Student Receives National Honors as Newman Civic Fellow


Student Receives National Honors as Newman Civic Fellow

Monday, May 6, 2024
kambiz roghanchi

Raritan Valley Community College student Kambiz Roghanchi of South Orange has been named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities working to advance the public purposes of higher education.

Roghanchi, a second-year Human Services/Pre-Social Work major, is joining a group of student civic leaders from 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico who will comprise the 2024-2025 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a yearlong program that recognizes students who stand out for their leadership potential and commitment to creating positive change in communities. The Fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, each fellow is nominated by their campus president or chancellor, who is invited to select one exemplary community-committed student from their campus each year.

The Pray Family Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement at Raritan Valley Community College is providing a generous stipend to support Roghanchi’s participation in the Fellowship.

“We are very honored that Kambiz Roghanchi has been selected as a Newman Civic Fellow. Kambiz is a standout student leader at RVCC, whose personal experiences have motivated him to help others. Kambiz embodies Raritan Valley Community College’s core values of community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and scholarship. His compassion and achievements are truly inspiring,” said RVCC President Dr. Michael J. McDonough.

Roghanchi explained that “a diagnosis of Dermatomyositis, a rare neuromuscular autoimmune disease, sparked my passion for volunteering and community engagement, inspiring me to empower and support others facing similar challenges.”

As a result, Roghanchi volunteers for the nonprofit, Myositis Support and Understanding (MSU), which aids people with the muscular autoimmune disease. Locally, he volunteers with the Adult Day Center of Somerset County, helping the elderly. He also led “Teens for Refugees,” a group of 12 students who welcomed a Syrian refugee family, and served as a translator for Afghan refugees who resettled in New Jersey. Using his skills in Farsi, Mandarin, and Arabic, he translated for medical staff and psychiatric services.

In addition, Roghanchi runs a monthly book club, Myositis Reads, and presented an online seminar, “Risk V. Benefit,” addressing his decision to join a clinical trial. In June, Roghanchi will be representing Dermatomyositis patients in a discussion with the FDA on access to treatment.

Through the Newman Civic Fellowship, Campus Compact provides students with learning and networking opportunities that help to nurture their development as civic leaders. Programming emphasizes personal, professional, and civic growth that can empower them to collaborate effectively across disciplines and create large-scale positive change.

The cornerstone of the Fellowship is the Annual Convening of Newman Civic Fellows, which offers intensive, in-person skill-building and networking over three days. The Fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive opportunities, including mini-grants to help fund community projects, scholarships, and post-graduate opportunities.

“We are honored to recognize such an outstanding group of community-committed students,” said Campus Compact President Bobbie Laur. “One of the best parts of the Newman Civic Fellowships is the richness of students’ perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds—and how these varied stories all led to their passionate engagement with the social, political, and environmental issues impacting our world. These students will be the catalysts for change on many levels, and we are privileged to help empower them to create that change.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is generously supported by The Allstate Foundation. Learn more at To read more about each of the student leaders selected for this year’s cohort, visit

About Campus Compact

Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact supports institutions in fulfilling their public purposes by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. As the largest national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, we provide professional development to administrators and faculty to enable them to engage effectively, facilitate national partnerships connecting campuses with key issues in their local communities, build pilot programs to test and refine promising models in engaged teaching and scholarship, celebrate and cultivate student civic leadership, and convene higher education institutions and partners beyond higher education to share knowledge and develop collective capacity. Visit

About RVCC

Ranked by and as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to  a Planetarium, Science Education Institute, and 3M Observatory; a Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers approximately 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit



May 6, 2024

Media contacts: (RVCC) Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383; (Campus Compact) Molly Leiper,

PR #112