University awards five service fellowships to incoming students

Fellows perform 10 hours of service per week during four academic years | June 10, 2005

Most students spend a lot of time in classrooms and residence halls. But there are some University students who spend nearly as much time in shelters for the homeless or battered women, orphanages, soup kitchens prisons or hospitals. They are Xavier's service fellows. Now in its 16th year, the service fellowship is set up to attract academically gifted high school seniors who have an exemplary record of consistent service to community, school or church, plus the proven ability to lead other students into service.

The fall 2005 Service Fellows are Jennifer Ellis from Cincinnati, Cassandra Kennedy from Aurora, Ohio, Krista Kutz from St. Louis, Dhwani Mehta, Troy, Mich., and Matthew Niehaus from Cincinnati.

The fellowship provides full tuition, room, board, and books for each fellow for four years. In return, service fellows perform 10 hours of service per week during the four academic years.

"I do think it's an effort on the University's part to put money behind its ideals,” says Tom Kennealy, S.J., associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the scholarship committee. “If we are committed to service to others, this program bears witness to our commitment in a concrete way.”

Most perform more, says Gene Carmichael, S.J., associate vice president for Mission and Ministry and mentor to the fellows. They also participate in leadership and reflection activities, promote service on and off campus, and speak and write about their experiences. They must also maintain a 3.0 grade point average their first year and 3.25 thereafter.

“We don't want service to be top-down,” says Carmichael. “In the service-encounter both people share their gifts with each other. Both learn more about their own goodness and about the goodness of life. God’s love is in their midst.”