STORM LAKE, IA (04/13/2017) (readMedia)-- Cristena Heschke, a Buena Vista University (BVU) junior elementary education major from Alta, was named a Newman Fellow in recognition of her exemplary volunteer service. She is one of 273 students nationally who were given the honor by the service organization Campus Compact, for which she was nominated directly by BVU President Fred Moore.
"It's an incredible honor for Cristena to be named a Newman Fellow," said Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson, assistant dean for student life and director of civic engagement. "Cristena has shown nothing but dedication to her community. She has a strong passion to serving youth and strives to encourage her peers to serve alongside of her."
Heschke has dedicated her time and service to a variety of causes and student organizations. She is president of Student MOVE (Mobilizing Outreach & Volunteer Efforts), an organization that works to mobilize student volunteers and raise awareness of local issues. As president, Heschke has planned a variety of service initiatives on and off campus and has played an important role in recruiting volunteers. She is also a coordinator, mentor and recruiter for BV Buddies, which is dedicated to mentoring middle school youth.
"Service has made a huge impact on my life over the past few years," said Heschke. "Through my experiences at BVU, I have been exposed to many opportunities that have grown both my passion for service and my leadership skills."
In addition to community engagement and capacity building, Heschke has developed programs that meet food insecurity needs, assist with dental hygiene education and prevent summer learning loss. She is also an AmeriCorps member and has volunteered hundreds of hours to the local community.
"It is important to volunteer your time and service because you are giving back to the community in ways that are indescribable," added Heschke. "When people volunteer their time and service they are giving away part of themselves while also learning so much about themselves and their passions."
Campus Compact is a nonprofit coalition of more than 1000 colleges and universities committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility.
About Buena Vista University
Since 1891, Buena Vista University has prepared students for lifelong success and blends liberal arts with real-world applications. Our traditional campus on the shores of Storm Lake hosts students in a variety of majors and pre-professional programs, including elementary, secondary, and special education; business and accounting; and biological and chemical sciences. Our 16 degree-completion locations, online, and graduate programs expand student potential with a pace and academic rigor designed for working adults and a variety of class formats that make scheduling even more convenient. With an average scholarship of more than 50 percent off of tuition, BVU is an affordable option for all students. Visit www.bvu.edu.