Campus Compact and Principal Announce First Class of Community Scholars

For immediate release, January 23, 2017:

Twenty college students from Iowa and California have been selected for the first class of the new Principal Community Scholars Program.

The recipients were selected by Principal, Iowa Campus Compact, and California Campus Compact after being nominated by faculty or staff from their college or university and a rigorous review process.

Spring 2017 Principal Community Scholars (read more about each one here):
Vicente Argueta, Simpson College
Hawi Awash, Dominican University of California
Shubhi Badjatiya, Saint Mary’s College of California
Vy Le, California State University, Fullerton
Lindsey Graham, Buena Vista University
Miranda Hammes, Mount Mercy University
Robert Husted, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Crystal Kleitsch, Loras College
Michelle Lackner, Wartburg College
Selena Lopez, University of California, San Diego
Mica Magtoto, Iowa State University
Mariela Martinez, University of La Verne
Daisy Leon Melendrez, California State University, Monterey Bay
Lauren Oreto, Drake University
Alexis Marquez, California State University, Channel Islands
Jessica Paxton, Morningside College
Josselyne Rivas, California State University, Northridge
Olivia Samples, Simpson College
Jasmine Ward, Simpson College
Brianna Wilkinson, University of the Redlands

This semester is a pilot of this project, which is designed to encourage student leadership to meet community needs. Selected students will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Principal upon completion of a service project.

“We were impressed by the caliber of the community projects students will be taking on as a part of this scholarship,” said Iowa Campus Compact Executive Director Emily Shields. “It is clear they have a deep commitment to their communities and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish.”

This semester’s scholars proposed projects designed to engage their peers and their institutions in meeting community needs. These projects tap into a variety of skills that can be offered by college students and will impact causes ranging from education to environmental sustainability.

For example, Miranda Hammes of Mount Mercy University came up with the idea to turn used sandbags from flooding in Eastern Iowa last summer into handbags that will raise money for local nonprofit organizations, including the NewBo City Market.

Daisy Leon Melendrez of California State University Monterey Bay plans to partner with community agencies to provide information and referrals to Spanish-speaking community members in her local community regarding their constitutional rights, legal options, and pathways to citizenship.

“Participating in the Principal Community Scholars Program will be a valuable experience for me because I will be able to build connections with the community in a deep way,” said Melendrez. She also looks forward to using her bilingual skills to help community members understand their rights.

Another example is Simpson College student Jasmine Ward, who will work to build a mentorship program that connects students from Simpson’s Multicultural Student Alliance with students in the Des Moines Public Schools. She hopes to impact the disparities in the education system and build confidence in young students, particular those of color and lower socioeconomic status.

“I have been looking for a meaningful opportunity to further explore this disparity and begin making a change in the education systems closest to me,” said Ward. “This opportunity with Principal and Campus Compact suits my desire, as it will allow me to plan and organization a project of my own volition.”

Selected students will come together virtually on January 24 for a retreat designed to introduce key concepts related to community engagement and service. They will connect with each other and learn about the work being done by Principal and Campus Compact.

Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. We are a network comprising a national office and 34 state and regional affiliates.

As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact enables campuses to develop students’ citizenship skills and forge effective community partnerships. Our resources support faculty and staff as they pursue community-based teaching and scholarship in the service of positive change.