LAWRENCE — From across the country, college and university presidents of Campus Compact member institutions have nominated promising student leaders as Newman Civic Fellows. Through service, research and advocacy, these fellows have demonstrated an investment in their community and are working to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.
Cherin Russell, a junior in English, is KU’s Newman Civic Fellow for 2023-2024. She is from Lawrence and a graduate of Lawrence High School. Russell is a McNair Scholar who plans to earn a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and become a grant writer and environmental nonprofit advocate.
“Cherin has brought her strong convictions about working for the good of the community to campus. Her dedication to advocating for historically underrepresented communities and people experiencing homelessness, for example, demonstrates she lives out these convictions in long-term volunteerism and service. We are proud to have her as this year’s Newman Civic Fellow,” KU Chancellor Douglas A. Girod said.
Russell was awarded second place for the Helen Rhoda Hoopes Award for best English undergraduate essay written by a woman and earned the Certificate of Excellence in French Studies three semesters in a row, the Trio 1st Year Achievement Award and the Paul B. Lawson Memorial Scholarship given to outstanding juniors. She recently joined the volunteer team at the Ballard Center, a local early childhood education nonprofit, to assist with grant writing and environmental concerns. Russell also serves as a mentor within KU’s Academic Engagement & Retention Center and a tutor for the Academic Learning Center. She has been a community volunteer and advocate in Lawrence for more than 10 years and currently serves as an advocate at KU for nontraditional students and students with invisible disabilities.
Russell joins a cohort of more than 200 students from across the country in a yearlong program that includes training, virtual learning opportunities and an annual fellow convening. The opportunities available to the Newman Civic Fellows include attendance at the national Newman Civic Fellows conference, participation in regional and state gatherings of Newman Civic Fellows, engagement with a virtual event series focused on skill development and professional learning and guidance from a local mentor.
Campus Compact advances the public purpose of more than 1,000 colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. For more information, please visit compact.org.
The Center for Service Learning will celebrate Russell as well as President's Volunteer Service Award and Center for Service Learning award recipients and Certificate in Service Learning graduates at their annual Service Showcase and Celebration at 3:30 p.m. April 20.