ITHACA, NY — For her outstanding record of community service and civic engagement, Ithaca College senior Crystal Kayiza has been recognized as a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow. She is one of some 200 students nationwide honored by Campus Compact, a coalition of college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education by improving community life and educating students for civic and social responsibility.
This is the fourth straight year that an Ithaca College student has won this recognition.
“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders,” said Richard Guarasci, president of Wagner College and chair of the Campus Compact board. “They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can — and does — play in building a better world.”
A documentary film studies major in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, Kayiza serves as president of the college’s Student Government Association and is a Park Scholar. While still in high school, she made a film about one of Oklahoma’s last remaining all-black townships that received a regional Emmy Award in competition with professional broadcasters. She intends to blend her skill and interest in media arts with a career in Civil Rights law.
“Crystal is a highly motivated scholar, whose passion for social justice has inspired her to work on behalf of marginalized and oppressed people across the United States,” wrote Ithaca College president Tom Rochon in nominating Kayiza for the award. “Throughout her college career, she has continued to utilize her documentary film making skills to give voice to people who are marginalized and oppressed in American society.”
“It is important for me not to simply be a member of my community but also an active participant who is involved in creating tangible change, whether it’s producing media that engages various identities and narratives that oftentimes go unheard or participating in organizations that are forming solutions,” says Kayiza.
The Newman Fellows will leverage their individual knowledge and talents to further their goals by sharing ideas and materials with one another, networking through an exclusive online community.
For more information on Campus Compact and the Newman Civic Fellows award, visit www.compact.org.