Meghan Kelly ’18 is the recipient of a Newman Civic Fellows Award in recognition of her passion for promoting peace and equality.
The Honors special major in educational studies and sociology & anthropology will take part in a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Kelly says she is humbled by the Newman honors, which “only increases my drive to continue engaging with communities to make change that challenges and uproots social inequality.”
In a letter of support, President Valerie Smith cited Kelly's “thoughtful and active participation" in an array of programs on and off campus, including a three-year commitment with Swarthmore’s Campus Climate Study Committee, her efforts as a Chester Community Fellow last summer, and her work alongside Assistant Professor of Economics Syon Bhanot for the Nairobi, Kenya- based Busara Center for Behavioral Economics.
Kelly’s experiences in Chester taught her how important critical-thinking skills are in analyzing and improving community life, she says, and her efforts with the climate committee showed her how public policy can build upon community-based work to create broader, institutional change.
“I enjoy engaging in work that balances making positive social change in the short run and in the long run,” says Kelly, of Wolcott, Conn., “as I believe this layered approach can help dismantle unjust systems while also addressing their most destructive, most immediate impacts.”
Kelly’s summer of engaged scholarship in Nairobi inspired her to pursue a career in international education development and policy, she says. In the meantime, she joins a group of 273 student leaders from colleges across the U.S. as this year’s class of Newman Fellows.
Campus Compact provides the fellows a variety of learning and networking opportunities, such as a national conference with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. It also offers fellows access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
“I most look forward to connecting with the other fellows who are engaged in a diverse range of community work across the country,” says Kelly, “and I hope to represent Swarthmore very well throughout my fellowship year.”
"I am eternally grateful for all of the support I have received from my family, friends, professors, and mentors throughout my life," she adds. "I think this honor is a testament to them as well!"