Campus Compact honored Angelys Torres ’18 as a 2016 Newman Civic Fellow for outstanding civic engagement — offering a crucial voice and demonstrating leadership for students on Valpo’s campus and in the broader community.

“At once intellectual and active, practical and personable, a leader and a servant, Angelys Torres is the kind of student Valparaiso University is proud to call its own,” Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of the University, wrote in his recommendation letter. “Angelys is a leader in the classroom, on campus, in the city of Valparaiso, and in her home community of Chicago. She constantly strives to understand and improve the world around her by drawing on the wisdom of the humanities, the theoretical tools of the social sciences, and her own capacity to organize and lead others.”

Torres is a Christ College scholar and sociology major with a minor in psychology who seeks to be a person of influence, a leader in the community, and a voice for those less fortunate. She is focused on being an active member of society and fighting social injustices.

“This award means I need to do more,” Torres said. “It’s exciting to be recognized as a 2016 Newman Civics Fellow. I’m thrilled to be exposed to other Newman Fellows and draw from their experiences to create more opportunities here on Valpo’s campus.”

Fully engaged since her arrival on Campus, Torres is co-founder of the Valparaiso University colony of Sigma Lambda Gamma, a multicultural sorority committed to community service and cultural awareness. She’s also a 2016 CAPS Fellow, incoming president for LIVE, student mentor for SMART connections, and a member of the Human Relations Council for the city of Valparaiso.

Torres has a philanthropic history, which continues to grow stronger with Valpo as her platform. Working alongside Valpo city officials and community members in her role on the Human Relations Council, she provides a voice for the student population and helps influence social change to create a more diverse and inclusive environment. As part of Sigma Lambda Gamma, she has been involved in numerous service opportunities — cooking and donating food to a local women’s shelter, raising money for Lurie Children’s Hospital, participating in Dance Marathon, and donating to Café Manna.

“I hope to have a complete experience while at Valpo,” Torres said. “I didn’t come here to just walk on the grass. I want to be fulfilled inside and outside the classroom and be a meaningful person of impact to all those I encounter.”

At the conclusion of the semester, as part of her CAPS fellowship, Torres will engage in a summer internship with NPH USA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned, abandoned, and disadvantaged children.

Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities dedicated to advancing the public purposes of higher education by promoting civic engagement that develops students’ citizenship skills and strengthens community partnerships. Heckler currently serves as the organization’s chair, and in October 2015 he signed the Indiana Campus Compact Presidential Commitment, pledging to educate students and graduates who give back to their communities and advance the public good.

The Newman Civic Fellows award is granted in honor of the late Frank Newman, founder of Campus Compact, who vigorously advocated for the importance of higher education in preparing students for a life of service and active and effective citizenship. Nominated by their college or university president, Newman Civic Fellows are inspiring student leaders across the country who are making the most of their college experience through service, research, and advocacy. These students are motivated to solve the challenges facing their communities and to create lasting change.

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