CSB’s Engling, SJU’s Black named Newman Civic Fellows

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March 5, 2020

Two students from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University have been named Newman Civic Fellows by Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education.

CSB junior Olivia Engling and SJU junior Sam Black were part of a 290-student cohort for 2020-21 – the largest group of Newman Civic Fellows to date.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program that recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. The fellowship is named in honor of Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact's founders, and is supported by the KPMG Foundation.

OliviaEngling has been active with a number of groups on campus, as noted by CSB President Mary Dana Hinton in a nominating letter.

The peace studies and psychology double-major has participated in Community Kitchen, a student-led organization that rescues food on campus to decrease food waste and insecurity; OIF Dream Center, a home for men transitioning out of incarceration; and a lead research coordinator for Extending the Link, the student-led documentary group, on the production of its 2019 documentary “Bayt Jadeed,” which examined the search for home from the perspective of refugees and receiving communities in Germany and Minnesota.

She was also a mentor and tutor of high school students and completed an internship with Community Groundworks, teaching low-income students in an interactive outdoor classroom.

“I aspire to create or work in an organization that reintegrates the chronically marginalized into our society: the homeless, the previously incarcerated, the generationally poor,” said Engling, from Middleton, Wisconsin.

“My goal is to bring those on the outside in, while expanding the inclusivity of our society and dismantling the systems that perpetuate that marginalization, breaking those cycles. By embracing and standing in fellowship with the marginalized, we create a better, more just world,” she said.

SamBlack has also been active on campus, noted SJU Interim President Eugene McAllister.

The political science major serves as the co-president of the Model United Nations Club; was a campaign intern for Minnesota House District 49A Rep. Heather Edelson; a communications intern for Youth Frontiers; a volunteer for the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Civic Engagement and Public Policy; a co-director for Extending the Link; and is a co-president of the United Politics Club, which fosters bipartisan dialogue and partnership on campus; and cohort leader and lead student coordinator for the Bonner Program.

“Since my freshman year, I’ve been passionate about the power of storytelling and dialogue as community builders and vehicles for justice and awareness,” said Black, from Minneapolis. “I’ve been able to apply this passion through internships where I focused on the empowerment and engagement of youth at Youth Frontiers and on the campaign of Rep. Heather Edelson, both based in Edina, Minnesota.

“After graduating, I hope to continue creating stronger communities by working in public policy or community organizing,” Black added.

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.