Announcing St. Kate’s First Civic Engagement Fellows

The Civic Engagement Fellowship

This new program was created by Newman Fellow Zaynab Abdi '20, as part of her fellowship project. As St. Kate’s Student Senate president, Zaynab has a deep commitment to student leadership at St. Kate’s and to civic engagement. After exploring programs at other institutions across the country, Zaynab worked with CWL director D’Ann Urbaniak Lesch and fellowship director Allison Adrian, as well as the St. Kate’s Civic Engagement Collective to develop a robust program and application process.

The Civic Engagement Fellowship recently accepted four students into the first spring 2020 cohort. Given COVID-19 and our efforts having to go online, the fellows are working on educating the campus community about Census 2020 and expanding voting opportunities. These four students are ready and prepared to serve the St. Kate’s community by educating and engaging students in our democracy.

2020 St. Kate’s Civic Engagement Fellows

Rakia Abdulahi is a junior majoring in psychology and philosophy, with a minor in gerontology. Rakia is interested in civic engagement because “after the election in 2016, I noticed there was a lot of fear rising in my community and around the country about the travel ban.” This and other similar social issues made her more conscious of what is happening in her country. She wanted a way to be active and found a way through this fellowship.

Entisar Bedasso, a sophomore majoring in biology and minoring in psychology, philosophy, longevity, and aging, is interested in civic engagement because she has always been engaged with politics. Recently she has made an effort to be involved as much as she can because she has started witnessing the first-hand effects of policies and how they are affecting those around her.

Bethany Mader, a first-year student majoring in political science, international studies, and economics, is interested in civic engagement because she is an out-of-state student from Wisconsin, and she understands how hard it is for out-of-state students to get involved with elections happening around campus. She wants to be able to help these students be involved with elections so that they can have a voice and a vote to influence the government.

Lauren Skar, a first-year student majoring in political science and minoring in Spanish, is interested in civic engagement because she is interested in understanding the importance of civic engagement within the community that is important and often forgotten among constituents. Her passion for civic engagement started when she was fourteen years old and joined a program called Youth in Government (YIG). YIG taught her how to be a leader and the importance of serving others, which translated into her interest in government and political studies going into college.