Berea student picked for prestigious Newman Fellow program

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Autumn Harvey

BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) — Autumn Harvey, a junior majoring in history at Berea College, has been selected as a Newman Civic Fellow for 2021-2022 by Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization advancing the public purposes of higher education.

Harvey joins 212 students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico to form the 2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows.

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“Autumn is a student leader who uses her skills, knowledge and creativity to promote dialogue and action, preparing students to engage with pressing social issues,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “She provides a strong example of the Berea College experience of ‘learning, labor and service.’ A Bonner Scholar, Autumn works in the Center for Excellence in Learning through Service (CELTS), where she trains and supervises first-year Berea College students who have committed to making service and civic engagement an integral part of their college careers.”

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

“Berea students arrive at college with experiences, passion and perspective that prepare them to serve their community and to work for positive social change,” said Ashley Cochrane, director of Berea’s CELTS program. “Through CELTS, we connect them with opportunities to mentor and be mentored, while participating in community-based collaborations where they apply their academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to address pressing issues.

“Autumn integrates her study of history into her work mentoring and training first-year students who are deeply engaged with community service,” Cochrane continued. “She has continued this work remotely during the pandemic, demonstrating creativity, commitment and adaptability. Her passion for community-engaged work informed by an understanding of the past is timely and strengthens the service that we pursue together.”

Harvey said her passion for service began as a child helping to make sack suppers for children who didn’t have enough food at home.

“I quickly realized that there was one common trait among the populations that I served: they were all people of color, Harvey said. “As the senior first-year coordinator for the Bonner Scholars program at Berea, I have made it my mission to incorporate history into each training that I facilitate so that the first-year students I work with can start their own path to strengthening their communities and fighting oppression.”

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

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.

“We are proud to recognize 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.”