Rachel Glazer, a junior majoring in psychology at the University of North Georgia (UNG), has been recognized as a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow. This national award is given to individuals who demonstrate leadership and problem-solving abilities within their community.
"In more than 20 years as a faculty member, I have never seen someone come in and establish themselves as a leader – and a respected one – as quickly as Rachel has," said Dr. Stephen Smith, who nominated Glazer for the award and directs UNG's Honors Program. "She founded the Interfaith Alliance and the Improvable Odds performance group, served on the Women's History Month committee and the Honors Council, directed The Vagina Monologues, presented and won at the MLK Day Oratorical Contest, and served as emcee for the first UNG Spelling Bee. She did all this in her first two years on campus."
Glazer, who is from Gainesville, works with Rape Response, a community group that helps rape victims, as a victims' advocate, and applies her training to educate peers about consent, Title IX, and safe sex. Her goal in founding the Interfaith Alliance was to unite religious minority students to create mutual understanding and encourage open discussion and dialogue.
"My passion for women's rights led me to serve on the Women's History Month committee and host UNG's first Who Needs Feminism booth, opening up conversations about the importance of gender equality," Glazer said. "I hope to continue applying the leadership lessons I have learned in a way that will establish a legacy of positive change in my community. The skills and opportunities I have been afforded can be used to help and empower others."
During spring semester, Glazer is studying at Hebrew University of Jerusalem as one of only 21 students selected worldwide to be a Nachshon Fellow. She's taking classes in her minor of gender studies and is travelling throughout Israel to learn about the nation's politics and culture.
"The goal of the Nachshon Fellow program is to help young Jewish adults strengthen their understanding of the greater Jewish community and their skills as educators, advocates and leaders so that they may step up and stand out in their fields," Glazer said.
UNG is designated by the University System of Georgia as a state leadership institution and fosters students' leadership development through academic and co-curricular opportunities. This is the third year in a row that a UNG student has been recognized as a Newman Civic Fellow.
The Newman Civic Fellow Award is in memory of Dr. Frank Newman, a leader in higher education who dedicated his life to positive change through education reform in a career spanning more than 50 years. To read more about Newman's legacy and award, visit http://www.compact.org/initiatives/awards-programs/the-frank-newman-leadership-award/about-frank-newman/.