Erin Davison ’19 Receives University's First Newman Civic Fellowship

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

by Chris Fastiggi '18

Erin Davison ’19, an international relations major with a health care ethics minor from West Caldwell, New Jersey, has been named as SJU’s first Newman Civic Fellow.

“Erin will be joining a national cohort of community-minded peers and have many options to deepen her commitment to social change,” says Ann Marie Jursca Keffer, director of the Faith-Justice Institute.

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes students who take collaborative action to find solutions within their university’s community by providing training and resources for those involved. To be named a fellow, students must be nominated by their school’s president, just as Davison had the approval of SJU President, Mark C. Reed, Ed.D.

“I’m incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and training in addressing institutional problems that have become imbedded into the fabric of our communities,” says Davison.

Davison attended James Caldwell High School in West Caldwell, New Jersey. Before coming to the University, she watched her parents dedicate their careers towards advocating for and assisting marginalized communities. With this background, her interest in public service blossomed and led her to SJU.

Davison volunteers in community service fields that focus on issues of education and mental health. She is the founding vice president of SJU’s Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) chapter, a student group that educates and addresses issues of peace and social justice. Through CFPA, she updates students on relevant policy changes and informs them of how to effectively contact their local representatives. Outside the campus, Davison advocates for the misrepresented in her work with Mental Health America and in internships with European Parliament in Brussels, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and Women’s Campaign International.

“These experiences around the world have provided me with an understanding of how educating marginalized groups can empower entire communities,” explains Davison. “They have also led me to seek a career in international education development and public policy. It is my hope that these fields will allow me to develop sensitive and relevant programs that address community challenges.”

The fellowship is named after Campus Connect founder Frank Newman. Campus Connect aims to provide tools for building democracy within higher education institutions and their communities — for students and educators.

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