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ND Engineering Undergraduate Named Newman Civic Fellow

ND Staff • DATE: April 11, 2012

Categories:  2012 Archive and Honors and Awards

Jonathan Schommer, a junior majoring in civil engineering and the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact which recognizes inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.

Campus Compact’s member college and university presidents from across the country nominated college student leaders for the 2012 class of Newman Civic Fellows. These students demonstrate a personal commitment to creating lasting social change in their communities through service, community-based research, and advocacy.  

In recommending Jonathan (Jon) Schommer, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University said, “Jon stands out among Notre Dame students through his long-term commitment to both action and contemplation and as a student who understands academically and spiritually the need to act for justice in the world.” His commitment to justice has been demonstrated regularly through his volunteer efforts at the Catholic Worker Community of Our Lady of the Road drop-in center in downtown South Bend, and his involvement at the Center for Social Concerns at Notre Dame where he has twice completed eight-week immersions through the Summer Service Learning Program in marginalized communities of South Dakota and West Virginia. In addition to direct service, Jon has worked to build relationships with classmates to more systematically address structures that lead to poverty and injustice. He participated in an advocacy training workshop, and he is currently organizing a coalition of student clubs on campus to be trained in community organizing.

Jon, who lives in Plainfield, Ind., says, “My community involvement at Notre Dame has been the most important part of my college experience. It seems to be where all the areas of my life converge — from faith to fitness to academics; everything finds a better home when shared with others.”

As a Newman Civic Fellow, Schommer will join a network of Fellows around the country. Together — sharing ideas and tools through online networking — the fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for service and change, and will continue to set examples for their classmates and others.  

“Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who are eager and prepared to make a difference,” explains Campus Compact President Maureen Curley. “He dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform and this new group of Newman Civic Fellows would have inspired him. They are reflections and affirmations of his life’s work.”

Campus Compact is a national coalition of approximately 1,200 college and university presidents — representing some six million students — who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education, that is, to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility.