Honors Student Named A 2022 Newman Civic Fellow

April 18, 2022 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Hailey Nicholas, a third-year honors student, is among 173 students from around the country and Mexico who make up the 2022 class of Newman Civic Fellows. The yearlong program recognizes students committed to creating positive change in their communities and around the world.

“There are so many qualified students on campus who would have been great for this fellowship,” said Nicholas, an environmental studies major. “I would have never pictured myself fitting into that fellowship.”

As a Newman Civic Fellow, Nicholas will have access to learning and networking opportunities emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. The goal is to provide Fellows with the skills and connections to create large-scale positive change.

For Nicholas, that means environmental justice and sustainable urban planning. She already has put her passion to work as vice president of the Greenjays student environmental group, planning service events with local non-profit organizations. She’s also executive chair of the honors program. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s in urban and environmental planning with the goal of becoming an urban planner.

“I want to help work toward the sustainable transition that our country will need to undergo in the near future,” says Nicholas, of Mokena, Ill.

In his formal nomination, President Troy D. VanAken said Nicholas “is self-motivated and strives to inspire other students to become leaders in their communities.”

Professor Mary Walsh, director of service learning, said Nicholas checked all the right boxes for the fellowship.

“Aside from all of her community service, Hailey conducted research exploring implicit bias in service and created a reflection process for students to reflect on their service and interrogate their own bias,” said Walsh, who also is chair of the political science department. “In other words, Hailey is not only serving her community but she is also looking for ways to make service more impactful.”

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