Campus Compact, a national network of colleges and universities, awards annual fellowships to community engaged students across the country. Since 2018, Merrimack students have been recipients of the fellowships, with focus areas ranging from international resource sharing and translation, to youth development and access to education in underrepresented communities. This year, Merrimack is pleased to announce graduate student Tevin Monroe has been named a Newman Civic Fellow for the 2021-2022 cohort.
Monroe attends his classes remotely from Kentucky as one of the first fully online students in the Community Engagement master’s program in the Winston School of Education and Social Policy. Even from afar, he has still marked himself as a campus and community leader. Both at Merrimack and in the broader world of higher education, Monroe’s work has deep ties to community building, student engagement and leveraging personal experience to inform his professional development. In addition to being a graduate student at Merrimack, he is also the Assistant Director of Campus and Community Engagement at Transylvania University (Transy) in Lexington, Kentucky.
“Tevin is an active member of Merrimack College’s Graduate Students of Color Association and he is also an informal mentor for students of color and LGBTQ students at Transylvania University,” President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D., states in his letter nominating Monroe for the Fellowship. “He seeks to advance strategic partnerships between colleges and communities to foster student development and retention; diversity, equity and inclusion on college campuses; and stronger and healthier communities.”
As both a student and an administrator, Monroe experiences higher education from multiple perspectives and uses these experiences to apply classroom theory to real-world practices. As an AmeriCorps Vista alum as well as in his current role with Transy, Monroe says he enjoys working closely with students. Much of his work is focused on helping students and undergraduate student groups expand their understandings of what community means and how they can have an impact.
Audrey Falk, director of the community engagement program, spearheaded Monroe’s nomination and praises his commitment to his coursework, his classmates and the students he works with at Transy. Falk will also serve as Monroe’s mentor during his fellowship year.
“Tevin is fabulous. He is extremely professional and extremely committed to community engagement and social justice,” Falk says. “He has a lot of lived experience that’s very relevant and I think he connects with the students that he works with at Transylvania University very well. He is very passionate about supporting diverse students and underrepresented students.”
As for Monroe, he feels honored to be awarded this prestigious opportunity and looks forward to networking with fellow student leaders across the country. He sees the fellowship year as a chance to collaborate and learn from one another.
“It’s a huge honor to be chosen for this,” he says. “I think it’ll be great to hear from the undergraduate students in the cohort and hear what they’re doing on their campuses…to see them as colleagues and see what work is happening within undergrad student communities. I think that gives me an interesting perspective because I work with undergraduates, so I can hopefully make some connections to bring ideas back to my own campus.”
While Monroe has yet to set a specific focus for his fellowship year, he has developed an interest in theory through his coursework at Merrimack. He says he would be interested in thinking through ways of making theory more accessible to those outside of academia.
“I find I really enjoy theory, which is kind of funny. I’ve never really seen myself as an ‘academic’,” Monroe says. “Reading a lot of feminist theory and theory of community engagement has been really eye opening to me, and I think in the ways that feminist theory can include everyone of all genders and racial identities and sexualities. I’m interested in how it can be accessible to people who don’t have advanced degrees or lots of formal training.”
After an initial orientation period this spring, where Monroe will connect further with fellow students in his cohort, the fellowship period will officially begin in fall 2021.
Tevin Monroe Profile at Campus Compact
Merrimack’s Master of Education in Community Engagement