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English Ph.D. student named 2015 Newman Civic Fellow

TAMPA, Fla. -- Johanna Phelps-Hillen, a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of English, has been named a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow. The Newman Civic Fellows Award honors “inspiring college leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities across the country.”

Phelps-Hillen’s research for her concurrent Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition and her Master of Public Administration through the School of Public Affairs focuses on traditions in service-learning. By studying these traditions, Phelps-Hillen hopes to understand how university faculty and community representatives can build curricula that “enhance student outcomes and meet community determined needs.”

Phelps-Hillen discovered her passion for serving the community during her undergraduate career, when she worked as an advocate for rape survivors. After she earned her B.A., Phelps-Hillen launched into a lifetime of community service.

She worked at AmericaCorps VISTA for two years, building up relationships between the Ogden, Utah community and its university campus, Weber State University. While managing an AmeriCorps program that supported the “integration of service programs in higher education,” she realized that her knowledge and skills would best serve the community if she had a doctorate and master's degree.

With the support of USF’s Office of Community Partnership and Engagement, Phelps-Hillen is working to confront the underlying causes of social issues by developing and supporting programs that partner campuses with their communities.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences English School of Public Affairs Student Success  
Author:Holly Lanier