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April 21, 2016 - 10 Oklahoma College Students Named Newman Civic Fellows

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Determined to find solutions for the challenges communities face throughout the country, 10 inspirational students from Oklahoma’s colleges and universities were recognized as 2016 Newman Civic Fellows Thursday during the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education meeting.

Andrea Balay, Northern Oklahoma College; Molly Danielson, Oklahoma State University; Anna Hollingshead, Oklahoma Baptist University; Jordan Evans, Northwestern Oklahoma State University; Katelyn Gamble, Rogers State University; Andrea Haddox, Tulsa Community College; Lindsey Johnson, Rose State College; Emma Leffler, Southwestern Oklahoma State University; Katie Richard, University of Central Oklahoma; and Aron Smith, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, are among 218 students from 36 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico who comprise this year’s Newman Civic Fellows.

The Newman Civic Fellows program was established by Campus Compact in honor of co-founder Frank Newman, who dedicated his life to creating opportunities for student civic learning and engagement. The award is designed to recognize college students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for the challenges faced by communities across the nation through service, research and advocacy. Each of Oklahoma’s fellows will receive a $500 scholarship from Oklahoma Campus Compact. Students are nominated by their college or university president.

“The State Regents commend these honorees for their commitment to making a difference in the lives of others,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Their civic leadership demonstrates the key role our students play in building a better world. We wish them continued success as they complete their degrees and continue to serve their fellow Oklahomans.”

Balay, an NOC sophomore mathematics major, shares her passion for learning with students of all ages. She began working as a substitute teacher in 2013 in Ringwood, Okla., and continues as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the elementary school, working to improve students’ reading and math skills, assisting teachers and conducting summer school for kindergarten through fourth grade. She serves as a tutor in high school algebra and trigonometry, as well as in math and physics for low-income, unemployed students enrolled in the YouthBuild Program. Additionally, she tutors in the NOC math lab and works for the math division, assisting NOC faculty members with math boot camp.

Danielson is a sophomore business management major at OSU. She currently holds a 4.0 GPA and is a leader among her peers in the Residence Halls Association and the Service Learning Volunteer Center. She also has served as a peer mentor through the Spears Business School. Danielson works to promote equality among all races, ethnicities and genders and strives to empower others to contribute to society.

Hollingshead is a second-year student at OBU. Her work with BeLoved Ministry in Atlanta highlights her desire to assist women impacted by sex trafficking. She has worked to coordinate a food drive and has lead efforts to prepare homes - repairing, cleaning and obtaining furniture - for the rescued women. Hollingshead also has worked with Operation Christmas Child, making and organizing Christmas boxes for orphans and the impoverished around the world.

Evans is a senior at NWOSU. He serves as an officer in the Student Government Association and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. He also is captain of the men’s cross country team and was named as Academic All-Conference for the Great American Conference. He has served as an intern for state Sen. Bryce Marlatt and was selected for Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s Student Leadership Council. He also volunteers at local elementary schools as a tutor and mentor.
Gamble, a business administration major at RSU, is committed to community service and social change. She has volunteered at a regional food bank and served in a community outreach program that provides free school supplies, wellness checks, haircuts and physicals, as well as fundraisers to support local nonprofits. In addition to fostering educational attainment among her peers though tutoring, Gamble has invested in the lives and well-being of children and youth through her work at Rogers County Youth Services, which provides care and shelter for kids who have been taken from their homes due to abuse or neglect. She has helped lead free softball clinics to develop the skills and self-confidence of aspiring players and volunteered for a campus art education event, Art on the Hill.

Haddox is a senior social work major at TCC. As president of the Alpha Zeta Alpha Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, Haddox uses the Honors in Action project as a platform to address the social issue of food deserts in the Tulsa community and to find solutions. She successfully led a student research team, coordinated campus-based focus groups, recruited students, assisted in analyzing data and presented the outcomes at TCC’s Second Annual Sustainability Conference. She continues to encourage others to creatively think about their contributions individually and collectively and has inspired others to collaborate with her on a follow-up project focusing on developing models for addressing food deserts in Tulsa.

Johnson, a pre-education major at RSC, is a member of the President’s Leadership Class, a student senator and president of T.E.A.C.H. Club. Her passion for children’s education has led to several projects to serve underprivileged elementary-aged children in the community. She coordinated a book drive for students at Willow Brook Elementary School, as well as a backpack and school supplies drive benefiting 245 students. She also chaired the Rumble Into Reading event, an opportunity for first-graders at Telstar and Willow Brook schools to meet Rumble the Bison and select books from the Rolling Thunder Book Bus.

Leffler is a second-year pharmacy student at SWOSU and aspires to promote self-empowerment, optimism and healthy lifestyles through her leadership roles with the Phi Delta Chi Pharmacy Leadership Fraternity and the American Pharmacists’ Association Academy of Student Pharmacists Operation Heart and Over-the-Counter Medication Safety initiatives. She was instrumental in creating a western Oklahoma Glow Walk/Run 5K to benefit the American Cancer Society and has been active in the Collegiate Activities Board. She contributes to the empowerment of eighth-grade girls in STEM as a camp counselor for Tech Trek.

Richard, a junior forensic science and accounting major at UCO, demonstrates a tangible commitment to improving the lives of others through hands-on service within the local community and academic community and in domestic and international service settings. Her passion to eliminate human trafficking drives her career goal to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and inspires her to travel the world encouraging children to continue their educations in order to escape the cycle of poverty. She has traveled to Guatemala four times since 2007, building relationships with a school and a student and his family. Her personal and financial investments through her sponsorship of the student have provided access to education that would have otherwise been impossible. She plans to travel to Saint Monica Girls School in Uganda in May to build a library.

Smith is a junior information technology security major at OSUIT. He has volunteered countless hours at Oklahoma organizations, including the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium, the Regional Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, Smith has served in the Oklahoma Student Government Association as a participant and mentor and as a member of the Student Conduct Board and Phi Theta Kappa. He also founded a stress relief program for students and is dedicated to impacting society on a local, state and national level.