Photo credit: KC Esper

Zachary Thomas, a John Carroll student majoring in English and Creative Writing, has been named a recipient of the prestigious Newman Civic Fellowship. Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, recently announced the 273 students who will make up the organization’s 2017 cohort.

Thomas is a member of the Class of 2018.  Thomas has worked with other students and his English professors to create the “Writers in Residence” program at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center and Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility. The goal of this new program is to reduce recidivism among youth in the detention center.

“Through Zachary’s involvement in service-learning at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center, he has become extremely interested in finding ways use the power of writing to release the vision and voice of the residents in the detention center to transform their sense of self and their power to choose a different future,” said John Carroll University President Rev. Robert L. Niehoff, S.J.

Thomas would also like to acknowledge the support of Sr. Katherine Feely, Director of the Center for Service and Social Action, as well the program’s co-founders who are his JCU peers: Rachel Schratz, Michalena Mezzopera, and Anthony Shoplik.   “As I worked with the Center for Service and Social Action from my freshman year to now, I learned about the wide variety of local social justice issues that influence the community, some of which increases incarceration rates, such as a lack of education,” said Thomas.

As a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow, Thomas will be a part of the first cohort to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship. The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities. The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

Campus Compact is a nonprofit coalition of more than 1000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. As the only national association dedicated to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building community engagement into campus and academic life. For more information, visit www.compact.org.

Posted on March 31, 2017
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