6 Vote Everywhere Ambassadors Chosen as 2018 Newman Civic Fellows

The Andrew Goodman Foundation is proud to announce that six Vote Everywhere Ambassadors have been selected as 2018 Newman Civic Fellows.

Daniela Alvarez of Miami Dade College, Danielle Bates of Simpson College, Sophie Bertrand of Towson University, Fiona Buchanan of West Carolina University, Leah Christman of SUNY Geneseo, and Haley Creef of East Carolina University, have all been chosen for this honor. The six, out of 268 Fellows, are dedicated to voting rights and civic engagement, each participating extensively to create an equal campus climate at their respected colleges.

The fellowship is named after Campus Compact founder Frank J. Newman (1927-2004), a U.S. education reformer, and identifies students across the nation and gives them training and resources as these students hone in their skills to create effective change for challenges facing communities. The fellowship is a one-year endeavor, where students are given in-person and online mentoring, networking, and learning opportunities that they can use to create a better overall climate on their college campuses and beyond. Throughout the year, the fellows learn relationship-building skills such as effective interpersonal communication skills by participating in identity-based dialogue programs, and collaboration through learning conflict resolution and negotiation to gain additional skills in managing group conflict. Newman Civic Fellows serve as an example as to how higher education can create a better world. Help AGF congratulate these students on this outstanding accomplishment!

Daniela Alvarez is a sophomore at Miami Dade College (MDC). Throughout her two years at MDC, Daniela is involved in multiple programs and organizations on campus that help promote civic change. She has served as an Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Ambassador, founded MDC’s Integrated Law and Ethics Society, and is part of the Model United Nations and Political Science Clubs, and is a Student Government Senator. Through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Programs, she has also promoted civic engagement and sustainable development. Having emigrated from Cuba as a child, Daniela is dedicated to creating a more inclusive campus and beyond.


Danielle Bates is an undergraduate student at Simpson College (SC), studying Political Science, International Relations, Religion, and French. During her time as a Vote Everywhere Ambassador, she has led voter registration drives, engaged voters on campus, and gone on statewide conferences with other student leaders. Danielle is part of the Model UN and is a student member of the Des Moines Committee on Foreign Relations. She has participated in the National Campaign for Political & Civic Engagement organized by the Harvard Institute of Politics. Currently, she is interning with the Governance Office of the Brookings Institution, where she has assisted in researching an American politics and Congress. She will graduate in May of 2019 and hopes to pursue a career in diplomacy.


Sophie Bertrand is a sophomore studying Psychology at Towson University (TU). During her time at TU, she has utilized campus resources in order to educate her peers about how important it is for them to take an active role in their communities. She has registered students to vote and hopes to increase their overall political engagement on campus. Sophie has played a role in making TU recognized by TurboVote and the ALL IN campus democracy challenge. The university is currently recognized as one of TurboVote’s top 40 campuses for voter engagement in 2017. Currently, she is working with several local universities to host a conference concerning the state of democratic participation in youth voters. The goal is to directly engage students and officials to decide what needs to be done to increase voter turnout, especially among young voters.


Fiona Buchanan is studying Political Science at Western Carolina University (WCU). She is a dedicated student leader, rooted in her dedication to equality. Upon entering WCU her freshman year, she joined the Student Democracy Coalition and currently has an ambassadorship with the Andrew Goodman Foundation. She has also worked with other state and national level nonpartisan nonprofits. In these positions, she’s worked to increase voter engagement, education, and advocacy within WCU’s student body. She is also head of a coalition to create an online voter registration system in North Carolina. If the legislative initiative is approved, it will eventually lead to an increase in registered voters and overall voter turnout in the state of North Carolina.


Leah Christman is studying English at SUNY Geneseo, and is currently holding three different student leadership roles: as a member of the College Voter Registration and Engagement Task Force, as a Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development (GOLD) Peer Mentor; and as Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Ambassador. In addition to being a Newman Civic Fellow, she is a member of the Geneseo’s Honors Program as an “Edgar Fellow,” and she is a recipient of a New York State Merit Scholarship. Off campus, she volunteers at the local hospice and Geneseo’s new “Home Away from Home Dementia Care” program.


Haley Creef is a sophomore majoring in finance and economics at East Carolina University. Her passion for civic engagement is exemplified through her work as a student leader. In high school, she worked with homeless shelters and was recognized by the regional chapter of Girl Scouts of America for her work with the homeless population in Eastern North Carolina. Her drive has followed her to her college campus, where she champions voting rights as a Vote Everywhere Ambassador. She’s involved in ECU’s Student Government Association and serves on the college’s tuition and finance committee. She is currently working with a faculty mentor to research factors affecting unemployment rates. Haley hopes to use these experiences to aim for a career in economic and sustainable development.

 About the Author

Hayley van Hoek is the Communications and Development Intern at The Andrew Goodman Foundation. She graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a Bachelor’s in Literature and a concentration in Creative Writing.