Karryann is among 218 students from 36 different states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico to receive the Newman Civic Fellows Award, which honors undergraduate and graduate students who have taken action in pursuit of long-term social change and who engage and inspire others in their communities.
Kohlbeck’s academic journey has led her from Arizona to Upstate New York, and across the disciplines. While she initially began as a Health Sciences student, she has found her passion in writing – and in public service and social change. Karryann, who is a Navajo Indian, hopes to one day become an attorney focusing on women’s rights and public policy.
“While soft-spoken, she is fiercely dedicated to the democratic process and its ability to solve even our most intractable social problems,” SUNY Broome President Kevin E. Drumm said in his nomination letter for Kohlbeck.
The Teacher Education – English major forged a connection with documentary filmmaker Heather Arnet during an on-campus event, when Karryann discussed issues impacting the Navajo people. Arnet was so impressed with Karryann’s passion that she invited her to do an internship, and gave her the opportunity to meet and speak with feminist activist, journalist and Ms. Magazine founder Gloria Steinem.
During the course of several semesters, Kohlbeck has taken CTP 275, SUNY Broome’s Public Achievement course. Through her involvement in CTP 275, Karryann worked with fourth-grade students in the Windsor Central School District during the Spring 2015 semester on a project to beautify the village’s Main Street. She is currently enrolled in the course again for the Spring 2016 semester, and is working with second-graders in the Windsor district. Overall, Karryann’s involvement in Public Achievement helped her develop the skills necessary to one day become a civic-minded professional and flourish in a democratic society.
Karryann has also been involved in Public Deliberations, which are designed to help everyday citizens identify and address an issue of deep concern. She has both participated in and undergone training in moderating such deliberations, and has been actively involved in facilitating these events both on and off campus, and in area public schools.
She is also part of the Broome Educators of Children Association’s leadership team, and was actively involved with planning and implementing two community events to raise awareness and funds for our campus daycare center. Her work continues this semester, when she and another student are organizing a Clubs That Care fundraiser, bringing clubs from throughout campus together to support the center.
“As a future educator and lifelong learner, I am committed to educating our youth with the civic tools for creating a better tomorrow,” Kohlbeck said.
Award-winners receive a certificate and an invitation to join the Newman Civic Fellows online network. They will also be featured prominently on the Campus Compact national website and, in many cases, invited to participate in state-specific activities.
“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to celebrate such an extraordinary group of students,” said Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn. “We are seeing a resurgence in student interest in acting to create lasting social change, and this year’s Newman Civic Fellows exemplify that commitment.”
The Newman Civic Fellows Award is named in honor of Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders and a tireless advocate for the role of higher education in preparing students for active and engaged citizenship. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is supported by the KPMG Foundation and by Newman’s Own Foundation.