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RMU Student Is Named Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pittsburgh -- Callen Oster, a sophomore at Robert Morris University, was named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact. Recipients of the award demonstrate the type of civic engagement that sets an example for others, shining a positive light in a time when negativity has dominated much national conversation.

Oster, an actuarial science major, is committed to addressing the issue of food insecurity in Coraopolis. Along with a group of student volunteers, he helped launch a student-run food pantry in partnership with the Coraopolis Community Development Foundation. He helped create an inviting space, a point system and a personal shopper model that fosters dignity and consumer choice among clients. Oster is the son of David and Shari Oster of Mantua, Ohio, and he is a graduate of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy.

Callen Oster-1.Robert Morris UniversityAs a Newman Civic Fellow, Oster will join a network of Fellows around the country. Together — 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. 

"Being selected as a Newman Civic Fellow is an honor. Playing a role in starting a dynamic food pantry has been a great experience. Everyone involved works hard to bring new ideas to the way we serve clients through food assistance, to spark healthy community development," said Oster.

Campus Compact’s member college and university presidents from across the country have nominated 162 college student leaders for the 2012 class of Newman Civic Fellows. These students are demonstrating a personal commitment to creating lasting change for the better in their communities.

“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,” notes Campus Compact Board Chair James B. Dworkin, chancellor at Purdue University North Central. 

Through service-learning courses and other opportunities for community engagement, colleges are developing students’ public problem-solving skills, such as the ability to analyze community needs, the willingness to participate in public processes and debate, the commitment to raise awareness about challenges, and the ability to inspire others to become part of solutions.

Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents—representing some 6 million+ students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education, that is, to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. For more information about the organization and the award, visit

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.