Samantha Palermo ’24, a double major in neuroscience and religion from Lincoln, Neb., has received a Newman Civic Fellowship from Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities that advances the public purposes of higher education.
She is one of 154 undergraduates from Campus Compact member institutions to receive the yearlong fellowship, which recognizes students who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.
“Samantha is a trailblazer who has leveraged her academic prowess and her community-centered heart to enact genuine social change in her community and beyond,” President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 wrote in a statement to the fellowship program, citing, among other accomplishments, Palermo’s efforts to organize student appreciation for Dartmouth’s essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as her commitment to addressing the underlying causes of poverty.
“I am a firm believer in the power of community-based change, because members of a community are in the best position to understand the nuances of what their community actually needs, which results in more effective change,” says Palermo, who describes herself as passionate about grassroots community work.
“I was lucky enough to grow up in a tight-knit, small-town community, so I had the opportunity to experience first-hand how strong the power of community can be,” she says. “During the fellowship, I hope to continue to expand upon the community-based work I have already done, as well as convince others of the power of grassroots change and inspire them to get involved.”
Palermo, who ultimately plans to attend law school and to pursue a career in health care policy, says she also looks forward to connecting with other Newman fellows who share her dedication to service and community.
Palermo in December received a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which helped support her expenses during a winter-term LSA+ program in Barcelona.
The Center for Social Impact serves as the liaison to Campus Compact and the Newman Civic Fellowship.