Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

OSU-OKC Student Named Newman Civic Fellow

Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) nursing student Jessica Villar was one of 10 Oklahoma college students recognized as 2017-18 Newman Civic Fellows during the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education meeting last week.


The Newman Civic Fellows program was established by Campus Compact in honor of co-founder Frank Newman, who dedicated his life to creating opportunities for student civic learning and engagement. The award is designed to recognize college students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for the challenges faced by communities across the nation through service, research and advocacy. Each of Oklahoma’s fellows will receive a $500 scholarship from Oklahoma Campus Compact. Students are nominated by their college or university president.


“Jessica is a fantastic OSU-OKC President’s Leadership scholar and it has been a privilege to see all she has accomplished during her time here,” said OSU-OKC President Natalie Shirley. “She epitomizes the qualities of service leadership and I know there are many other well-deserved honors in her future.”


Villar, a first-generation college student from Oklahoma City, is pursuing a nursing degree while working at a local hospital. In high school, she completed more than 700 hours of service as a tutor at a local elementary school through AmeriCorps and has participated in OSU-OKC’s Upward Bound program. She also has volunteered as a campus recruiter, helped prospective students and their families understand the path to degree completion, has staffed freshman orientation activities, helped students acclimate to the campus environment, and mentored students by providing encouragement and resources to those with varying levels of family support.


“I am very honored to be distinguished as a Newman Civic Fellow,” Villar said. “It has always been my priority to strive to be an outstanding student as well as continue to be a philanthropist. I am proud to be recognized by a foundation that supports both aspects.”

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2017-18 Newman Civic Fellows were recognized during the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education meeting Thursday. Pictured from left to right are: Jack Nickelson, Northwestern Oklahoma State University; Devin Smoot, Southwestern Oklahoma State University; Ashton Shepler, Rose State College; Jessica Villar, Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City; State Regents Chair John Massey; Chancellor Glen D. Johnson; Jayton Thomas, University of Central Oklahoma; Shelbi Gambrell, OSU; Rebecka Snyder, Tulsa Community College; and Katherine Davis, Northern Oklahoma College.