Salem State’s Davis Named Newman Civic Fellow

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FRAMINGHAMLizbeth Davis, of Framingham, has been named one of Campus Compact’s 2021-2022 Newman Civic Fellows.

A sophomore at Salem State University, Davis will be among 290 students from 39 states, Washington, DC, and Mexico making up the 2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program for students from member institutions of Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit working to advance the public purposes of higher education. 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.

A student leader at Salem State majoring in history, Davis is passionate about civic engagement and helping youth discover their civic identity.

Her interest in civic engagement began in high school where she volunteered with the Framingham High School Key Club for four years, serving as its publicist and a liaison with the Framingham community. She also led an initiative to educate youth about the dangers of tobacco and vaping through the 84 Movement, joining peers to meet with elected officials about the need for legislation preventing tobacco industries from targeting youth and people of color. This work contributed to a bill passed by the state legislature in 2019 banning flavored tobacco and electronic cigarette products.

Davis currently volunteers with LEAP for Education, a nonprofit that works to empower students and provide them with the tools that they need to be successful in school and beyond. She is working on a project to help adolescents embrace their identity and culture, which will be displayed in the Teen Center. She also takes part in advocacy work through Salem State’s Center for Civic Engagement, including being a member of its fellowship program, serving as a Voter Registration Ambassador, a member of the Advocacy Day Planning Committee, and surveying middle and high school educators in Massachusetts on how they implement civic education into their curriculum.

“I think that advocacy means using your voice as a way to spark conversations about change,” said Davis. “I am passionate about many social justice issues, with my top priorities being to address inequities in the education system and work with youth on their personal development. I look forward to connecting with other student leaders through the Newman Civic Fellowship, while also developing additional tools for being an advocate and inspiring activism in others.”

“At Salem State, we not only prepare our students to lead in their careers, but to be active and engaged citizens,” said President John Keenan. “Lizbeth exemplifies the kind of leadership that we value on our campus and that our communities need. I look forward to what she will continue to bring as a voice for change.” 

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.

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 trainings and networking opportunities to help provide them with 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.

“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.”

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.

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