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Elon senior named a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact

Nicole "Niki" Molinaro, a political science and international studies double major from Wading River, New York, was honored by the national organization for her commitment to civic engagement and social responsibility.

Elon University senior Nicole Molinaro

Elon University senior Nicole Molinaro is one of 201 students from around the United States selected by Campus Compact as a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow, an award that recognizes campus leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.

Campus Compact’s member college and university presidents nominated student leaders for the 2015 class of Newman Civic Fellows. Students must demonstrate a personal commitment to creating lasting change for the better in their communities.

The political science and international studies double major from Wading River, New York, distinguished herself at Elon with her commitment to civic engagement. She spent the 2014 spring semester interning in Jordan, encouraging public awareness of corporate social responsibility.

Throughout the following summer, she volunteered without pay in Palestine, teaching English in a community center to 80 students, aged 8 to 55. Those experiences followed her volunteer efforts as a social media coordinator for a New York State Supreme Court campaign and her time as a rising sophomore interning in a congressman’s office supporting constituent services.

In her campus service as president of Model UN, she was the key leader of deliberative simulations delivered to first-year students in many classes. She was also crucial to Elon’s voter registration efforts in a leadership capacity with the National Campaign for Civic Engagement.

Molinaro is a member of Elon University’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor societies.

“Her record is deep with a clear emphasis on international social issues,” said Elon University President Leo M. Lambert. “She is a student with intellectual curiosity, personal charisma, dedication to justice and ability to inspire her peers to establish a lifelong commitment to serving others.”

Molinaro said her passion for civic engagement has guided her since high school and that attending Elon “exponentially increased” her opportunities to become engage with communities around in the world. 

“From my internship and volunteer opportunity abroad in Palestine and Jordan, to my more local volunteer positions with the Avalon tutoring program and working voter registration drives through the National Campaign on Civic Engagement, I have come to believe that to truly engage people and change the way society works, it is important to work from the ground up, creating local approaches to local problems,” Molinaro said.

“My college career in civic engagement has given me the opportunity to meet a variety of people with many different approaches to addressing the problems that confront their communities, and I hope that later in life I will have the chance to leverage those experiences in a meaningful career in civic engagement.”

Molinaro is the daughter of Judi Molinaro and Arthur Pitts of Wading River, New York. She is a 2011 graduate of Shoreham-Wading River High School in Shoreham, New York.

Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. The KPMG Foundation sponsored the 2015 Newman Civic Fellows Award. 

For more information about Campus Compact and the award, visit http://www.compact.org.

Eric Townsend,
4/1/2015 6:00 AM