Student Sara McManus Named Newman Civic Fellow

Sara McManus

Campus Compact has honored 162 students from 32 states as 2012 Newman Civic Fellows. Among the honorees is Widener University junior Sara E. McManus of Norristown, Pa. The Newman Civic Fellows Awards recognize inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.

McManus demonstrates the type of civic engagement that sets an example for others. She serves as an AmeriCorps Community Fellow by participating in 300 hours of service a year in Chester and co-coordinating the Widener Cares tutoring program. She recruits and trains Widener volunteers, meets regularly with the program's community partners and works directly with at-risk youth.   As an anthropology major and African American studies minor, she aspires to serve in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps.

“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. “Sara McManus is a living example of our mission. Frank Newman was a personal friend of mine and someone I admired greatly. I know that he would be pleased with the selection of Sara for an award in his name. She exemplifies all that Dr. Newman wanted to see in a college student; a young woman dedicated to living out the democratic principles of our nation and making a difference in the world.”

As a Newman Civic Fellow, McManus will join a network of fellows around the country. Together — sharing ideas and tools through online networking — the fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for service and change, and will continue to set examples for their classmates and others.

“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world,” notes Campus Compact Board Chair James B. Dworkin, chancellor at Purdue University North Central.

Through service-learning courses and other opportunities for community engagement, colleges are developing students’ public problem-solving skills, such as the ability to analyze community needs, the willingness to participate in public processes and debate, the commitment to raise awareness about challenges, and the ability to inspire others to become part of solutions.

“Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who are eager and prepared to make a difference,” explains Campus Compact President Maureen Curley. “He dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform and this new group of Newman Civic Fellows would have inspired him. They are reflections and affirmations of his life’s work.”

Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents—representing more than 6 million students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education, that is, to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. For more information about the organization and the award, 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, 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 6,600 students. Visit the university website, www.widener.edu.

 

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