Nader Almadbooh ‘23 has received a Newman Civic Fellowship, in recognition of his service to and engagement with the College community and beyond.
In nominating Almadbooh for the award, Swarthmore President Valerie Smith cited his knack for blending education with technology for the common good. As a Chester Community Fellow last summer, the prospective astrophysics and engineering major worked comprehensively to expand computer science education in Chester, helping to create a free online course.
“I derive a lot of value and satisfaction from influencing people’s life positively,” says Almadbooh, of Bethlehem, Palestine. “In the future, I hope to utilize my knowledge in computer science and engineering to benefit the greater good.”
He joins 211 other students from across the U.S. and Mexico in this year’s Newman Civic Fellowship. The yearlong program is for students from Campus Compact member institutions who demonstrate leadership on their campuses along with a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally, and internationally.
Through the fellowship, Campus Compact offers training and resources that nurture students’ talents and passions and help them to develop strategies for social change. The program includes virtual learning opportunities and networking as part of a national network of engaged student leaders and an optional in-person gathering.
Almadbooh traces his ethic for public service to middle school, where as a student mentor he helped peers with their math, physics, and Arabic homework. In high school, he volunteered for a research project on education methods across 10 area schools and designed interactive computer games to teach primary school students in English.
As a Chester Community Fellow, he, along with Kaidan Fullerton ’23, worked with the Chester Housing Authority and other local partners to design a free online computer science course. Ashley Henry, program manager of the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility, had taken interest in their engaged scholarship idea and offered the opportunity to create and teach a summer coding program as part of the Chester Community Fellowship.
“Our course is designed to be accessible by literally anyone with an internet connection,” says Almadbooh, “regardless of the electronic device they’re using or how much computing power is available to them.”
The students also collaborated with community partners in education, entrepreneurship, and social change to create workshops for Chester residents of all ages, President Smith noted in nominating Almadbooh for the award.
“I view Nader as a key player in the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders — able to apply knowledge to needs with keen insight, technological skills, and compassion while increasing access and inclusivity,” she wrote.