Business Major Wins National Civic Award
Humboldt State University junior and Eureka native Jennifer Howell has received Campus Compact’s inaugural Newman Civic Fellows Award for engaged citizenship and service learning.
Howell, wrapping up her third year in a row as an HSU Service Learning intern, is one of 135 Campus Compact honorees from 30 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico recognized for creating lasting change in their communities.
A graduate of Eureka High School, Howell is an HSU activist in combating local hunger and food shortages through “Halting Hunger in Humboldt.” She began service learning at Winship Middle School, was a service learning lab student at Eureka High and became an HSU Service Learning intern as soon as she entered the university in 2008.
Congratulating Howell, Humboldt State President Rollin Richmond said, “When I think of students with exceptional passion, enthusiasm, reliability and commitment to her community, Jennifer is an excellent example of someone who demonstrates all of these characteristics and more. I’m equally impressed with the many years of commitment she has made to service learning.”
Campus Compact officials called Howell and her fellow honorees “the best of the best: promising college leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for the challenges facing communities throughout the country.”
Campus Compact, headquartered in Boston, is a national coalition of university and college presidents founded in 1985 by the presidents of Brown, Georgetown and Stanford Universities to foster civic duty and service learning. The 2011 Civic Fellows awards were established in honor of the late Frank Newman, a compact founder, former president of Stanford and one of America’s leading 20th-century educators.
At HSU’s Service Learning Center, Howell has been responsible for developing, implementing and supporting Halting Hunger in Humboldt, a broad, multi-year program. As part of that effort, Howell has helped promote and support Humboldt State’s Holiday Food Drive, which annually contributes more than 2,000 pounds to Food for People, Humboldt County’s food bank. She has developed and distributed flyers, solicited donations door-to-door and championed the need for local hunger relief.
For three years running, Howell has also been a member of the student team that annually recruits more than 300 students, staff, faculty, administrators and community members to HSU’s Day of Caring, one of the largest volunteer events in the area. It supports more than 35 non-profit agencies.
“I was shy when I started high school and service learning built my confidence to act like an adult and give presentations at national conferences,” Howell said. “I saw it open many doors for our people in high school, which is very technology-based, and now I can network with so many other [Campus Compact] Fellows at other campuses. Service learning is a great outlet to expand my abilities beyond academia. I love what I do here at the Service Learning Center; HSU’s values are all about giving back to the community.”
Halting Hunger’s latest initiative is the Plant-a-Row for the Hungry Campaign. Howell works with organizers of local school and community gardens to promote extra planting and provide more produce to the food bank. She volunteers at the bank’s distribution days, handing out fresh produce at its ‘Farmers Market’ and distributing plant starts to Senior Distribution sites.
Howell also has spearheaded the ‘Commodity Cookbook’ of healthy recipes for those who rely on the commodity foods the bank supplies.
While attending Humboldt State, Howell was a National Service Learning Partnership Board Member from mid-2009 to early 2011 on State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board. She was a service learning laboratory student at Eureka Senior High 2005-2008, a middle school girls’ volleyball coach at Freshwater Elementary and Charter School, 2009-2010, and is a member of Humboldt State’s Entrepreneurs Club.
A business major with a concentration in management and small business, Howell has received six educational excellence and service awards and was Soroptimist Girl of the Month in May, 2008.