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January 29, 2008 :: Award Opportunities Await Civic-Minded College Students

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Many of Oklahoma’s college students volunteer to benefit their communities, and two national awards are available that could benefit the students as well.

Campus Compact is offering two award programs, the Newman and Swearer awards, for civic-minded college freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Both programs provide cash awards, one of $5,000, but students must apply by March 21.

The Frank Newman Leadership Award is designed to support students with financial need who have shown civic leadership potential through public and community service and scholastic achievement. The award provides mentorship and financial support of $5,000 to help students achieve their civic and academic goals. Two awards – one for a two-year institution student and one for a four-year institution student – are available nationwide.

To qualify for the Newman Award, an Oklahoma student must be a sophomore or junior at a four-year university that participates in Oklahoma Campus Compact or must attend a community college that is a member of Oklahoma Campus Compact. Students must complete an online application and submit other materials, including a mentoring plan, a brief essay about their work and a letter of nomination from the institution president.

The Howard R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Award honors students for innovative strategies that address community issues and for their efforts to establish this work among their peers and within their institutions. The award provides $1,250 for the student’s professional development and $250 to the student’s affiliated service program or organization. Five awards are available for students nationwide, including one reserved for a student from a two-year institution.

Students who wish to apply for the Swearer Award must attend a college or university that is a member of Oklahoma Campus Compact and must not be a senior. The student must complete an online application and submit a brief essay about their work and a letter of support from the institution president, service learning director or a faculty member familiar with the student’s work.

An Oklahoma student won the Swearer Award in 2004. Joseph Blundell, a student at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, was honored for solutions to his hometown’s water contamination problem.

Students can apply for both awards online at www.compact.org and read more information and application details at the Oklahoma Campus Compact Web site at www.okhighered.org/campus-com.

Campus Compact is a coalition of colleges and universities that develops college students’ awareness and skills in civic responsibility through service learning, community service and civic engagement. Thirty-three states have Campus Compact offices. In Oklahoma, Campus Compact was formed in 2000 and today has 33 public and private colleges and universities that participate.