When Angela Maloney heard about the Newman Civic Fellowship through the Morgridge Center’s newsletter, Morgridge Mail, she felt that her collegiate experience and interests aligned strongly with the mission of the fellowship.
For two years, she had worked with the BadgersVote Coalition and with the League of Women Voters, so the fellowship opportunity naturally lined up with her experience with civic engagement at UW. The fellowship offered Maloney a chance to pursue opportunities both socially and educationally to build on her interest in public service and community organizing.
“I enjoy helping people through educating them on government services and how they can be involved in civic processes that impact them,” Maloney says about her interest in civic engagement and public service.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program offered by Campus Compact that recognizes student leaders who are engaged with their local communities. This program offers scholarship opportunities, leadership and networking conferences, and virtual learning and networking events to connect students around the country with other community-engaged scholars.
Just recently, Maloney attended a conference in Boston to network with other fellows from universities around the country, and to learn about civic engagement initiatives and projects that other campuses engage in to better their communities.
Maloney is a recipient of this fellowship for the 2022-23 academic year. She applied twice, persevering through an initial rejection to earn the fellowship by her second application.
“I was deciding if I should apply again. I thought the description of the fellowship was spot-on for my experience at UW–Madison and the work I’d done. I was excited that my persistence ended up paying off,” Maloney says.
She did not always know that she wanted to pursue opportunities in civic engagement. She worked with voter registration efforts on campus her freshman year of college, and her interest blossomed from there.
“Start small,” Maloney says in response to her recommendations for students looking to engage in public service. “I started at an internship with the League of Women Voters, which is a small aspect of a huge system.”
Maloney encourages students interested in civic engagement to build connections and reflect on personal skills and strengths. Meeting professionals or students on campus that are interested in social issues and civic engagement projects that align with personal interests can be a way to become engaged or learn about initiatives in local communities that may be of interest.
Civic engagement thrives with community participation and more voices to contribute to ideas, and individuals already engaged in these initiatives want to draw more people in, the first step is to create that initial connection, Maloney expresses.
Maloney is a current fourth-year student at UW majoring in community and nonprofit leadership and international studies, with certificates in public policy, leadership, Chican@ & Latin@ Studies and development economics. She is a part of the accelerated master’s program in the La Follette School of Public Affairs, adding an additional fifth year to complete a master’s program in public affairs.
“I’ve done college my own way. I have two majors and three certificates, I don’t have a ton of time to relax,” Maloney says. “If someone tells me I’m not on the standard path, I don’t take that as a sign not to do it. I take it as a sign that I can be someone to do it differently and explore things that other people don’t.”