Political science student Eisha Khan imagined, believed and achieved an opportunity of a lifetime.
Khan, a junior at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), has been selected to receive the 2017 Newman Civic Fellowship with Campus Compact, a national non-profit organization committed to the public purposes of higher education.
She is one of 273 “public problem solvers” from across the nation chosen for the 2017 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The elite group will take part in a yearlong program dedicated to support community-committed college students in their personal, professional, and civic growth.
Khan was selected as UHD’s nominee for the fellowship by the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning’s committee. UHD is one of four Texas universities to have a 2017 Newman Fellow.
“From an early age, I’ve always been passionate about cross-cultural dialogue, equal education, and the inclusion of women at all levels and in all sectors,” Khan said. “As a political science major, I take great interest in policy reform and have benefited from programs at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and from the guardianship of Dean DoVeanna Fulton, who has been a supporting pillar for all political science initiatives.”
Now, through the Newman Civic Fellowship, Khan has the opportunity to participate in bringing reform on a national level; working towards multi-sector problem-solving; taking action; and serving the community. She feels that this opportunity is not only for herself, but for at-large UHD students who hold an interest in public service and reform.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is also a unique platform for engaged students who are working towards finding solutions for challenges faced by communities throughout the nation.
“This fellowship will grant me the opportunity to enhance my leadership skills, grow intellectually, learn from the mentorship program, broaden my network, and work with like-minded individuals to share ideas and take action,” she said.
Khan’s selection as a fellowship recipient recognizes her efforts as the sole founder of the United Nations Association’s (UNA) collegiate chapter. Under her leadership, within the first year, the UNA chapter hosted 40 community engagement events, and accumulated 1,000 volunteer hours. She also works with UNA’s national board as the spokesperson for collegiate chapters to promote vital work of the United Nations. Her work with UNA was recognized at the 2016 UN Member’s day.
In addition to her work with the UNA, Khan is an ambassador of Be the Peace-Be the Hope, an educational arts program that works with refugee children across the globe. She visited camps in Africa in summer 2016, to provide policy solutions, raising awareness, and engaging local communities to help refugees.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation. Boston-based Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education, enabling campuses to develop students’ citizenship skills and forge effective community partnerships.
“This opportunity would not have been possible without the incredible support I’ve received from the University,” said Khan. “It’s a great privilege for me to be part of a University that actively emphasizes the importance of “Academic Achievement through Community Engagement.” I’m honored and grateful for being awarded with this national recognition. I look forward to this incredible journey and using this platform as a means of serving my local, national and international community.”
Khan and the two UHD finalists, Nelandon Gregory and Galleryy Martinez Reyna, will be honored at the Community Engagement and Service Learning Luncheon on May 3.