ST. LOUIS — Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities working to advance public goals for higher education, has named 173 student civic leaders who will make up the organization’s 2022-2023 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows.
Marquis Govan, an undergraduate student studying social work and sociology at Saint Louis University, will join students from 38 states, Washington, DC and Mexico to form the cohort.
The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes students who stand out for their commitment to creating positive change in local communities and around the world. The scholarship is named after the late Frank Newman, one of the founders of Campus Compact, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. Scholars are nominated by Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors, who are invited to select one outstanding student from their campus each year.
Govan is currently a community organizer and policy researcher with Action STL, a policy-focused nonprofit that works to improve living conditions in St. Louis. On campus, Govan holds leadership positions with the Resident Hall Association and the Student Government Association (SGA) where he will serve as the new Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. He is also a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar.
Govan recalls the events that catapulted him into the field of activism.
“In 2014, after the murder of Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, I started attending meetings about unfair policing and the effects of racial inequality on the STL region and our country as a whole,” said Govan said. “I also began working with groups within the community on a credentialing crisis that had hit two majority-black school districts in northern St. Louis County.”
SLU President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.named Govan for his outstanding commitment to serving others.
“Marquis explores some of the systematic ways that people living in poverty experience disparities in their access to health care, education, housing and employment. He is particularly interested in investigating the determinants of urban violence and policy initiatives that can curb it,” Pestello said.
Through the scholarship, Campus Compact will provide these students with a year of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, Fellows participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities to help them build the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the annual fellowship meeting, which provides intensive skills building and networking over two days. The scholarship also provides pathways for scholars to apply for exclusive scholarships and postgraduate opportunities.
“We are proud to name such an exceptional and diverse group of students Newman Civic Fellows,” said Bobbie Laur, President of Campus Compact. “Their passion and determination to act on the wide range of issues facing our neighborhoods and communities is inspiring and deeply needed. We look forward to engaging with them through this transformative experience.
Aric Hamilton: 2021-2022 Newman SLU Civic Fellow
Aric Hamilton, an undergraduate majoring in education at SLU, was part of the organization’s 2021-2022 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows whose scholarship continues through May. Like Govan, Hamilton is actively involved in addressing issues of racial and economic justice, as well as community well-being.
Hamilton’s goal as a Newman Civic Fellow is to help advance equity in the American school system through transformative institutional change by: promoting inclusive dialogue and action, compelling policies and practices to reduce equity gaps and ensure student success in historically oppressed countries. marginalized and disenfranchised communities.
Hamilton’s peers recently elected him as the first African-American president of the SGA of SLU. He has been an SGA senator since his first semester at SLU. Liam John, an undergraduate student studying health management and public health, was SLU’s 2020-2021 Newman Civic Fellow.
The Newman Civic Fellowship program is supported by the KPMG Foundation. You can read more about each of the student leaders selected for this year’s cohort here.
About Saint Louis University
Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions in the country. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous and transformative whole-person education. At the heart of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-oriented mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better and fairer place.
About Campus Compact
Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to public higher education goals. Campus Compact supports institutions in achieving their public goals by deepening their ability to enhance community life and educate students in civic and social responsibility. As the largest national higher education association dedicated solely to campus civic engagement, we provide professional development for administrators and faculty to enable them to engage effectively, facilitate national partnerships connecting campuses to issues communities, develop pilot programs to test and refine promising models of engaged teaching and scholarship, celebrate and cultivate student civic leadership, and bring together higher education institutions and partners beyond the higher education to share knowledge and develop collective capacities. Visit www.compact.org.