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Source: Molly Hamm,;
and Matt Lindsey, 785-320-0700,
Web sites: and
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415,

Molly Hamm


MANHATTAN -- A Kansas State University student's commitment to civic leadership and public engagement has earned her the Frank Newman Leadership Award from Campus Compact for 2009-2010.

Molly Hamm, senior in English literature and secondary education, Shawnee, is one of only two national recipients of the $5,000 award this year. She also is K-State's first-ever recipient of the honor.

The award provides financial support and mentorships to help students achieve their civic and academic goals. The award, established by the Frank Newman Leadership Fund, honors the legacy of Frank Newman. Newman was the co-founder of Campus Compact, which promotes civic engagement in higher education by fostering students' involvement in public service and as democratic change-agents.

"This is an extraordinary recognition of Molly's exceptional record of civic engagement and service," said Mary Tolar, interim director of K-State's School of Leadership Studies. "Working with K-State President-elect Kirk Schulz, Molly developed a mentoring plan that the two will implement next year. The plan also presents the opportunity for ongoing mentoring partnerships for future students. Molly is an exceptional student leader -- this is yet another demonstration of how she is changing the landscape of student civic engagement at K-State."

"I am both honored and humbled to be a recipient of the Newman Leadership Award. The financial support from this award will cover my education expenses, which will enable me to give my full attention to civic action and developing a mentoring relationship with President-elect Schulz next year," Hamm said.

Under the mentoring plan, Hamm's civic leadership capacities and skills will be fostered by Schulz, making a learning partnership of a first-year president and a student leader on campus and in the community.

Hamm, who also is pursuing a secondary major in international studies and a minor in nonprofit leadership, wants to teach high school English, then complete graduate studies in international and comparative education. Her goals include a career working with learning and innovation at the Kansas Department of Education.

Hamm has demonstrated her civic leadership abilities at K-State in many varied ways. She has been a student senator and chair of several Student Governing Association committees. She is president of the K-State Student Foundation, and is a member of K-State's Delta Delta Delta sorority, Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and American Humanics Student Association.

She serves on the planning committee for the IMPACT National Student Conference on Service, Advocacy and Social Action. She has served on K-State's Panhellenic Council and is the honors program representative for the Teacher Education Advisory Council.

Hamm is the founder of the university's Greeks Going Green initiative, and is a founding member of the K-State Student Sustainability Coalition. In addition, she has served as an AmeriCorps-Kansas Community Youth Service Corps member, a K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan Start Up Team member, a Teach for America campus liaison, a United Nations Environment Programme "Kick the Carbon Habit" Campaign Youth Network representative, secretary of the K-State Child Development Center advisory board, and has interned in the Kansas House of Representatives.

She is a recipient of the Marjorie J. and Richard L. D. Morse Family and Community Public Policy Scholarship and was selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University in New Orleans in the Energy and Climate Change Category. She has received a Next Generation Nonprofit Leader Award and multiple $1,000 academic scholarships from American Humanics, and also a Greek Woman of the Year Award from K-State.

"Molly is an exceptional young woman, dedicated and committed to the common good. Her unassuming determination on behalf of Kansas State University, the community at large, and to the world are unequivocal," said Olivia Collins, director of American Humanics at K-State. "The Newman Award is well-deserved public recognition of Molly's commitment, talent and ability."

The daughter of Tim and Lori Hamm, she is a 2005 graduate of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School.

Campus Compact is a 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. As the only national association dedicated to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building civic engagement and academic life. K-State is a member of Kansas Campus Compact.