WVU student to work on educational equity as Newman Civic Fellow | Today

Giana Loretta, a junior triple major majoring in political science, philosophy, and communications, is WVU’s next Newman Civic Fellow.

A West Virginia University student who witnessed a lack of resources in her public school district growing up in central West Virginia will seek solutions to those issues as the next Newman Civic Fellow of the University. ‘University.

Giana Loretta, a junior triple major majoring in political science, philosophy, and communications, believes in the power of politics and direct action. Her two-pronged project will combine policy analysis with work to provide direct resources and support to students and schools in need.

Loretta, who is passionate about equity in K-12 schools, saw educational inequity in her own experiences from an early age, noting how the unequal distribution of resources led to unequal access to opportunities and a growing achievement gap. Loretta plans to use her scholarship to advocate for education policy change. First, it plans to produce a comprehensive policy analysis around the issue of school choice. Through a formal presentation of her findings, she will provide state and county lawmakers with potential remedies to educational inequities.

“As West Virginia fosters the growth of school choice, it is imperative to understand how these policies will impact educational outcomes and ensure they promote equity and success for all students. students,” Loretta said.

She also plans to publish her research findings in WVU’s student-run undergraduate research journal, the Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review.

Loretta will also strive to have a direct impact on students, providing support to underprivileged schools across the state through student mentorship and informational presentations on successful college and scholarship applications. . She will do this by leveraging her role as president of Mountaineer Mentors, a student organization that works to improve gaps in higher education opportunities for West Virginia high school students.

For both parts of her project, she will be supervised by Herschel Thomas, assistant professor of political science. Thomas is also his mentor in his Honors EXCEL project, which helped lay the groundwork for his Newman Civic Fellowship project.

This project is a natural next step for Loretta, who has been involved in political science research at WVU from her summer undergraduate research experience to her more recent work on how adolescents are screened and treated. for opioid use. She is also heavily involved on campus, working as an intern for the West Virginia Innocence Project at WVU College of Law, as a student ambassador and former new student orientation manager with WVU Admissions, WVU Presidential Ambassador, volunteer with the non-profit organization Girls on the Run and a volunteer ESL tutor for recent immigrants in the Morgantown community. She is also the Community Service Chair for the WVU Honorary Junior, Chimes.

“Giana is a dedicated, responsible and intelligent young woman and has proven to be an ideal candidate for the Newman Civic Scholarship. Her passion for advancing educational opportunity in West Virginia serves to address a critical issue in our state and we are proud that she is doing this work as a Mountaineer,” said WVU President Gordon Gee.

Campus Compact has named 173 student civic leaders to the Newman Civic Fellows 2022-2023 class, including students from 38 states, Washington, DC, and Mexico.

“We are proud to name such an exceptional and diverse group of students Newman Civic Fellows,” said Bobbie Laur, President of Campus Compact. “Their passion and determination to act on the wide range of issues facing our neighborhoods and communities is inspiring and deeply needed. We look forward to engaging with them through this transformative experience.

The Newman Civic Scholarship is a one-year experience emphasizing the personal, professional, and civic growth of students who have demonstrated leadership ability and investment in solving public issues. Through the fellowship, which is named after Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national Newman Civic Fellows conference in partnership with the Institute Edward M. Kennedy for the United States Senate. The scholarship also provides scholars with access to apply for exclusive scholarships and postgraduate opportunities. The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

Students interested in applying for this scholarship or other nationally competitive scholarships can email aspire@mail.wvu.edu for an appointment.



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