Augusta – Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 212 students who will make up the organization’s 2021-2022 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows, including the University of Maine at Augusta’s own Celena Zacchai. This year’s cohort includes students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico.
Celena Zacchai is a UMA Social Science major, who attends many classes at the UMA Rockland Center. In addition to being recognized as a Newman Civic Fellow, Zacchai was also selected as a 2020 Maine Policy Scholar, researching the topic of the Role of Maine State Policy in Increasing Access to Affordable Housing for Maine Seniors. At UMA’s 2020 Convocation Ceremony, she delivered the student perspective on the year’s academic theme of “Outbreak” and in 2019, she was honored as a UMA Rising Scholar.
“It was my privilege to nominate Celena as a Newman Civic Fellow,” said UMA President Rebecca Wyke. “She has demonstrated resilience, commitment, and leadership in her time at UMA and dedicated herself to improving her community. This is a well-deserved recognition of her commitment to civic issues of importance to Maine.”
“I am honored to represent UMA as a Newman Civic Fellow and grateful to have the opportunity to learn and grow alongside so many bright and dedicated students,” stated Zacchai. “I chose to pursue a degree in the Social Sciences because I want to help make a difference. The Newman Civic Fellowship provides training and networking opportunities that will help me toward that goal,” she continued.
As an undergrad, Zacchai has developed an interest in the relationship between physical space and human health and well-being, environmental racism, and affordable housing issues. She plans to pursue a master’s in policy, planning, and management upon completing her BA in 2022.
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 nominate student leaders from their campuses to be named Newman Civic Fellows.
“We are proud to recognize these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to engage with them,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “The experience of the last year has driven home to all of us that we need open-minded, innovative, public-spirited thinkers and doers. That is what Campus Compact is about, and the stories of our Newman Civic Fellows demonstrate it’s who they are.”
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 provide them with the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change.