UWF student receives national award for community service
By Josh Newby, University Communications
Craig Lockhart, a junior at the University of West Florida, recently won the Newman Civic Fellow award from Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents. The award recognizes students on college campuses who demonstrate a desire to find solutions to problems facing their local community.
The award was presented to 135 college students from 30 states across the country. Presidents of these schools were tasked with nominating students who, “through service, research and advocacy, 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,” according to Campus Compact.
“I’ve always liked giving back,” said Lockhart. “I’m hoping to continue that same trend in college and in the rest of my life. Whether or not I win an award, I’m just happy to help others. It’s a humbling experience.”
Lockhart is also a chair on the UWF Honors Council and is responsible for assisting in fund-raising, public relations and social work.
“Lockhart is not only academically-talented, but he is also well respected by his peers,” said Jennifer Phillips, assistant director of the honors program. “He is responsible for organizing the service events that honors students have an opportunity to participate in throughout the school year and he has done a tremendous job of making sure these events are well-planned and attended.”
Phillips continued her praise of Lockhart, stating that he planned 14 philanthropic events over the course of the spring semester, in addition to his regular class work.
“His integrity and honesty in all he does is inspiring to all around him, and I am very proud that his dedication to service has been recognized,” said Phillips.
Lockhart is planning to continue his practice of helping those in need by volunteering in the Peace Corps upon graduation, then returning to school to study for his master’s degree in international studies.
“I have to thank the university,” said Lockhart. “It’s because of the one-on-one relationship that students have with the university that I was able to receive this award.”
Lockhart said that making an impact in an individual’s community is not as work- or time-intensive as many people fear and reaps a reward well worth the effort.
“It just takes a few hours a weekend,” said Lockhart. “Take two hours out of your week and help others. It feels good, and it’s the right thing to do. You may not see the tangible result right away, but the excitement on others’ faces is reward enough.”