Hope College sophomore Kelsey Herbert of Avon, Conn., is one of a select group of 162 student leaders from around the nation to be named a 2012 “Newman Civic Fellow” by Campus Compact for demonstrating a personal commitment to creating lasting change for the better in their communities.

The Newman Civic Fellows Award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. As a Newman Civic Fellow, Herbert will join a network of Fellows around the country that began with the initial class in 2011. The Campus Compact notes that together — sharing ideas and tools through online networking — the Fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for service and change, and will continue to set examples for their classmates and others.

“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world,” said Dr. James B. Dworkin, who is the Campus Compact board chair as well as chancellor at Purdue University North Central.

Herbert has engaged locally as well as abroad in pursuing her commitment to social justice.  She is among the students who hold leadership roles in Hope United for Justice, a student organization networking campus groups focused on social justice.  She has served as an English-language tutor with adults in Holland and through a local church to native Spanish speakers.  She participated in the college’s spring break immersion trip to Honduras in the spring of 2011, and was an intern with Kids Alive International in the Dominican Republic in the summer of 2011, teaching a six-week summer program in Spanish to children living in an orphanage.  She is a site leader for the college’s LdOut3 Leadership Training Program, through which Hope students are providing leadership training for students at Grant High School who will in turn mentor seventh graders in developing a service project in their community.  She has also been active in Holland’s Sierra Club chapter, involved in the national organization’s “Beyond Coal” campaign, and the “Not for Sale” campaign focused on human trafficking.

“Kelsey is a strong, visionary leader,” said Dr. Virginia Beard, an assistant professor of political science at Hope who is the faculty advisor of Hope United for Justice.  “She has led and facilitated a number of impactful and important events related to issues of justice while balancing strong performance in her studies.  She is a well-rounded and inspirational student among her peers.”

Herbert is majoring in international studies and Spanish, and minoring in political science.  She is a 2010 graduate of Avon High School, and the daughter of Charles and Karen Herbert of Avon.

Newman Civic Fellows are recommended by college and university presidents to acknowledge motivation and ability in public leadership. Newman Civic Fellows awards are made in memory of Dr. Frank Newman, a former president of the University of Rhode Island and national leader in higher education who co-founded Campus Compact with the presidents of Stanford University, Brown University, and Georgetown University in 1985 to foster students’ involvement in public service and as democratic change-agents.  Newman died in 2004 at age 77.

Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,200 college and university presidents, representing some six million students, who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education, that is, to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. More information about the organization and the award is available online at www.compact.org.