UNT Dallas is proud to announce that Karina 'Judith' Ortega represented UNT Dallas, as our first Newman Civic Fellow, at the national Campus Compact Fellows Conference in Boston, MA. Here is her full summary of her experience:

            "Being around so many like-minded people is absolutely inspiring and motivational.  This conference was a reminder to continue the positive dialogue about the problems that we hold close to our hearts. So many students across the country talked about their projects within their communities. These students and other speakers encouraged me to not be afraid of speaking truth to power and to be the difference that I want to see in my community. Before this conference, I knew that I was capable of making a difference. I knew that I had resources and certain abilities that make my answers to problems stand out. Now I know that my impact doesn’t have to end with me, it can correlate to those other 256 students that also attended the conference and come from different places and backgrounds. I did so many things in Boston. I visited the JFK Library, walked part of the freedom trail, personally saw Paul Reveres Grave, stayed at the first hotel ever built in America, attended TED Talks, I sat in Elizabeth Warrens chair in the Senate Chamber (Senior senator of Massachusetts) & participated in so many other things. I was so excited to write a bill and debate over increasing or decreasing funds given to the SNAP program against the second best College debater in the Nation from Mercer University in Georgia. The conference truly stirred things up for me. We were able to witness great speakers, and one of the speakers was Adam Foss. Adam is a well-known prosecutor in the state of Massachusetts.  He stated the injustices in the criminal justice system and his view inspired him to go to law school to fight for people’s lives by preventing them from entering prison through prosecution rather than being a defense attorney. He inspired me to stop doubting my capability of becoming a lawyer and to not be afraid of setting big goals. This experience was definitely a game changer and I am honored to have represented UNT Dallas as the First Newman Civic Fellow." 

-Karina ‘Judith’ Ortega

First UNT Dallas Newman Civic Fellow

President of Finding Right & Natural Destinations, Senator (2016) of School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Presidential Jaguar Scholar

About Campus Compact

Purpose: Campus Compact advances the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. Campus Compact envisions colleges and universities as vital agents and architects of a diverse democracy, committed to educating students for responsible citizenship in ways that both deepen their education and improve the quality of community life. We challenge all of higher education to make civic and community engagement an institutional priority.

Priorities: Because we are an organization of educational institutions, Campus Compact puts special emphasis on partnerships to support student success and civic learning across the education continuum. Campus Compact’s work strengthens colleges and universities as contributors to educational improvement now while developing the next generation of citizens and leaders for our communities.

About Newman Civic Fellowship

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a fellowship program for community-committed students at Campus Compact member institutions. The fellowship provides training and resources that nurture and develop students’ assets and passions to help them develop innovative and collaborative strategies to bring about social change. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides learning opportunities focused on the skills and aptitudes fellows need in order to serve as effective agents of change in addressing public problems and in building equitable communities. The fellowship experience is a one-year experience in which fellows have access to in-person and virtual learning opportunities, networking events, and local mentors. All fellows are also invited to join a national network of similarly community-committed peers. Fellows are selected each spring, and the fellowship begins the following academic year. The Newman Civic Fellowship is generously supported by KPMG Foundation and Newman's Own Foundation.

The 2017 Newman Civic Fellows National Conference was hosted by Campus Compact in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. It was held in Boston, MA on November 17-18, 2017. This conference was exclusive to 2017 Newman Civic Fellows, providing opportunity for Fellows to network with each other from across the country and to engage in shared civic learning. for more information about the Newman Civic Fellowship, visit https://compact.org/initiatives/awards-programs/the-frank-newman-leadership-award/.