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Biochemistry Major Named a Newman Civic Fellow

April 7, 2017

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Recognized for her dedication and commitment to community service, Joyce Nawara '19 is a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow. Awarded by Campus Compact—a national coalition of nearly 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education—the Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. As a fellow, Nawara will have access to various networking events and interactions with potential mentors. The year-long fellowship also allows the biochemistry major the opportunity to join a national network of community-committed peers and former Civic Fellows. 

According to Campus Compact, this particular fellowship—named after Campus Compact founder Frank Newman—provides training and resources that nurture students’ assets and passions while helping them develop strategies to achieve social change. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides learning opportunities focused on the skills fellows need in order to serve as effective agents of change in addressing public problems and building equitable communities.

TLU President Dr. Stuart Dorsey said Nawara is particularly passionate about addressing issues of socioeconomic injustice.

For the last year, Joyce has worked with a community partner called West End Neighborhood Project, which focuses on bridging the gap in resources within a low-income neighborhood of Seguin," Dr. Dorsey said. "In addition to routine neighborhood clean-ups, which involve local residents and university students, she has helped coordinate the building of Little Free Libraries, which promote literacy and safety within the neighborhood. She is currently working with local residents to determine other ongoing needs, and helping to connect students to the neighborhood as a way to get engaged in the community. We are extremely proud of the work she is doing and to have her represent TLU."

Growing up on a farm, Nawara saw her parents living paycheck to paycheck and said that experience made her more aware of the struggles of low-income families. 

"During my first year as a college student, I was exposed to the socioeconomic gap in Seguin and the economic injustice motivated me to work at the Center for Servant Leadership on campus," Nawara said. "At the CSL, I work on rebuilding the neighborhood and bring awareness of the city's resources to residents as part of the West End Neighborhood Project. Some of the projects created to bring change include neighborhood clean-ups, the building of Little Free Libraries, and city gatherings of nonprofit resources that help residents make changes in their lives. I started working at the CSL because I loved the project, so it's nice to be recognized for something I didn't get into for the recognition. It's also nice to be on the other side since I've been on the side of those in need. It means a lot to be the cause of change and play a role in someone else's life."

Nawara is the third student from TLU since 2014 to be honored with this achievement. 

"Having another student recognized as a Newman Civic Fellow demonstrates that students, like Joyce, are passionate about serving their communities and finding creative solutions to complex problems that exist in society," said Morgan Matchett, director of TLU's Center for Servant Leadership. "Joyce is a strong example of a servant leader, particularly with her passion for recognizing and dismantling socioeconomic injustices. She's the definition of TLU's long-standing commitment to service and a role model for others."

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