2022-2023 Newman Civic Fellows Announced
The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are changemakers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact member institutions. These Fellows are nominated by their president or chancellor on the basis of their potential for public leadership.
Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides students with training and resources that nurture their assets and passions and help them develop strategies for social change. The yearlong program, named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, includes virtual learning opportunities and networking as part of a national network of engaged student leaders and an optional in-person convening.
We view the Newman Civic Fellowship as a core component of our strategy to build a national network of engaged student leaders who can support one another in building transformational partnerships between campuses and communities. Below are our 2022-23 Montana Newman Civic Fellows:
Jensa Baumgartner, Great Falls College Montana State University
Jensa, who is preparing to graduate from Great Falls College MSU in summer 2021, was inspired by her own experience to a life of helping others. After freeing herself from addiction and domestic violence, she enrolled in the college’s Connections 101 program at the age pf 24. This program assists students in becoming college or career ready. Jensa credits the program with setting her on her academic path. Described by faculty and staff as initially shy, she quickly became a leader in assisting classmates both academically and in their personal lives. She is described variously as dedicated, impressive, focused, engaged and a leader. She has been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the campus honor society. Jensa is active in Jail Ministry, where she is described as faithful and supportive – meeting with inmates weekly. She balances her academic and service life while caring for her blended family. After graduating with an Associate of Science degree, Jensa will continue her studies in the University of Montana’s social work program and hopes to eventually earn a master’s degree to best enable her to help others who struggle with addition and other problems.
Stephanie Erdmann, CEO/Dean, Great Falls College Montana State University
Emma Kerkering, Montana State University
Emma, a third year student at Montana State University (MSU), is passionate about bringing people together and lifting those around her up. Over the course of her three years at MSU, Emma has influenced many of her peers on campus though her role as peer advisor, as well as through different leadership roles in her sorority- Alpha Omicron Pi. Her influence is felt beyond campus through volunteer efforts at the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital providing direct care in the Emergency Department as well as the NICU. She also volunteers with Eagle Mount to provide aquatic and equine therapy to disabled and sick youth in the Bozeman community. Looking beyond her local community, Emma plans to volunteer at the US-Mexico Border with the non-profit South North Nexus where she will assist in performing nutritional and stress assessments on refugee children who are stuck at the border to provide needed resources and solutions for these children. Her passion for health care, particularly providing quality and equitable care, are showcased through her community involvement and will serve her well as she hopes to continue her education to become a pediatric doctor.
Waded Cruzado, President, Montana State University
Mariah Fogle, Montana State University Billings
Mariah, a first-generation student at City College at Montana State University Billings, is a student leader actively encouraging people to expand their horizons. She has pushed herself to get out of her own comfort zone by joining the Student Activities Board. For the past year, she has invested herself in reconnected her community post-pandemic by talking with others, surveying what community needs are for feedback, and being an active support presence. She has been involved in civic engagement opportunities through MSU Billings by volunteering at Service Saturdays with community partners. She has been the example for other students and invited others to come to off campus service events for young adults to experience Billings, Montana and invest themselves in civic opportunities. She is involved in TRIO Student Support Services at her campus, where she gains the social and academic support to fuel herself to then give back to her community.
Stefani Hicswa, Chancellor, Montana State University Billings
Brooklyn Suden, The University of Montana Western
Brook , a first year University of Montana Western student, is majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Visual Art. While growing up in Great Falls, Montana, Brook was passionate about addressing issues surrounding the environment. She was especially interested in increasing recycling efforts and public education about environmental issues. Since starting at Western She has continued her efforts by joining the Terra Verde Club which concentrates on environmental science and outdoor recreation. She is also active in the Chi Alpha Campus Ministry. Recently she became the first ever Western student to be named to the board of the local United Way.
Michael Reid, Chancellor, The University of Montana Western
Sophia Rodriquez, University of Montana
Third year student, Sophia Rodriquez, is an advocate for social justice and a leader in efforts aimed towards creating safe, inclusive environments for all. She has committed significant time throughout her years as a UM student, working with participants in the MOSAIC (Mentoring, Organization, and Social Support for Autism/All Inclusion on Campus) program, exceeding academic program service hour requirements, and participating as a member of NSSLHA (National Student Speech, Language, and Hearing Association.) While the time she invests in her service work is significant, Sophia is similarly committed to her own professional development. She participates in community awareness and fundraising activities and attended the Montana State Professional Conference, an optional opportunity for students at which Sophia strategically chose sessions aligned with service and leadership. This provided Sophia the chance to learn about current issues in the profession and ways to serve marginalized populations.
Seth Bodnar, President, University of Montana