Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 290 students who will make up the organization’s 2021-2022 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. Autumn Cunningham, a student at Northampton Community College, will join 212 students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico to form the 2021 cohort.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program for students from Campus Compact member institutions. The students selected for the fellowship are leaders on their campuses who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally, and internationally.

Cunningham, a communications studies major from York, PA, has a goal to one day work in public relations for a civic rights organization. She serves as the Student Representative for NCC’s Campus Democratic Engagement Coalition (CDEC) – a nonpartisan campus workgroup that implements initiatives that encourage students to be informed and engaged citizens. Cunningham is also active with NCC’s Center for Civic and Community Engagement (CCCE).  In addition, she is an avid reader, and enjoys textile art, embroidery, sewing and designing.

The fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors nominate student leaders from their campuses to be named Newman Civic Fellows.

“During the 2020 presidential election, Autumn advocated for participation in civic engagement by assisting students to register to vote; getting people to the poll, and distributing non partisan election resources and information on important election dates and deadlines and overall electoral process,” says Dr. Mark Erickson, NCC president.  “She has also demonstrated an ability to think of ideas, such as integrating voter engagement in the NCCGo App and distributing election related flyers in the residence halls. In her Intercultural Communication class, she exhibited creativity and passion for addressing social justice issues and political polarization by speaking with her classmates about the importance of being civically engaged. Autumn’s interactions with other students have given her a sense of purpose and improved her commitment to be an agent of social change.”

In this video, Autumn Cunningham speaks about how being actively engaged in college is rewarding.

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides Fellows with a variety 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 provide them with the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive skill-building and networking over the course of two days. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

“We are proud to recognize these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to engage with them,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “The experience of the last year has driven home to all of us that we need open-minded, innovative, public-spirited thinkers and doers. That is what Campus Compact is about, and the stories of our Newman Civic Fellows demonstrate it’s who they are.”

Learn more at compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship. You can read more about each of the student leaders selected for this year’s cohort at compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship/2021-2022-newman-civic-fellows.