MISSOULA – Mackenzie Lombardi, a communications and political science major at the University of Montana, recently was named a Newman Civic Fellow. She is one of 10 students across Montana to earn the honor.
Newman Civic Fellows are young leaders nominated by college and university presidents who are part of Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,100 institutions committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility.
A Missoula native, Lombardi has set her sights on changing the nature of American political rhetoric. Using her communication skills, she has served as a student government campaign manager, interned with the Office of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and served as an advocate with UM’s Student Advocacy Resource Center.
“We are all hyperaware of the fear-mongering and uneducated, offensive rhetoric that can dominate the political sphere,” Lombardi said. “This is not what public discourse should be. We are all better served when our politics is about speaking the truth well.
“The political rhetoric I intend to shape is one that meets people where they are ideologically and appeals to basic instincts for compassion, justice and tolerance. This is what draws me to political communication, and why I love campaigns.”
Lombardi has dedicated herself to public problem-solving and promoting equality. She holds herself to high standards of kindness and dedication when working with others and will set aside personal goals in pursuit of a common good.
“Whether knocking doors in a statewide campaign or drafting a strategy for a student body election, I find power and passion in helping those who would represent us solidify and polish their message,” she said. “At my core I believe that words matter, and through rhetoric I can shift the tone of American politics.”
The Newman Civic Fellows Award is sponsored by the KPMG and Newman’s Own foundations. Through service, research and advocacy, these Fellows make the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.
For more information about Campus Compact, Montana Campus Compact or the award, visit http://compact.org/ or http://mtcompact.org/. A full list of the 2016 Newman Civic Fellows can be found at http://compact.org/resource-posts/2016-newman-civic-fellows-announced/.