Jasmin Yangwaue, an honors student and political science major, was recently chosen to represent St. Catherine University as a Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow for 2020-2021. The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are changemakers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact member institutions.
When you learn about Jasmin’s many contributions and accomplishments in her time at St. Kate’s and about her passion for inclusive education, you can see why President Roloff selected her to represent the University on a national level. In the past three years, she has held many positions on Student Senate: Commuter Senator, Spaces Ad Hoc Chair, Dining Committee Member, Organizational Affairs Co-Chair, and Campus Integration Student Representative. She is also actively involved in the Asian Women's Association as a Student Orientation Leader, and on the LEAD team to provide leadership training to peers. President Roloff writes in her nomination letter that these individual commitments on campus are driven by a deep commitment to longer term change: “Jasmin understands how complex systems can be to change. She realizes that to create long-lasting change, she cannot just focus on educational outcomes. She must also work on increasing voter participation and representation on school boards as this intersects with outcomes, especially for students of color. For this reason, she is currently studying and working to create policy that will both address active civic engagement and promote educational opportunity to all.”
Jasmin views her commitment to engagement and inclusion as a direct expression of her family’s values and experiences with education. “All children deserve equal access to educational opportunities. My family resettled in the United States after being displaced by the Secret War in Laos. We learned first-hand that education offers a seat at the table to correct injustice by making changes to systems that oppress people. Through my research and experiences in the educational system in Minnesota, I found vast disparities in education quality and graduation rates between students of color and white students. St. Catherine University’s mission statement 'to lead and influence' and the values of social justice further ingrained in me that everyone has the capability of being an advocate and leader.”
Jasmin hopes to continue living out her family's belief that education can both sustain marginalized people, their histories, and cultures, and through their inclusion fundamentally change the world. Over the course of the coming year, she will have opportunities to connect with a national network of engaged student leaders from around the country. She will be paired with a local mentor, and attend virtual trainings and regional and national convenings. These resources intend to nurture fellows’ assets and passions and help them develop strategies for social change.
To read the full statements from Jasmin Yangwaue and President Roloff, and learn more about the Newman Fellowship, please visit Campus Compact.