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April 15, 2015 - 11 Oklahoma College Students Named Newman Civic Fellows RSS feed

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Determined to find solutions for the challenges communities face throughout the country, 11 inspirational students from Oklahoma’s colleges and universities have been named 2015 Newman Civic Fellows in recognition for service to their local communities.

Carly Anderson, Connors State College; Roxanne Cobb, Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City; Christopher Dowling, University of Central Oklahoma; Rhetta Farrill, East Central University; Michael Ferguson, Tulsa Community College; Josi Hasenauer, Northwestern Oklahoma State University; Raleigh Jobes, Rogers State University; Michael Larson, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology; Tyler Parette, Oklahoma Christian University; Kristen Ryan, Rose State College; and Addi Shamburg, Northern Oklahoma College are among 201 students from 36 states who comprise this year’s Newman Civic Fellows.

The Newman Civic Fellows program was established by Campus Compact in honor of co-founder Frank Newman, who dedicated his life to creating opportunities for student civic learning and engagement. The award is designed to recognize college students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for the challenges faced by communities across the nation through service, research and advocacy. Each of Oklahoma’s fellows will receive a $500 scholarship from Oklahoma Campus Compact. Students are nominated by their college or university president.

“The State Regents applaud each of these students for the difference they make in the lives of others by consistently giving back to their communities,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Their civic leadership serves as an example of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world. We extend our best wishes to each of the honorees as they complete their higher education and continue to serve their fellow Oklahomans.”

Anderson is a leader and advocate at CSC for students with special needs. Recognizing it would be beneficial for her special needs friends to interact with their peers and have a level of social acceptance in an area deemed essential, athletics, Anderson founded “Carly’s Champions for Life Day Camp.” She approached area businesses, seeking donations so she could provide each camper with a t-shirt, medal and drawstring bag. The day was a success, and Anderson hopes for this day camp to be an annual event.

Cobb is a crime victim/survivor services major at OSU-OKC. In addition to pursuing a career in victim services with the goal of becoming a victim’s advocate, she volunteers with organizations and agencies that support crime victims, especially those affected by human trafficking. She has volunteered more than 150 hours with the Beautiful Dream Society, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting exploitation, instilling value and empowering vulnerable people worldwide. She has also completed nearly 60 hours of service learning hours with the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board as an intern, where she was able to learn more about the judicial side of what victims of crime endure. Cobb was elected by her peers to serve as vice chair of the Student Association for Victim Interests and Empowerment. Also this year, she demonstrated her leadership skills by organizing a campus event to promote awareness of the atrocities of human trafficking to students, faculty and staff.

Dowling is a senior accounting major at UCO. He volunteers his time with Big Brothers Big Sisters where he mentors a third-grade-student. Also, his work on issues of hunger, food insecurity and poverty has helped strengthen the food pantry on UCO’s campus and made a difference in the lives of many students who rely on the pantry for a steady diet. Realizing that the food pantry is a not a comprehensive solution to the problem of poverty in the U.S., Dowling plans to use his leadership and motivational skills to continue to build relationships and work to alleviate the impact of poverty.

Farrill is a social entrepreneur and sophomore at ECU. Her efforts to improve the welfare of children have resulted in thousands of dollars in aid to children. She has also worked with several partner organizations to improve conditions for adults and families. Farrill has worked with the Department of Human Services and engaged the community to organize a toy and book drive and provide Christmas gifts to local foster children. She is also the secretary of ECU’s Business Leaders Association and an active member of Enactus. In addition to school volunteerism, she has worked more than 50 hours at the local soup kitchen. She mentors at-risk youth at church, and as her church’s youth pastor for eight- to 12-year-olds, she organizes and participates in events and fundraisers for its ministry. She has spearheaded two food drives that provided more than 50 families with assistance over the holidays.

Ferguson is a human services major at TCC. As a disabled veteran, he wants to help create positive change in veterans’ lives. In support of this goal, he enrolled in the alcohol and chemical dependency program and has assumed a leadership position in the Peer Mentoring office by providing encouragement and guidance to fellow human services students. He continues to coach new peer mentoring students and is serving his second semester as Total Addiction Counseling and Knowledge from Life Experience (TACKLE) president. In that capacity, he administered a luncheon for the staff of Operation Hope Prison Ministries to thank them for their service to the community. He has participated in the Point in Time homeless count and in Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery meetings to understand the needs of the clients he will serve. His future goal is to open a sober-living facility to assist veterans who are in trouble, exiting prison and/or experiencing homelessness.

Hasenauer, a senior at NWOSU, serves as an AmeriCorps tutor at Alva Middle School and will become a social sciences teacher after she graduates. She served as an intern for Sen. Mike Johanns in Washington this past summer and is passionate about investing time in the lives of students. Through tutoring at the middle school, she encourages students to believe in themselves, work hard, and find value in the little things, and she shows them how fun learning can be.
Jobes will graduate this year with a degree in medical/molecular biology from RSU, but his passion for social change and involvement led him to pursue a master’s in sociology. He has been an active member of the President’s Leadership Class, serving as vice president and president. In his leadership positions, Jobes has helped restructure the PLC, focusing on applying students’ time to civic engagement and solving social issues. Through the PLC’s Go Green Campaign, bikes were supplied for students to rent, and the proceeds were donated in support of the cause.

Larson, a student at OSU IT, has volunteered more than 250 hours with the Oklahoma 4-H and Future Farmers of America. He also works with the Ronald McDonald House and Department of Human Services Adopt a Snowflake Program, and planned Change for CHANGE, an event that raises money for the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Foundation. The goal is to help the foundation raise the funds necessary to bring services to rural Oklahoma. The concept is simple; change the life of a child, family or research by collecting loose “change” at meetings, events and activities.

Through his internship at the Oklahoma Public Policy Institute, Parette, a student at OC, is engaged in addressing important social issues. He currently spends half of each week at the state Capitol, engaged in the political process. Throughout his college career, he has sought out countless internships, study-abroad opportunities, scholarships and organizational leadership positions.

Ryan is a student leader, impacting not only RSC, but the community in which she lives. In addition to serving the college as a President’s Leadership Scholar and executive member of the Student Senate, Ryan assists individuals with limited resources. Last summer, she moved out of her home into a dilapidated apartment complex. She created programming to engage the children in her community and served as a mentor. Through this experience, she realized that distributing canned goods, coats and shoes may help meet a temporary need, but most importantly, children with scarce resources need to be loved and invested in daily.

Shamburg, a student leader at NOC, shares her battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the immune system, in an effort to educate audiences ranging from elementary students to community leaders. Her gift for public speaking has started a revolution of cancer awareness coupled with “ADDItude” at NOC and across northwest Oklahoma. Despite lengthy stints at M.D. Anderson during the school year, Shamburg returns to spread the word about cancer. She informs about the disease’s ability to strike at any age and the physical battles she fights on a daily basis. More importantly, she advocates that the disease can be battled with a positive ADDItude.