MISSOULA – University of Montana junior Hope Radford recently became a Newman Civic Fellow for her work as a change-agent, focusing on issues related to climate change, social justice and sustainable food production.
The Newman Civic Fellows Award is given to college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities across the country.
Since her freshman year at UM, Radford has stood out as an Eco Rep, coordinating environmental events, processes and systems, and educational programming for UM residence halls. She co-chairs the Food Systems Working Group and is actively involved with Students for Real Food, UM Climate Action Now, the ASUM Sustainability Committee and 1,000 New Gardens.
Radford also has worked to create an on-campus farmers market and designed a system to help University students on meal plans use their money to purchase healthy, local foods. Additionally, she initiated a campus Real Foods movement, successfully encouraging the University to sign a commitment stating that 20 percent of food purchases will be “real foods” by 2020.
“The world is facing a multitude of environmental challenges: We are running out of resources, losing critical ecosystems and experiencing vast climatic variability,” Radford said. “I am deeply passionate about these environmental issues, as well as those of social justice. Every being on this planet should have basic resources and the economic opportunity to sustain life.”
Radford currently is studying abroad in Argentina, working to understand the effect of climate change and economic influence on small farmers.
Newman Civic Fellows are recommended by college and university presidents to acknowledge motivation and ability in public leadership. The awards are made in memory of Frank Newman, who dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform.