Newman Civic Fellowship

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports one community-committed student per participating campus who has demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. The fellowship provides training and resources that nurture students’ assets and passions to help them develop strategies to achieve social change. Fellows receive learning opportunities focused on the skills needed to serve as effective agents of change in addressing public problems and building equitable communities.

Newman Civic Fellow nominees must meet the fellowship eligibility criteria:

  • Be an enrolled undergraduate at UW–Madison
  • Have at least one year of education remaining at UW–Madison
  • Commit to providing a short reflection piece (video, article, or letter format) to Campus Compact during their fellowship year

Campus Compact during the fellowship year:

  • Nominee’s institution must commit to helping the nominee identify a local mentor for the duration of the fellowship

The application form is now closed.

Any questions or concerns? Email José Luis Ramirez, Jr.

UW–Madison will select one undergraduate student to serve as the 2024-2025 Newman Civic Fellow. This student will participate in leadership development and learning around civic engagement with a cohort of other fellows from schools around the country. 

2023: Brelynn Bille

2022: Angela Maloney 

2021: Beth Allen

2020: Shehrose Charania

2019: Emi Almanza Lopez

2018: Wendy Hoang

2017: Rena Newman

2016: Nasitta Keita

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a core component of Campus Compact’s strategy to build a national network of engaged student leaders who can support one another in building transformational partnerships between campuses and communities. Campus Compact is a coalition of colleges and universities advancing the public purpose of higher education by deepening schools’ ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility.

Newman Civic Fellows are acknowledged for their motivation and potential for public leadership. Newman Civic Fellows demonstrate commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national exemplars of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is made possible through the generous support of the Allstate Foundation. Administrative support comes from Campus Compact.

The Newman Civic Fellowship honors Frank Newman, who dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform. Frank Newman’s leadership was selfless, optimistic, and determined, spanning an extraordinary career of more than five decades. At the core of Newman’s leadership was a belief in the power of inter-connected individuals to make a difference. Frank Newman had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens. The Newman Civic Fellows are reflections and affirmations of his life’s work. Learn more about Frank Newman.

2023 Recipient Brelynn Bille

Brelynn Bille

Brelynn (she/her/hers) is a disability rights advocate double-majoring in community and nonprofit leadership and political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As a first-generation university student, having a disability on campus has introduced additional and unexpected barriers, bringing her to more routine activism in college.

Partaking in activism independently and as a member of the Disability Cultural Center Coalition, Brelynn uses her knowledge and enjoyment of public policy as a vehicle for her work on campus.

Through her work with National Disability Mentoring Coalition as a Dinah F.B. Cohen Fellow, she has worked with a cohort to build a student activism guide for other universities to use to build these community spaces for disabled students.

Brelynn has also served as an ambassador for the university with The Philanthropy Lab, where she competed to bring home $50,000 for an area nonprofit build a home in the Philippines for child survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.


The Be the Change Bash is the Morgridge Center’s annual end-of-the-semester celebration. The Bash honors students, staff, faculty and community partners who contribute their time and talents to both the community and the UW-Madison campus through service.

The event also includes the Morgridge Center’s annual award ceremony.