Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has named 154 student civic leaders who will make up the organization’s 2023-24 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows.
Grant Pitts, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, will join students from 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico to form the cohort. Pitts is UW-Parkside’s eighth student to be recognized as a Newman Civic Fellow. The previous recipients were:
- 2022-23: Tess Dimler
- 2021-22: Alisson Anguiano Salas
- 2020-21: Tavyonia Davis
- 2019-20: Zach Atkins
- 2018-19: Yoger Aguilar
- 2017-18: Bianca Ruffolo
- 2016-17: Marley Uran
The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes students who stand out for their commitment to creating positive change in communities locally and around the world. The fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, fellows are nominated by Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors, who are invited to select one outstanding student from their campus each year.
Pitts is a Sociology major at UW-Parkside. He is a passionate student leader and is always eager to learn and grow through collaborating with others. Through his work as an Andrew Goodman Campus Ambassador, Pitts exhibited an extraordinary commitment to social justice and democratic engagement. He engaged fellow students in get-out-the-vote and voter education for the 2022 midterm elections and consistently took the lead on voter registration and educational activities.
As a research assistant with Parkside’s Smart Cities Initiative, Pitts gathers input from community members about issues they face and ways in which technology can help address them. As the President of the UW-Parkside chapter of Habitat for Humanity, Grant both recruits students to volunteer to build houses and helps them understand the struggles related to affordable housing and homelessness.
Through the fellowship, Campus Compact will provide these students with a year of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, fellows participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities to help provide them with the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive in-person skill-building and networking over the course of two days. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
Chancellor Debbie Ford praised Pitts and his tireless efforts to help his peers and encourage them to participate in the democratic system.
“Grant enthusiastically embraces the goal of helping other students, particularly those who are traditionally marginalized, access and practice their voting rights,” she said. “Moreover, as a first-generation, non-traditional college student, Grant exhibits a sophisticated understanding of the systemic and inter-related nature of social issues.”
“We are honored to recognize such an outstanding group of community-committed students,” said Campus Compact President Bobbie Laur. “One of the best parts of the Newman Civic Fellowships is the richness of students’ perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds — and how these varied stories all led to their passionate engagement with the social, political, and environmental issues impacting our world. These students will be the catalysts for change on many levels, and we are privileged to help empower them to create that change.”
Learn more at compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship. You can read more about each of the student leaders selected for this year’s cohort at compact.org/current-programs/newman-civic-fellowship/newman-civic-fellows.