Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 290 students who will make up the organization’s 2020-21 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The 2020 cohort—the largest group of Newman Civic Fellows to date—includes Colby-Sawyer student Smriti Sharma Sapkota ’22.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is a yearlong program for students from Campus Compact member institutions, which include colleges and universities from 39 states, Washington, D.C., Greece, Lebanon and Mexico. Selected students are campus leaders who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally and internationally.
Sapkota, an international student from Jhapa, Nepal, is a nursing major with minors in healthcare management and psychology. She is a member of the college’s prestigious Wesson Honors Program and has been recognized as a Dean’s List student and an Alpha Chi International Honor Society scholar. Sapkota has contributed to New Hampshire IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (NH-INBRE) funded research on the effects of an anti-diabetic drug on cancer cells and has been offered a NH-INBRE undergraduate summer research fellowship in nursing at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Outside of her academic pursuits, Sapkota serves as the sophomore class president and was recently elected treasurer of the college’s Student Government Association for the 2020-21 academic year. She is vice president of the Cross-Cultural Club, a peer mentor, and a member of the Student Library Advisory Board and the Interfaith Club. In addition, she is employed as a student worker for the Office of Admissions with a focus on international applications.
Through her fellowship, Sapkota plans to bring greater awareness to racial and cultural equality on campus. “I want to create a platform for people to speak up,” Sapkota said. “My vision for this opportunity is to make the voices of racial minorities heard and to culturally educate the community.”
The fellowship is named for the late Dr. 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.
“I am delighted that Smriti was selected as a Newman Fellow,” said Colby-Sawyer President Susan D. Stuebner, who nominated Sapkota. “She has been actively involved on campus with an emphasis on programming that introduces her peers to difference. Smriti is committed to creating spaces for dialog that enable the entire community to reflect on differences in ethnicities, culture, and other backgrounds so that we can grow as a college. The fellowship will provide numerous resources to her in learning how to enact change on a college campus. I am excited to work with her in pursuit of her goals.”
Through the fellowship, Campus Compact will provide Sapkota with a variety of learning and networking opportunities emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth, including a national, in-person conference of Newman Civic Fellows. The fellowship also provides her 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 compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship.