Frances Eliana Perozo, C’18, has been named a recipient of the 2017 Newman Civic Fellows Award. The award is presented by Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education. Perozo was nominated by Vice-Chancellor John McCardell.
Perozo, an international and global studies major with a concentration in creative writing, has worked in various leadership roles to address marginalized groups on campus and in the surrounding communities. She is the editor-in-chief of the Mountain Goat, Sewanee's student literary magazine, and used that position to work with the Sewanee Review to bring poet Tiana Clark to give a reading on campus. “Drawing a crowd of more than a hundred, this event brought students, faculty, and staff together to listen to the poetry of a woman of color,” said McCardell. “It fulfilled Eliana's goal of using her voice and position to help the University create welcoming spaces for the wide range of students interested in creative writing.”
Committed to all aspects of social justice, she has led a local after-school enrichment program in the poorest county of Tennessee, and has spent a semester abroad participating in a human rights program.
“Wherever I go, be it South Beach, Miami, or Riverton, Jamaica, while on civic engagement trips, marginalized people exist and some part of their identity is always tied to mine,” Perozo says. This has led to her efforts to create policy change within the FAFSA application process, to lead a post-election community vigil on campus, and to be a part of PRE. “I never want those who have been or might feel marginalized to be alone.”
As a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow, Perozo will be a part of the first cohort to benefit from a completely redesigned fellowship. The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.
This year, the Newman Civic Fellowship was awarded to 273 student leaders representing Campus Compact member institutions across the nation. Gabby Valentine, C’17, and Jewlz Humphrey-Davis, C'16, were Sewanee’s last two Newman Civic Fellows.