Frostburg State University Student Jessica Thayer Named Newman Civic Fellow

Oct 9, 2020 4:35 PM

Frostburg State University student Jessica Thayer of Oakland, Md., has been named a Newman Civic Fellow, which recognizes and supports community-committed students. Thayer is a senior double majoring in law and society and political science and minoring in philosophy and is the Student Government Association (SGA) vice president.

She was nominated this spring by President Ronald Nowaczyk for her work with SGA and within the community. Thayer was nominated for her work to expand the SGA constitution to increase diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization’s ranks.

Thayer said her focus during her time with the fellowship is on campus-community relations. Her goal is to create a dialogue between the campus and community, allowing opportunities to communicate differences to heal any divides between the two.

“I have discovered that the things that divide us are far fewer than those that unite us,” Thayer said. “Mending our campus-community relationship is extremely important in order for us to make FSU a safe, welcoming and respectful place for everyone.” She is in the process of setting up various community involvement initiatives that include race relations and entrepreneurial mentorship programs.

“My experience so far has been great, as I have been able to meet and network with other Newman Civic Fellows from across the nation,” Thayer said, reflecting on her fellowship year. “Being able to learn from their struggles and experiences helps me shape my own goals and hopes for FSU. I am extremely honored to serve in this role, and I hope to make a positive impact on the FSU community throughout my journey as a Newman Civic Fellow.”

Thayer's other roles and accolades on campus include membership in the Phi Eta Sigma national honor society, participation in the Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership, serving as a student Bobcat Ambassador, president of the University Debate team, membership on the University’s Judicial Board and participation in the President’s Leadership Circle.

The Newman Civic Fellowship “recognizes and supports community-committed students who are changemakers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact member institutions." Members are nominated by their president or chancellor on the basis of their potential for public leadership. The Newman Civic Fellowship is a part of Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities.

Throughout the Newman Civic Fellowship, students are provided with training and resources to help them learn and grow within their own passions. The year-long program features virtual learning experience and networking opportunities.

For more information on the Newman Civic Fellowship, visit