Averett University Junior Selected for the 2019-2020 Newman Civic Fellowship

Posted on April 3rd, 2019 by Danielle Staub

Averett University junior Cassidy Pruitt has been named as one of 262 college students across the country as a Newman Civic Fellow for 2019-2020. The fellowship is hosted by Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, of which Averett is a member of the Virginia chapter.

The fellowship is a year-long program that recognizes and supports community committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Pruitt, nominated for the program by Averett University President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, will begin her term as a fellow in the fall 2019 semester, and will travel to Boston this November and connect with other fellows in various ways throughout the year.

“Since I am from this area, receiving the Newman Civic Fellowship is a great honor,” said Pruitt, originally from Hurt, Va. “Through this fellowship, I cannot wait to see how I evolve into a better person, leader and community member. I am eager to take my newly made connections back to my community to create and inspire positive change, and truly encourage everyone to ‘Love Where They Live.’”

The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, emphasizes 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. The fellowship also provides fellows with access to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities. This is the second year Averett nominated a student for the award. Last year, Jordan Jones, now a junior, received the nomination and has spent the last year in the program.

Pruitt was selected for her involvement with and dedication to the Love Danville Higher Education Council. She, along with her fellow members, are working to bring awareness to local businesses, events and attractions in the Danville area that many may not be aware of. Pruitt helps plan “Love Danville Week,” in which the organization provides multiple events, one of those being a trolley ride around town showcasing the local businesses and restaurants. Pruitt also attends a Danville City Council meeting once a semester.

“During her three years here at Averett, Cassidy has exemplified what we strive for in an Averett student. She goes above and beyond in everything that she does, and truly cares for our community,” said Franks, who is also a member of the VA Campus Compact Advisory Board. “She now wants to take her experience and education from Averett and give back to her hometown. This speaks volumes about her character, and she will excel greatly as she represents Averett on this national level.”

Pruitt is a member of the Averett Student Conduct Board, currently interning at W.S. Construction, and holds a work-study position in the accounting department for Averett’s Graduate and Professional Studies program. She is also the editor of the Ember, a student-lead yearly magazine.

The accounting and marketing major has a plan to host financial literacy classes in her native Pittsylvania County for those who can’t afford them. She wants to focus these classes toward seniors so they can learn how to budget their monthly income with the cost of medications. Pruitt plans to mirror her classes from those offered by Danville Parks and Recreation beginning this spring or summer.

“We are proud to recognize each of these extraordinary student leaders and thrilled to have the opportunity to engage with them,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “The stories of this year’s Newman Civic Fellows make clear that they are committed to finding solutions to pressing problems in their communities and beyond. That is what Campus Compact is about, and it’s what our country and our world desperately need.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.