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UC San Diego Undergraduate Named Principal Community Scholar

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Selena Lopez is one of only 20 students selected to participate in the new Principal Community Scholar Program.

UC San Diego undergraduate Selena Lopez was recently recognized for her efforts to give back to the San Diego community while promoting health, the environment and social justice. The Sustainability Office student ambassador has been selected by College Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,000 colleges and universities, to participate in the Principal Community Scholar Program, a prestigious opportunity to lead a campus community service project and receive a $1,000 scholarship. The program, currently in its first year, is funded by Principal, a global financial services company based in Des Moines, Iowa which invests in both national and international community and employee engagement. 

“We were impressed by the caliber of the community projects students will be taking on as a part of this scholarship,” said Iowa Campus Compact Executive Director Emily Shields.  “It is clear they have a deep commitment to their communities and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish.” 

Selected from university students throughout California and Iowa, Lopez is one of 20 students admitted to the program. A fifth year student with a dual major in General Biology and Global Health, and a minor in Healthcare and Social Issues, she hopes to initiate a project that will combine her commitment to sustainability with her personal and academic interests.  Working with the Intergenerational Collaboration Initiative and the Sustainability Office, she has proposed a program to bring together local seniors and UC San Diego students through volunteer projects focused on food, the environment and social justice.

“I hope that these projects will help participants cultivate activism, compassion and understanding between generations while contributing positively to the health of the community and the environment,” said Lopez.

Lopez met virtually with other Principal Scholars recently for a retreat designed to introduce key concepts related to community engagement and service. The program members connected with each other and learned about the work being done by Principal and Campus Compact. 

Lopez will have the opportunity to continue working with other students, Campus Compact staff and her on-campus advisor this term as she completes her project.  She will then submit an evaluation report and video detailing her results.

As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact enables campuses to develop students’ citizenship skills and forage effective community partnerships. Its resources support faculty and staff as they pursue community-based teaching and scholarship in the service of positive change.


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