William Paterson University Student Wins National Award for Civic Engagement

Shaydaih Williams

Shaydaih Williams of Newark, a junior majoring in public health with a minor in health studies at William Paterson University in Wayne, is one of 262 students in the nation and one of only three in New Jersey to receive the 2019 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow Award for civic engagement.

Williams received the award for showing her strong commitment to the ideals of Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education.

The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth for students who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership and an investment in solving public problems.

“Shaydaih embodies the ideals of civic engagement by inspiring other students to serve,” says Richard J. Helldobler, president of William Paterson University. “She has served the WP and local community by participating in over 50 university coordinated civic engagement activities encompassing almost 1,000 hours of service.”

Williams organizes activities that encourage students to serve. Her passion for service includes working with the elderly and addressing food insecurity. She volunteers at the WP Pioneer Pantry, coordinates programs to assemble care packages and school kits, and works with organizations to raise awareness regarding breast cancer, lupus, autism, equal access to education, and mentoring. In her community, Williams mentors high school students at the Greater Newark Conservancy, tutors children at Newark YMCA and encourages voter registration and engagement within the city and town hall meetings.  

“Although I have always been civically engaged, William Paterson helped me to fully understand my purpose in life – being a blessing to others,” says Williams. “Not everyone has access to education, health care, food, employment, and a healthy living environment. As a public health major, I hope to inspire my peers and the people around me to make the necessary changes to help my community.”

For more information, visit www.compact.org.