Idalmis Lopez ‘21 Awarded 2019-20 Newman Civic Fellowship

As a Newman Civic Fellow, Lopez will have access to a year-long program of training and resources.
by Susie Pentelow, Communications Coordinator
April 30, 2019

Brown University sophomore and Bonner Community Fellow Idalmis Lopez ‘21 has been named a 2019-20 Newman Civic Fellow. The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, recognizes and provides a network of support, mentorship, and opportunities to community-committed students at Campus Compact member institutions. Lopez was formally presented with the award by Brown President Christina Paxson on April 11, 2019.

Lopez, a health and human biology concentrator, serves as a site leader with Partnership for Adult Learning (PAL), a Swearer Center student group committed to the inclusion and empowerment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). PAL partners with Perspectives Corporation, an agency providing services and support to children, youth, and adults with disabilities in Rhode Island.

“As a college student accessing knowledge and higher education, I want to extend my privilege to those who find themselves voiceless in environments that should be of equal access to all,” Lopez wrote in a statement about her work with Perspectives Corporation.

As a site leader for PAL, Lopez has crafted workshops for student volunteers, coordinated social events to build connections between PAL learners and Brown students, restructured tutoring curricula, and organized a panel at Brown to discuss health inequities faced by individuals with IDDs.

Andrew McQuaide, Senior Director at Perspectives Corporation, attended the presentation of Lopez’ award and spoke highly of her work with PAL.

“Idalmis continues to impress Perspectives Corporation with her empathy, inquiry, and commitment to discovery. Her ability and eagerness to create personal connections with people who experience barriers to connecting with their communities is exciting and contagious.”

As a Newman Civic Fellow, Lopez will have access to a year-long program of training and resources that will allow her to build on this work and develop strategies for social change. These will include virtual learning opportunities, networking as part of a nationwide group of like-minded, engaged student leaders, and an optional in-person convening.

For Lopez, this recognition provides an opportunity to reflect and on her work and goals for the future:

“Being named a Newman Civic Fellow reminds me how fortunate I am to have been so graciously welcomed into such a brilliantly unique and powerful community and further ignites my passion for engagement with adults who have IDDs so that together we may bring about long-lasting systemic change.”

Find out more about the Newman Civic Fellowship on Campus Compact’s website.

This past fall, Perspectives Corporation and Brown University’s Partnership for Adult Learning was recognized in the National Council on Disability report, “National Disability Employment Policy, From the New Deal to the Real Deal: Joining the Industries of the Future.”