Where the need is greatest: Students help Ukrainians abroad
Ann Monk ’21, the founder and president of the Student Refugee Alliance at Connecticut College, has been awarded a 2020 Newman Civic Fellowship. The one-year fellowship, sponsored by Campus Compact, a Boston based education non-profit, provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. Fellows are also given access to apply for exclusive scholarships and post-graduate programs and opportunities.
"I am excited to continue developing my leadership skills during the Newman conferences and programs next year, and I am so grateful to everyone at Conn for nominating, encouraging and supporting me as an emerging changemaker on our campus and in our community," said Monk, an international relations and global Islamic studies double major and Arabic minor.
Monk is also a scholar in the College's Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, and a Walter Commons fellow. The refugee initiatives she has spearheaded engage both the campus community and local, underserved communities in the New London area.
In a statement to Campus Compact, Monk cited her own personal struggles with school when she was younger, and spoke of the transformational year where she volunteered as a teacher in India and Guatemala—an experience she says reignited her love of learning.
“I feel incredibly grateful to have been given a second chance, and this drives my passion to support those who are struggling in school or who lack access to education,” she said.
Monk, who hopes to be a leader in global education reform some day with a particular focus on expanding access to educational opportunities for refugees, said her dream job would be to work for the U.N. or government agency enacting the type of change she’s committed to.
“Ann is an intellectual sponge, but she also does amazing volunteer work and we’re so proud of her for receiving this fellowship,” said Sufia Uddin, professor of religious studies and chair of the department, who also serves as Monk’s adviser.
“Ann is a rare gem, and I'm proud to be her teacher and adviser,” Uddin added.