Pair Named Student Civic Leadership Fellows
By Brian Hogenson
JAN. 29, 2007--At a time where the current generation of young people might be criticized for apathy towards civic engagement, two UWRF students are setting the bar higher as part of a program designed to help produce the next generation of civic leaders.
Elizabeth Barnett and Tera Lazarre have been selected as the 2006-07 Campus Compact Student Civic Leadership Fellows. The Campus Contact program links fellows from college campuses in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin through participation in a Student Leadership Institute, service as a Campus Compact Ambassador, and coordination of at least one civic engagement event on campus.
The program started about three or four years ago, but it has gotten more university's emphasis on civic engagement," says Linda Jacobson, campus compact campus liaison and program manager for outreach and graduate studies. "The fellows really benefit from networking with other students throughout the Upper Midwest and the leadership training that the institute offers. They also gain ideas on leadership and coalition building and an understanding of resources to support initiatives, and then come away with an action plan of what they want to do at their home institutions."
Barnett, working on a double major in business administration and economics, was nominated to be a fellow by UWRF economics Professor Glenn Potts.
"Ms. Barnett is an outstanding individual who is not only a good student, but she has on several occasions made significant community contributions," Potts said. "When opportunities to volunteer leadership are presented to her she always steps forward."
Barnett, who attended the Student Leadership Institute in Farmington, Minn., with the other fellows, said the conference was very enlightening.
"I learned about the power we have as students and how to become more civically engaged," Barnett said.
On campus, Barnett has combined her role as a fellow with one of her passions: working with older Americans.
Barnett said that working with the elderly has been a passion since high school when she was in the National Honor Society. Working with Amanda Moeller, an AmeriCorps Vista professional on campus, Barnett has founded a local program for helping the elderly in connection with St. Croix Aging Center.
The new organization on campus, "Home Task Team," will provide services to the elderly including house cleaning and yard work.
"The key element is to make sure they're comfortable and can remain independent in their own home," said Barnett said, who serves as a resident assistant in Grimm Hall.
Brent Greene, director of international programs, and Katie Oenga, program associate, nominated Lazarre, a junior psychology major from Cokato, Minn. Both work with Tera in the UWRF Office of International Programs.
"Tera was a great choice and we're happy she participated in it," Oenga said.
Lazarre, who is a peer advisor in the International Programs Office and also a member of the International Student Organization, has learned from the program about the impact students can have.
"I never realized how many students were so influential in all of their campuses," Lazarre said. "There were many great ideas generated and all that you need to get going is a passion for something great and the drive to see it all the way through."
Lazarre is currently assisting University staff in preparation for the American Democracy Project North Central Regional Conference at UWRF April 12-14.
To Lazarre, being a fellow has been a great experience well worth the time and energy commitments.
"I was able to meet so many other students with a variety of ideas," Lazarre said. "Having this base I now can easily connect with all of these other ideas and see how I can improve on my own."
For more information on Home Task Team, contact Elizabeth Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information on the American Democracy Project North Central Regional Conference visit www.uwrf.edu/adp/conference/ .
Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:56 Central Daylight Time
University of Wisconsin - River Falls