Campus Compact has named 17 students from MACC member colleges and universities as Newman Civic Fellows for 2014. This national award honors undergraduates who have the motivation and ability to make substantial contributions toward public problem solving.
Newman Civic Fellows are nominated by their campus president or chancellor on the basis of their demonstrated investment in the community. Following are the 17 Massachusetts Newman Civic Fellows, by campus. Brief profiles with descriptions of each student’s work appear at the bottom of this article.
Babson College: Alexander Woodhouse
Bay Path College: Heidi Jo Rheaume
Berkshire Community College: Erin Breen
Brandeis University: Sophie Brickman
Bristol Community College: Anne Brum
Clark University: Alex Marshall
Greenfield Community College: Cynthia Curtis
Massachusetts College of Art and Design: Pippa Adam
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts: Deanna Boucher
Mount Holyoke College: Michaella Coughlin
Mount Wachusett Community College: Kathleen Matson
North Shore Community College: Pamela Arsenault
Springfield College: Jasmine Jiles
Stonehill College: Matthew Attaya
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: Jacob Miller
Worcester State University: Margaret Rizzo, Ashley Tocci
The Massachusetts students join a pool of 197 Civic Fellows from across the country working to tackle community challenges. This year, these students will leverage an even greater capacity for service and change through an online community established exclusively for Newman Civic Fellows. In keeping with their generation’s emphasis on networks over hierarchies, this online community will allow the Fellows to share ideas and resources to further their work.
“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders,” notes James B. Dworkin, Campus Compact board chair and chancellor of Purdue University North Central. “They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world.”
The Newman Civic Fellows award is generously sponsored by the KPMG Foundation. “We are proud to support Campus Compact in bringing attention to these extraordinary students,” says Bernard J. Milano, president of the KPMG Foundation and a Campus Compact board member. “With this recognition, Campus Compact is highlighting the remarkable impact these students are having on their campuses and communities.”
Profiles of the 2014 Newman Civic Fellows from
Massachusetts Campus Compact Member Schools
Pippa Adam, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Pippa Adam is an outstanding student, artist, and leader, continually weaving together her strengths as a dynamically engaged citizen. She has served the MassArt community and beyond in numerous ways, including participating in the college’s strategic planning process, working in the Student Government Association, and serving on the Center for Art and Community Partnerships’ Community Leadership Team.
Pamela Arsenault, North Shore Community College
Pamela Arsenault is a leader in bettering the lives of immigrants, the elderly, and struggling families. An immigrant herself, she inspires others in her community to help those who have recently entered our country to realize their goals. She also contributes to the lives of the elderly and to local families through leadership roles at a council on aging and in the largest social program in the North Shore, a toy drive for needy families.
Matthew Attaya, Stonehill College
Matthew Attaya has been active in youth development and inequality issues in Brockton as an AmeriCorps Student Leader in Service and through Coaching 4 Change, a local youth leadership organization. He integrates research on local and national issues with efforts to help those affected by inequality and racial prejudice. He has also participated in Alternative Spring Break programs and taken on leadership roles in a variety of service projects.
Deanna Boucher, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Deanna Boucher has demonstrated a deep commitment to advocacy work on local and national issues. Her leadership skills are evident through her work on campus and with SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), for which she has chaired the National Student Leadership Council, coordinated a national conference, and served on the National Board of Directors. In this last role, she traveled to Capitol Hill to lobby for policy actions and provisions for a key transportation bill.
Erin Breen, Berkshire Community College
Erin Breen has raised awareness and resources for the Pittsfield Promise initiative, aimed at dramatically increasing literacy rates. She has become a leader in organizing community events and is a valued spokesperson for the initiative, presenting at state and national conferences. She is committed to improving the quality of life for parents and young children in Pittsfield and has the potential to lead literacy initiatives well beyond these city limits.
Sophie Brickman, Brandeis University
Sophie Brickman is active in a variety of service initiatives, with emphasis on mentoring and youth development. For the past two years she has worked closely with Jewish Big Brother Big Sister and the Waltham Public School District to coordinate and expand programs that support the healthy development of youth. She has addressed issues of risk management, professionalism, and program sustainability while streamlining recruitment and training procedures.
Anne Brum, Bristol Community College
Anne Brum, a second-year nursing student, returned to school after many years of owning a small business in the service industry. Her desire to help others has fueled her career and service choices. She has served as a Student Ambassador and a member of the Student Senate as well as various civic engagement organizations, and has received multiple awards for community service leadership. She hopes to acquire an M.S.N. to be able to educate the next generation of caregivers.
Michaella Coughlin, Mount Holyoke College
Michaella Coughlin has been instrumental in establishing a strong collaboration between the college and a rapidly growing yet under-supported refugee community in Springfield. She has crossed significant cultural and linguistic barriers to build rapport with families and leaders in an immigrant Somali community, while simultaneously recruiting and training dozens of student volunteers to provide wide-ranging family literacy support in a weekly tutoring program.
Cynthia Curtis, Greenfield Community College
Cynthia Curtis has been a source of inspiration to students, faculty, and staff. Her involvement at the college and the surrounding community has taken many different paths, including volunteering for Franklin County Hospice, fundraising for Relay for Life, hosting international students from Japan, and serving as a member of the Student Senate and the VetNet club on campus. A 24-year veteran, she has also served as a Direct Care Counselor for ServiceNet. She is working toward an associate’s degree in nursing, leading to an RN.
Jasmine Jiles, Springfield College
Jasmine Jiles is committed to motivating youths to realize their dreams and make a positive difference in the world. She has been actively engaged in outreach efforts in the city, working to help adults become technologically savvy, as well as with youths to help them overcome barriers to success. She is a gifted student leader who works to support her peers, and makes exceptional use of her gift of public speaking to motivate others to do all the good they can for themselves and others.
Alex Marshall, Clark University
Alex Marshall is actively engaged in political campaigns and social justice issues at Clark and in the Worcester community. He is passionate about finding long-term structural solutions to the problems in the community and engaging other students in the democratic process. He has been involved in Student Council since his first semester and currently serves as Student Council Treasurer and as Vice President for the Democrats of Clark University student group. He has also volunteered for both city and state-level political campaigns.
Kathleen Matson, Mount Wachusett Community College
Kathleen Matson is an excellent illustration of what it means to be an engaged student and citizen. She serves as the Student Government Association President and as a founding member of the Students Serving Our Students office. In addition, as the student representative on the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, she advocates on behalf of students across the Commonwealth for public policy changes such as the integration of civic education at all of the state’s public colleges and universities.
Jacob Miller, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Jacob Miller has a proven record of finding solutions to improve the community. Most notably, after seeing that changes in the state’s healthcare law were inadvertently costing college students more and leading some to drop out, he worked with a state senator to write and advocate for legislation allowing college students to stay on MassHealth; the amendment was signed into law in July 2013. Other successful efforts include working with veterans to restore a neglected park in New Bedford and developing a website for the regional SouthCoast Serves collaborative.
Heidi Jo Rheaume, Bay Path College
As the Community Service Director of Bay Path’s Honors Program for the past two years, Heidi Jo Rheaume has been instrumental in engaging over 110 of her peers for more than 250 hours each semester to collaborate with community organizations in addressing a broad variety of systemic changes. Her work as a motivator and organizer has allowed the college to make a significant impact in the local community in the areas of health, poverty, animal rights, and education.
Margaret Rizzo, Worcester State University
Margaret Rizzo provides fundraising and volunteer support for many organizations, but her leadership as a peer mentor is what stands out. As a Student Nurse Mentor, she provides one-on-one help for freshman and sophomore nursing students. She is also a Peer Health Educator, promoting good health practices on campus and in the community. Working as a volunteer runner’s guide for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute during the Boston Marathon in 2013, she contributed to the safety and wellbeing of the 14 WSU students who were there at the time of the tragic bombing.
Ashley Tocci, Worcester State University
Ashley Tocci plays a leadership role in a variety of areas, including in the university’s Jimmy Fund Council, for which she plans fundraising activities, and in organizing multiple service-learning trips abroad. She also serves as a runners’ guide at the Boston Marathon, assisting medical staff from Dana Farber Cancer Institute in ensuring the wellbeing of participants who run for charity. She was at the finish line in 2013 when a bomb destroyed the celebration. During those frantic hours, she played a key role in ensuring the safety and calm of her peers.
Alexander Woodhouse, Babson College
Alexander Woodhouse is highly regarded by his mentors and peers as both an outstanding leader and a caring citizen. His passion for civic engagement is demonstrated through his work as the President of the Philanthropy Tower—a living/learning community on campus—and as manager of four different youth development programs focused on mentorship and entrepreneurial leadership. He has also helped to develop a curriculum for teaching entrepreneurship as a path to economic security and social improvement.