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St. Norbert College Sophomore Named Newman Civic Fellow

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From St. Norbert College, March 5, 2021
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, 920-403-3089

St. Norbert College sophomore Seela Raj of Green Bay, Wis., has been named a 2021-22 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities dedicated to campus-based civic engagement. Raj, one of 212 students from 39 states who were named Newman Civic Fellows to form the 2021 cohort, is majoring in biology and is on the pre-medical track.

“My dedication to unity and diversity has compelled me to serve as an advocate for others who feel depreciated and disconnected from mainstream society,” Raj said. “I do this through volunteer work with vulnerable populations and through work on social justice and diversity programming as a program assistant at St. Norbert College’s Cassandra Voss Center. This work not only gives me the opportunity to draw on the experiences I have had as a biracial person, it also provides me with a feeling of hope for a future where all people can live in harmony,” Raj added.

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.

“Seela is passionate about bridging gaps between different communities,” said St. Norbert College President Brian Bruess. “Being the daughter of interracial parents, a white American mother and a Malaysian-Indian father, Seela has the lived experience of occupying different places in two distinct worlds, which helps her to understand the importance of connecting these worlds and the people in them.”

“In the future, Seela aspires to be a physician and intends to continue her commitment to bridging gaps between communities by caring for people who experience disparities in the medical field and working to give all people access to stellar health care,” added Bruess.

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 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 gain 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.

For more information on Raj and her Newman Civic Fellowship, go to https://compact.org/newman-civic-fellow/seela-raj/.

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