Magdalene Asare

Magdalene Anima Asare

Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 290 students who will make up the organization’s 2020-2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The 2020 cohort—the largest group of Newman Civic Fellows to date—includes Magdalene Anima Asare, a student at Cottey College.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program for students from Campus Compact member institutions. The students selected for the fellowship are leaders on their campuses who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally, and internationally.

“While living in my home country [Ghana], I observed that some people – especially children and women who lived in the rural areas- had limited access to healthcare,” said Asare. “People frequently ended up losing their lives from curable diseases due to the distance delay in reaching proper healthcare services. This placed a heavy burden on me with unreachable answers on what I could do as a change-maker in my country. Through my determination to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Health and Biomedical Sciences at Cottey College, I have obtained some answers on how to be an active member in my country and community. Taking classes such as Social Justice and Civic Engagement has enlightened and instilled in me a robust idea about advocacy and social justice. Accepting an active role as the vice-president for service in Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and participating in volunteer opportunities on-campus and within the community has increased my passion to be an agent of change. Therefore, I am now working towards my future goal of building hospitals in the rural areas of my country. These hospitals will provide affordable and accessible healthcare to save precious lives because all lives are important no matter where they live.”

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, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors may nominate one student from their institution for the fellowship.

“Upon her arrival at Cottey College, Ms. Asare immediately became involved in volunteer activities, both on and off campus,” noted Cottey College President, Dr. Jann Weitzel. “She worked with a community-wide project to assist people in need with home and yard maintenance, she assisted at a national park during a government shut-down, she volunteers as a peer tutor in Chemistry and College Algebra, she has served as a summer workshop counselor for high school students, she participated in MLK Day of Service, and she is a college ambassador.

“Ms. Asare has completed training as a hospice volunteer and is vice president of service for Phi Theta Kappa. In her leadership roles, Ms. Asare has helped plan roadside clean-up days, assisted with cultural research for conference presentation, and worked as a college intern to create and update electronic forms. Ms. Asare intends to take her servant leadership skills back to her home country of Ghana in order to create better healthcare access for rural women and children.”

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides the students with a variety of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, Fellows are invited to a national, in-person conference of Newman Civic Fellows and participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

“We are proud to recognize each of these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to have the opportunity to engage with them,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “The stories of this year’s Newman Civic Fellows make clear that they are committed to finding solutions to pressing problems in their communities and beyond. That is what Campus Compact is about, and it’s what our country and our world desperately need.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation. Learn more at compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship.