Press Releases >

Alverno College student honored as Newman Civic Fellow

Alverno College student honored as Newman Civic Fellow

Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 290 students who will make up the organization’s 2020-2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The 2020 cohort—the largest group of Newman Civic Fellows to date—includes Alverno College student Cassandra Abarca. This is the fourth year in a row an Alverno student has been named a Newman Civic Fellow; Katherine Watson was selected for the 2017 cohort, Alejandra Gonzalez was chosen for the 2018 cohort, and Donna Lewis-Taylor was part of the 2019 cohort.

Abarca, a sophomore majoring in Business and Management and in Spanish Language and Cultures, is a first-generation student. On campus she serves as the vice president of Alverno’s chapter of Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, is a member of Alverno Business Leaders Empower (A.B.L.E.), and is involved in Campus Ministry. She also volunteers for Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WIBIC).

“Cassandra came to Alverno passionate about economic justice for all communities in Milwaukee,” said Dr. Andrea Lee, IHM, president of Alverno College. “She believes that advocacy concerning, and education on, issues facing minorities is essential to creating positive outcomes for Milwaukee’s and our nation’s future. As an emerging minority businesswoman, I have no doubt that Cassandra will make an impact on our community through her dedication and determination.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a yearlong 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.

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 Dr. Newman’s leadership, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors may nominate one student from their institution for the fellowship.

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides the students with a variety of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, Fellows are invited to a national, in-person conference of Newman Civic Fellows and participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

“We are proud to recognize each of these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to have the opportunity to engage with them,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “The stories of this year's Newman Civic Fellows make clear that they are committed to finding solutions to pressing problems in their communities and beyond. That is what Campus Compact is about, and it's what our country and our world desperately need.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation. Learn more at

Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact supports institutions in fulfilling their public purposes by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. As the largest national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, we provide professional development to administrators and faculty to enable them to engage effectively, facilitate national partnerships connecting campuses with key issues in their local communities, build pilot programs to test and refine promising models in engaged teaching and scholarship, celebrate and cultivate student civic leadership, and convene higher education institutions and partners beyond higher education to share knowledge and develop collective capacity. Visit