Odessa Kalathas recognized by national organization for her commitment to solving public problems

Chambersburg, Pa. – March 3, 2021 – Wilson College is proud to announce that one of our students, Odessa Kalathas, has been named a Newman Civic Fellow. 

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program for students from Campus Compact member institutions. The students selected for the fellowship are leaders on their campuses who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally, and internationally.

Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 290 students who will make up the organization's 2021-2022 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. Kalathas will join 212 students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico to form the 2021 cohort.

Kalathas, a second-year student at Wilson College, is a student leader, active in the leadership of the student government association and the InterVarsity Christian organization. Over the past two years, her focus both inside and outside of the classroom has been on social justice through constructive dialogue. She served as a peer teacher in a first-year seminar centered on social justice issues and as a counselor at a Christian camp, Camp Joy El. She embodies the Wilson Honor Principle by "demonstrating personal integrity, respecting the dignity of all persons, respecting diversity in people, ideas, and opinions, and demonstrating concern for others, their feelings and their needs for conditions which support their work and development." She continually strives to listen to, and understand, others and by doing so, lead them in solving issues that challenge our world and ourselves.

"Kalathas is the first generation of her family to attend college," said President of Wilson College Wesley R. Fugate, Ph.D. "She believes herself a more open-minded individual because her Wilson experiences have stretched her perspective. She is a critical thinker who brings about the peaceful communication so needed on our college campuses and in our world to address our shared challenges."

The 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.

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 virtual training and networking opportunities to help provide them with the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive skill-building and networking over the course of two days. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

"We are proud to recognize these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to engage with them," said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. "The experience of the last year has driven home to all of us that we need open-minded, innovative, public-spirited thinkers and doers. That is what Campus Compact is about, and the stories of our Newman Civic Fellows demonstrate it's who they are."

Learn more at compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship. You can read more about each of the student leaders selected for this year's cohort at compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship/2021-2022-newman-civic-fellows.


Founded in 1869, Wilson College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college offering bachelor's degrees in 29 majors and master's degrees in education, nursing, applied leadership, and the arts and humanities. With 99 percent of its students receiving financial aid or scholarships, Wilson is committed to providing high-quality, affordable education.
Located in Chambersburg, Pa., the college's 300-acre campus is nestled in the beautiful Cumberland Valley and is within an hour-and-a-half drive of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Visit www.wilson.edu for more information.

Cassandra Latimer, Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact supports institutions in fulfilling their public purposes by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. As the largest national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, we provide professional development to administrators and faculty to enable them to engage effectively, facilitate national partnerships connecting campuses with key issues in their local communities, build pilot programs to test and refine promising models in engaged teaching and scholarship, celebrate and cultivate student civic leadership, and convene higher education institutions and partners beyond higher education to share knowledge and develop collective capacity. Visit www.compact.org.

Molly Leiper, Communications Manager

Published: March 3, 2021