By UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
Cole Berry, a junior at Fort Hays State University, has been selected as one of only 173 Newman Civic Fellows for the 2022-23 year. Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, recently announced its list of Newman Civic Fellows for the upcoming year.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program for students from Campus Compact member institutions who are nominated by their institution’s president or chancellor. The students selected for the fellowship are leaders on their campuses who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions to local, national, or international challenges.
Originally from Garden City, Berry spent several years in Stockton before moving to Topeka, which he has called home for the past 11 years. Berry is planning on graduating in the spring of 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in leadership studies, with a concentration in organizational leadership.
While Berry could have attended any number of universities after high school, he chose Fort Hays State for several reasons. Like many high school students, he didn’t have a specific major in mind when it came time to look at colleges.
Among the materials Berry received from FHSU while researching schools, he discovered information on the leadership studies programs. He liked how this area of study was applicable to a variety of career options.
Berry recalls how the youth pastor at the church he attended in Hays when he was young had a degree in organizational leadership. As youth ministry is one of the career options that interests him, Berry believed pursuing a degree in organizational leadership would help prepare him for the future.
Additionally, Berry had another connection to the university as his father is a graduate of FHSU. The combination of familiarity and program offerings made Fort Hays State the perfect choice.
While he may have been uncertain of his future direction in high school, Berry has found a way to walk his own path since beginning his journey at Fort Hays State. In his Newman Civic Fellows personal statement, he said, “throughout my academic career so far, I have made sure to find churches and organizations where I can serve youth and be present in their lives.”
“My hopes with pursuing a degree in Organizational Leadership are that I will be better equipped to step into the world and lead others to address issues and make a difference in the lives of children and families.”
“Cole Berry is a dedicated and accomplished student and has illustrated his commitment to engaged civic leadership both in and out of the classroom,” FHSU President Tisa Mason wrote in her nomination statement. She also pointed out that Berry’s “passion is to serve and set an example for children and youth and to mentor the next generation of leaders; leaders who will be faced with global complexities that have yet to be imagined.”
In addition to this fellowship, Mason said that Berry has been selected to participate in the 2022-23 Voss Advanced Leadership Undergraduate Experience (VALUE) through the Leadership Studies Department and will be focused on the application of adaptive leadership to solve real world problems.
Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides Fellows with a variety of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, fellows participate in numerous training and networking opportunities to help them develop the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the two-day Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive skill-building and networking. The fellowship also provides cohort students with opportunities to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
The Newman Fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors nominate student leaders from their campuses to be named Newman Civic Fellows. Learn more about the Newman Civic Fellows program at https://compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship/. More on the 2022-23 cohort can be found at https://compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship/the-2022-2023-newman-civic-fellows/