(Posted April 11, 2019)

Photo: Sarah Rohrer '20

Photo: Sarah Rohrer '20

Huntingdon, Pa.— Juniata College student April Wells has been named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education. Wells is one of 262 students across the U.S. who will make up the organization’s 2019 cohort of fellows. Wells, a junior from Sylmar, Calif., studying communication advocacy and social justice, will use the fellowship to further the work she has been doing surrounding social justice.

“I want my project to incorporate the community at Juniata and build a bridge between Juniata and the local community here in Huntingdon,” Wells says. “I’m very much about answering the questions like, ‘How do we allow the authenticity of peace and love to happen?’ ‘How do we build these bridges between race and ethnicity and religion?’”

Wells adds that Juniata students are highly invested into making the College’s strong, supportive community a part of their everyday actions. And she’s been a vital part of that change. Since arriving at Juniata in 2016, Wells has been involved in social justice efforts on campus, coordinating Juniata’s 2018 National School Walk-Out to demand stricter gun control legislation, working to form a Black Student Union on campus and helping to organize protests against police violence. She also serves as an officer in the student organizations Plexus, Umoja and the Juniata Christian Fellowship.

“April has a gift for inviting those around her into conversation and dialogue and has become an influential student leader on our campus,” says Juniata President James A. Troha. “She has been deeply engaged in collaborative action around issues of inequality, and her commitment and vision have been instrumental in leading us towards meaningful change.”

In nominating a Newman Fellow, Juniata commits to support her financially in attending a national meeting in Boston and to identifying a mentor with whom she will work during her fellowship. Territa Poole, assistant professor of psychology, has agreed to be Wells’ mentor.

“I want my project to incorporate the community at Juniata and build a bridge between Juniata and the local community here in Huntingdon.” April Wells, Newman Civic Fellow and junior at Juniata

The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with access to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate and engage with such an extraordinary group of students,” says Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “The stories of this year's Newman Civic Fellows make clear that they are bringing people together in their communities to solve pressing problems. That is what Campus Compact is about, and it's what our country and our world desperately need.”

Campus Compact is a nonprofit coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. As the only national association dedicated to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building community engagement into campus and academic life.


--Written by Nathan Woods ’19--

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.