The University of St. Thomas and President Julie Sullivan are pleased to announce this year’s winners of the Campus Compact Presidents’ Awards and Newman Civic Fellowship. This year’s nominees embody what it means to work in the community for the common good, educate one another on issues that hit close to home, and foster a more compassionate society. We are proud to call these winners our colleagues, partners and friends.
The Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow for this year is Tyus Edmond, a sophomore international business major and Spanish minor. Edmond works for the Global Justice Movement as a migration and refugee intern where he organizes conversations aimed to educate fellow students and community members on issues happening inside and outside of their communities. He is also a student ambassador for Catholic Relief Services.
“Tyus Edmond truly embodies our university’s commitment to advancing the common good,” President Julie Sulliavn said. “He is a passionate participant and student leader in the Global Justice Movement, a Catholic Relief Services advocacy initiative with which our university partners; it addresses migration and hunger issues and advocates for those in need locally and globally. As an intern in our Center for the Common Good, Tyus has mobilized his fellow students to engage in efforts to mitigate hunger and to support immigrants and refugees. Last fall Tyus led our students in an advocacy campaign urging passage of the Global Fragility Act by the U.S. Senate. This spring, he will lead the Global Justice Movement’s first ‘refugee simulation’ at St. Thomas – an experience to teach our community how to live and work with a more acute perception of these communities. It is a crucial first step toward making a difference, creating change and combating injustice in our world.”
Patricia Maddox and Jennifer Trost, faculty members teaching sociology, have been awarded the Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award. Maddox and Trost partner with the Catholic Charities’ Family Services Center (FSC) to provide children living in the FSC with Saturday activities, and to provide parents with a morning of respite. Students from Maddox’s College of Arts and Sciences course and students from Trost’s Dougherty Family College course come together to create activities for the children and reflect on their experiences with one another.
Mike Rios-Keating is the social justice education manager at Catholic Charities and is an invaluable resource for St. Thomas. He has also been awarded this year’s Presidents’ Community Partner Award. He emcees the annual Hunger Banquet, participates in Freshman Community Engagement Days, and leads reflection activities with the Awakenings Program, which is an initiative that addresses our national challenge of immigration.
The Presidents’ Student Leadership Award goes to the Special Olympics Club, led by adviser Laroye Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan and co-presidents Mikaela Lindell and Natalie Stoner. More than 170 students participate in the collaboration between St. Thomas’ Special Olympics Club and Highland Friendship, a group of individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities in Highland Park. By hosting events like bowling or kickball, the club utilizes available campus resources to promote inclusive, accessible environments for students and community members to connect.
These leaders act as examples for all of us when it comes to community engagement, and we are lucky to have them in our midst.