Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

May 2011

Southeastern’s Valerie Howard Receives Newman Civic Fellow Award


SE's Valerie Howard
Valerie Howard of Southeastern was a recipient of the Newman Civic Fellow Award.

Valerie Howard of Southeastern Oklahoma State University is one of 135 students from 30 states honored as Newman Civic Fellows by Campus Compact. The awards recognize inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

Howard, a junior at Southeastern, is a history major and business minor. She focuses on politics and economics in academics as well as in her community involvement. Howard is active in the political process, having served as a volunteer and intern for both local and state campaigns. She also served as a congressional intern. Beyond government involvement, Howard is passionate about the importance of education to change lives, regularly volunteering as a tutor.

Howard is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian Schools in Edmond.

“This is a tremendous honor for Valerie and for the University,” said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “She is a true role model for the campus and community and is most deserving of this national recognition.”

Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents -- representing some 6 million students -- who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. Through the Newman Civic Fellows Awards, college and university presidents acknowledge students with the ability and motivation to create lasting change in our communities.

From 30 states, college and university presidents have nominated the best-of-the-best: promising college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Through service, research, and advocacy, these Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.

Dr. Frank Newman -- one of the founders of Campus Compact -- had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who are eager and prepared to make a difference. He dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform and he would have been inspired by this first group of 135 Newman Civic Fellows.

“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can and does play in building a better world,” explains Campus Compact President Maureen F. Curley.

Through service-learning courses and other opportunities for community engagement, colleges are developing students’ critical public problem-solving skills such as the ability to research and analyze community needs, a willingness to lead and participate in public processes and debate, the commitment to raise awareness about community challenges, and the ability to inspire people to become part of solutions.

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