Denise Coffey, a student at Tusculum College, has been named a Newman Civic Fellow for 2015. Coffey has provided almost 500 community service hours to ASafeHarborHome, a local agency that serves victims of domestic violence and supplies them with safe homes.
The Newman Civic Fellows Award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Coffey is one of 201 people to be named a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact.
At Tusculum College, Coffey is also the community outreach coordinator leader in the Bonner Leader program, a member of the Art Club and a house manager for the Office of Student Affairs.
“Denise embodies the qualities of a Bonner Leader. She is dedicated not just to service, but to addressing the root causes of social injustices in our world. It is an honor to work alongside a student like Denise,” said Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement at Tusculum College.
Coffey, a sophomore graphic arts major from Reagan, has been an intern at ASHH since her freshman year. Coffey’s goal is to stop domestic and dating violence before it begins. Her work at ASHH has grown into something more than just giving her time; she has become a vital member of the ASHH team.
ASHH is a place of advocacy for the victims of domestic violence and seeks to educate residents of Northeast Tennessee. Coffey has designed and implemented several programs to prevent and identify domestic and dating violence through her volunteer service.
According to Daniel and Lilly Velez, who are the directors of ASHH, “Denise is a great asset in supervising others while she teaches them to become part of the team. She is dedicated and creative. Denise’s ability to interact with peers and with other groups helps her integrate and obtain a real perspective of any issue at hand.”
“Being involved in my community has been important to me as long as I can remember. When given the chance to work with ASafeHarborHome, I gladly took the opportunity,” said Coffey.
“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can, and does, play in building a better world,” said Campus Compact Board Chairman Richard Guarasci, who is also president of Wagner College in New York.
According to Guarasci, it is through service, research and advocacy that Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.
Newman Civic Fellow Awards are made in memory of Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact. At the core of Dr. Newman’s leadership was a belief in the power of individuals to make a difference and in the power of connection with others.
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 http://www.compact.org.