongoing service programs.

Holmes actively seeks out opportunities to fill leadership roles in the Community Fellows program and in his many other activities. He follows through with commitments and provides a positive example for other students in his passion for social change.

He consistently shows his passion for positive change through his dedication to service, is a role model for other students, and is able to balance his many responsibilities, including those of resident assistant, and leadership roles in multiple organizations, including NAACP and Phi Delta Theta.

Newman Civic Fellow awards are made in memory of Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, who dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform. At the core of Dr. Newman’s leadership was a belief in the power of individuals to make a difference and in the power of connection with others. Frank Newman had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who want
to make a difference. This class of Newman Civic Fellows embodies this spirit and dedication.

“Part of our mission at Widener University is to inspire our students to be citizens of character who demonstrate professional and civic leadership,” said Widener University President James T. Harris III. “Melvin Holmes embodies our mission. He not only participates in community service, he organizes and leads those efforts. Frank Newman was a personal friend of mine, and I know that he would be pleased with the selection of Melvin for an award in his name.”

As these students tackle community challenges, they provide fresh energy and perspective, inspire and mobilize others, and develop their own skills and potential. Through service, research, and advocacy, Newman Civic 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.

“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders,” said Campus Compact President Maureen Curley. “They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building stronger communities.”

The Newman Civic Fellows Awards are made possible through the generous support of the KPMG Foundation.

Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purposes of higher education. As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops students’ citizenship skills, helps forge effective community/campus partnerships, and provides resources and training for faculty seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum. Campus Compact’s membership includes public, private, two- and four-year institutions across the spectrum of higher education. For more information, visit www.compact.org.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,500 students. Visit the university website, www.widener.edu.