Campus Compact, a non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 290 students who will make up the organization’s 2020-2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The 2020 cohort — the largest group of Newman Civic Fellows to date — includes Alverno College student Cassandra Abarca.

Cassandra Abarca, a sophomore at Alverno College, has been selected to the 2020-21 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. (Submitted photo)

This is the fourth year in a row an Alverno student has been named a Newman Civic Fellow; Katherine Watson was selected for the 2017 cohort, Alejandra Gonzalez was chosen for the 2018 cohort, and Donna Lewis-Taylor was part of the 2019 cohort.

Abarca, a sophomore majoring in business and management and in Spanish language and cultures, is a first-generation student. On campus, she serves as the vice president of Alverno’s chapter of Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, is a member of Alverno Business Leaders Empower (A.B.L.E.), and is involved in Campus Ministry. She also volunteers for Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WIBIC).

“Cassandra came to Alverno passionate about economic justice for all communities in Milwaukee,” said Dr. Andrea Lee, IHM, president of Alverno College. “She believes that advocacy concerning, and education on, issues facing minorities is essential to creating positive outcomes for Milwaukee’s and our nation’s future. As an emerging minority businesswoman, I have no doubt that Cassandra will make an impact on our community through her dedication and determination.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a yearlong 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.

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.