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April 8, 2013

RSU Senior Selected as Newman Civic Fellow

Toni Christian

Tonya "Toni" Christian

A Rogers State University senior has been selected as the university's 2013 Newman Civic Fellow, which annually recognizes a student who represents the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders.

Tonya "Toni" Christian, a community counseling senior from Claremore, was one of 181 students in 36 states selected as a Newman Civic Fellow. She was nominated by RSU President Larry Rice.

Students who are selected as a Newman Civic Fellow have demonstrated they are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.

Tonya has been a committed human service leader addressing teen challenges, including her volunteer work with Rogers County Youth Services for the past two years. She has been actively engaged in research addressing teen problems and challenges including, self-care, life skills, unemployment, and problem resolution.

An innovative leader, she developed an extensive teen life skills curriculum program for the shelter's rehabilitation group sessions. Tonya has become an expert in her area of teen service and provides life skills program training for the agency staff. 

Christian has shown herself to be a passionate leader and learner, with her heart for service demonstrated by her numerous service commitments and her dedication to others. Serving as a volunteer for Rogers County Youth Services for the past two years, she has been actively engaged in research addressing teen problems and challenges. In addition to her client service, she developed an extensive teen life skills curriculum program for the shelter's rehabilitation group sessions.

"The service Tonya provides is phenomenal, I am thankful for students like her," Rice said. "Toni demonstrates an incredible work ethic, passion and is a positive role model for our university."

The Newman Civic Fellows Award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Through service, research, and advocacy, Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.

"I choose to believe that my actions will make a difference in the lives of teens," Christian said. "This service I am investing my time in is a worthy endeavor. I hope my actions today lay a foundation for growth and empowerment for teens as they become contributing members of society."

Newman Civic Fellows are recommended by college and university presidents to acknowledge motivation and ability in public leadership. The award is non-competitive. Each student who is recommended will become a Newman Civic Fellow in the year she/he is recommended and will represent that school within the national group.

For more information on the Newman Civic Fellow Award visit: www.compact.org/initiatives/awards-programs/the-frank-newman-leadership-award/