TCC Student Named 2015 Newman Civic Fellow

May 6, 2015

Michael Ferguson, a Tulsa Community College student and veteran, is a 2015 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow. He is one 200 student leaders from colleges nationwide recognized for their work in finding solutions to the challenges that face our communities throughout the country.

Ferguson is a disabled veteran who wants to help other veterans overcome drug and alcohol addiction. He is a Human Services major with emphasis in chemical and alcohol dependency and is expected to complete his coursework in summer 2015. He dreams of opening a sober-living facility to assist veterans in trouble, coming out of prison and those living on the street.

Veteran served his country, now serves his community

He is committed to making a difference when he could have easily been a statistic. Ferguson survived a head-on collision, the Gulf War, a plane crash, and the loss of a child. He eventually spiraled out of control and survived a near suicide-by-cop while suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and spent nearly a year in jail on related charges. Yet, he believes overcoming those obstacles gives his life purpose so he can be an advocate on veterans’ issues.

TCC President and CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. nominated Ferguson for his community and civic engagement. The Newman Civic Fellow recognizes a student’s public involvement and motivation to create lasting change by inspiring other students, the college and the community.

“Michael is compassionate, confident, and courageous in his endeavors to serve veterans and overcoming many obstacles in his life and in his service to our country,” said Goodson. “Michael’s willingness to continue the battle to make the world a better place is inspiring to the whole community of TCC. Michael is the epitome of what it means to serve others. His spirit of perseverance and dedication to the helping profession is unsurpassed.”

Ferguson will receive a $500 scholarship. In addition, TCC had two runners-up, Laurie Althouse and James Hrncir, who were recognized for their outstanding contributions. The students selected for this recognition serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world.

The Newman Civic Fellows Award is named for Dr. Frank Newman, one of the founders of Campus Compact, who dedicated his life to creating opportunities for student civic learning and engagement. Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents—representing some 6 million students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is generously sponsored by the KPMG Foundation.