PLYMOUTH, N.H.—Campus Compact has named Samuel Wisel, a senior at Plymouth State University, a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow in recognition of his personal commitment to creating lasting change for the better in his community and beyond. Wisel, a business administration major, is a resident of Mansfield, Mass.
As a Newman Civic Fellow, Wisel will join a network of Fellows around the country. Sharing ideas and tools through online networking, the Fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for service and change, and will continue to set examples for their classmates and others.
“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 Chair James B. Dworkin.
PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said, “Sam is an inspiration, a role model, in seeking opportunities to serve. He is a genuine leader.”
Wisel discovered a love for community service in high school, where he participated in a service trip to the Mississippi Gulf to help residents clean up after Hurricane Katrina. At Plymouth State University, where the motto is Ut Prosim (That I may serve), Wisel found many outlets for his growing passion. As a sophomore, he began the process to create a student chapter of Habitat for Humanity, partnering with Pemi-Valley Habitat for Humanity to build homes and engage and educate students about affordable housing in the area. He now serves on the board of directors of the Pemi-Valley chapter, the first undergraduate student to do so.
His experience with Habitat also propelled Sam to create a path of study aligned with his interest in volunteerism and engaging others through community service. His degree in business administration will help him establish a career in fundraising and development for nonprofit organizations.
He has completed an internship in marketing, communication and fundraising with the Spaulding Youth Center in Northfield, N.H and is currently interning in University Advancement, assisting the offices of Alumni Relations and Development.
Reaching beyond his Habitat commitment, Wisel joined other students in a project entitled “Flood of Flags,” to raise aid to help with the aftermath of floods in Pakistan. Plymouth State hosts 20 Pakistani teachers in a monthlong educational institute each summer. Flood of Flags acknowledged PSU’s connection to and support of Plymouth State alumni of the Pakistani Educational Leadership Institute who were impacted by the devastating floods in their country. Twenty-five thousand flags covered the campus Alumni Green, representing the 20 million people displaced in Pakistan due to flooding in 2010.
Each year throughout his student tenure Wisel has also traveled to provide service with the University “Alternative Spring Break” program. Capping off his final year at PSU, Wisel was among members of the Student Support Foundation at PSU who established a student food pantry on campus. The academic-year project provides direct support for students in need, and will contribute its supply of foodstuffs to the local food pantry at the close of school in May.
Asked what he might want to say to prospective students Wisel replied, “Try something new. You never know what door you can open. Give back to the community—people respect you when you serve.”
Campus Compact’s member college and university presidents from across the country nominated 162 student leaders from 32 states for this recognition. New Hampshire students in the group were honored at a reception April 10 in Bedford.
The award is named for Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, “who had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who are eager and prepared to make a difference,” according to Campus Compact President Maureen Curley.