Katarina Huss, an Honors College junior majoring in comparative cultures and politics and social relations and policy in James Madison College, has been named a Campus Compact 2019 Newman Civic Fellow.
“Katarina is dedicated to empowering her fellow students and community members to become involved in policymaking, and is especially passionate about immigration policy,” said Interim MSU President Satish Udpa. “Her leadership on campus has created opportunities for students to lobby local legislatures for policy change, participate in campus coalitions interested in improving administrative transparency, and learn about the policymaking process.”
Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes, established the Newman Civic Fellowship to recognize and support community-committed students who create change and are public problem-solvers. The program honors the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education.
“My dad suffered an aortic aneurism when I was 11 years old, placing our family in an increasingly precarious economic situation and tasking me with familial responsibilities not typically assigned to a young child,” Huss said. “Fortunately, with assistance from my community and time, my situation normalized and I was afforded some privileges, like the ability to go to college. However, not every American child or child around the world is afforded that privilege.”
Huss has worked with resettlement and post-resettlement agency programs to assist refugees adjust to life in the United States by teaching English, connecting them with local community members and accessing resources. Huss plans to leverage her current resettlement research to develop better policy solutions at local, state and federal levels for refugees.
“My leadership on my campus and in my community has been centered around enhancing the voices of others and helping them turn their passions into implementable policy,” Huss said.
In February, Huss was one of four MSU undergraduate students nominated by the university as a finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship – the premier fellowship in the U.S. for public service leadership.
“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,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsogn. “That is what Campus Compact is about, and it’s what our country and our world desperately need.”
The Newman Civic Fellowship aims to build a network of civically-oriented college students and alumni, and to support those community-committed students as they prepare for the long-term work of collaboratively solving problems and building equitable communities.
The yearlong program includes learning opportunities and networking for selected students as part of a national network of engaged student leaders. The honor includes an invitation to a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.