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Brunk named a 2018 Newman Civic Fellow

headshot of smiling Kate Brunk

Newman Fellow Kate Brunk

Kate Brunk, a graduate student at Illinois State University, has been named a Newman Civic Fellow with Campus Compact, a national non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education.

Brunk is one of 268 students from across the nation chosen for the organization’s 2018 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The one-year fellowship for community-committed college students emphasizes personal, professional, and civic growth. The fellowship honors the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders and an advocate for civic engagement in higher education.

“Kate demonstrates impressive drive and initiative in service to others, and she is always looking for ways to apply what she knows,” said Beverly Beyer, associate director of Illinois State’s Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development, where Brunk currently serves as an Applied Community and Economic Development Fellow in political science. “It is not enough for her to understand a problem, she wants to solve it. Kate is fully committed to using her talents for the public good, which makes her an excellent model of Illinois State’s commitment to civic engagement.”

Brunk’s post-graduation plans include work on policy issues in the areas of racial and ethnic equity, gender equality, and environmental stewardship. In addition to serving with Fulbright, Peace Corps, and AmeriCorps, Brunk created a veterans support program and mentoring program at Illinois College, her undergraduate alma mater.

“I am honored to have been chosen by Illinois State and Campus Compact to be part of such an elite group of civic leaders,” said Brunk. “I am especially looking forward to building a relationship with a civic mentor through this fellowship. Learning from the challenges and successes of those who have come before us offers an important opportunity to gain greater insight and become more innovative.”

The University has a strong commitment to instilling the value of civic engagement in students across all academic disciplines. “Kate’s selection is an acknowledgement by a national organization that students at Illinois State are highly involved both in and out of the classroom in community engagement initiatives,” said Interim Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Janet Paterson. “We look forward to learning from Kate’s involvement as a Newman Civic Fellow additional ways to act on our institutional core value of civic engagement.”

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

Campus Compact is a nonprofit coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. For more information, visit


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