Hamline student Jessalin Dock-Barnes ’25, psychology, is one of 154 student civic leaders awarded a Newman Civic Fellowship this month by Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities working to advance the public purposes of higher education. Dock-Barnes will join students from 38 states, Washington, D.C. and Mexico to form the 2023-24 fellowship cohort.
The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes students who stand out for their commitment to creating positive change in communities locally and around the world. The fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education.
A second-year student at Hamline University, Jessalin Dock-Barnes’ mission is to create safe spaces for kids of color to be equipped and supported so that they can help fight unjust societal structures and to close socio-economic gaps.
“As a Wesley Center Senior Spirituality Scholar at Hamline University, I have had the opportunity to bring awareness to our campus community about homelessness, immigration, and racial injustice in a way that connects to shared deep values across different religious and spiritual traditions,” Dock-Barnes said.
Dock-Barnes started this journey by participating in civic engagement at the Irreducible Grace Foundation’s Black Youth Healing Arts Center in Saint Paul. Inspired by their work, she plans to work for holistic healing spaces that offer free therapy, afterschool programs and care-centered, community-building activities that support kids and their families. Dock-Barnes dreams of developing urban gardens where food is grown, harvested and taken home to eat as a way to grow relationships and build habits for healthy living.
As an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) tutor and paraprofessional in her local school district, Dock-Barnes works with children that are in need of the spaces she envisions. This past December, she began working with a group of students to advocate for teaching Black history and minority history in schools, specifically to push for a required class in ethnic studies within their district.
In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, fellows are nominated by Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors, who are invited to select one outstanding student from their campus each year. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact will provide Dock-Barnes with a year of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional and civic growth.
The cornerstone of the fellowship is the Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive in-person skill-building and networking over the course of two days. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.