KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University junior David Bere of Kalamazoo has been honored by a national organization as a promising student leader who has demonstrated an investment in his community.
Bere, a political science major, recipient of the Kalamazoo Promise and a studio coordinator in the Office for Sustainability, is one of about 200 undergraduate students nominated by colleges and universities across the country to become 2015 Newman Civic Fellows by Campus Compact. He joins students from universities such as Stanford and Yale who collaborate to develop solutions to quality-of-life issues.
Also named WMU's 2015 Student Employee of the Year, Bere is a bike mechanic and non-motorized transportation advocate and volunteers his time to many organizations in the community.
"David has been instrumental in developing programs that enable students to learn important skills such as bike maintenance, basic woodworking, and provide a space for exploring design projects. In addition to his roles at the University, David has volunteered his time and expertise to many organizations in the community participating in charitable bike rides and leading student-building projects, " states WMU President John M. Dunn in his nomination of Bere. "His dedication to public service is inspired by his commitment to help others learn to help themselves. David is one of the most humble and passionate individuals you will ever meet and leads and helps others with enthusiasm and generosity."
"I consider higher education to be a privilege enabling me to see the world from an informed point of view... I care most passionately about the link between social and sustainability issues and have found a home with the Office for Sustainability where I feel inspired and challenged to create a better quality of life for all," Bere says. "When I am not consumed by University projects, I help people fix their bikes and use my building skills to create tables, benches, things like cider presses, and earthen ovens that bring people together to share healthy food and important ideas with each other."
About the Newman Civic Fellows program
Sponsored by the KPMG Foundation, the fellowship program promotes student service, research and advocacy to help recipients make the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change. As these students tackle community challenges, they provide fresh energy and perspective, inspire and mobilize others, and develop their own skills and potential.
This year's record number of fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for engagement and change through online networking. In keeping with their generation's emphasis on networks over hierarchies, Newman Civic Fellows will share ideas and materials to further their work through an exclusive online community especially for the program.
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.
For more information about the organization and the award, visit compact.org.
For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.