CIVIC SCHOLARS The Office of Civic & Community Engagement recognizes this year's class of 2020 Civic Scholars

In its second year, the Civic Scholars program recognizes, connects, and develops civically-minded students whose work in the community is both deep and broad. Unable to be recognized in person at the Office of Civic and Community Engagement's (OCCE) annual Service Awards ceremony, this year's class of 2020 scholars is celebrated virtually.

Throughout their time at Wake Forest, Civic Scholars participate in workshops while completing work across three key areas: academics, direct service, and leadership development. As they prepare to graduate, they work alongside a staff adviser from the OCCE to develop a capstone project. Leaders both on campus and in the community, Civic Scholars are connected with a diversity of causes and organizations.

2020 civic scholars

Zakary Amen

Monet Beatty

Ashley Berry

Kate Dougherty

Ryan Keller

Victoria Latham

Cat Mizzi

Carla Pena-Vega

Grace Russell

Yassmin Shaltout

Madison Sinclair

Learn More about select members of the 2020 Civic Scholars program.


A Biology major with minors in both Environmental Studies and Dance, Monet Beatty will continue her education at Wake Forest next year, pursuing a Masters degree in Sustainability. Throughout her time as an undergraduate student, Beatty worked in the Office of Sustainability as an intern, helping to lead the environmental education partnership with Piedmont Environmental Alliance (PEA), and was both a Presidential Scholar for Dance and a Presidential Aide.

As the Environmental Education Intern with the Office of Sustainability, Beatty recruited volunteers and trained them on the PEA curriculum so the group could educate middle school students in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system on environmental issues.

In her final year at Wake Forest, Beatty created and produced Breathe, combining her knowledge and passion for both dance and environmental justice. Due to COVID-19, and the move to remote instruction at Wake Forest, Breathe -- which was set to debut in Brendle Recital Hall on April 9 -- was re-imagined as a short documentary film. While not a full production as originally intended, Beatty was able to provide a different perspective for environmental issues by utilizing art and dance throughout her original production and her short film.

ashley berry

A Communications major with a Schools, Education, and Society minor, Ashley Berry has spent her time as an undergraduate student at Wake Forest deeply rooted in service. A member of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Berry was actively involved with the Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest, first as a shift leader her sophomore year, again her junior year as the Procurement Director, and finally as the Policy and Advocacy Chair her senior year.

In her most recent role as Policy and Advocacy Chair, Berry designed curriculum for the 40-person Campus Kitchen Leadership Team. After researching topics of interest across food justice and food sustainability, Berry developed a monthly series of dialogues with associated readings to facilitate conversation on both a national and local level.

In addition to her time with Campus Kitchen, Berry was also involved with Azalea Terrace, El Buen Pastor, NC Faith Health, and Potter's House.

Ryan Keller

A long-time volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House and the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Ryan Keller's future plans were heavily shaped by his community engagement while at Wake Forest. An Anthropology major, with minors in Biology, Chemistry, and Spanish, Keller will be working for a medical consulting company upon graduation, with hopes of attending medical school in the future.

Each of his experiences working as a Wake Forest student in the Winston-Salem and Forsyth County community allowed Keller to experience a well-rounded and candid connection with local groups and professionals that guided his research and future ambitions.

Keller credits his time working in the community while attending Wake Forest for shaping his path to medical school and future goals. Instead of pursuing the traditional pre-med tracks, Keller studied Anthropology and Spanish in order to build connections with communities through cultural understanding -- working through backgrounds, challenges, and influences. Beyond his involvement with the Ronald McDonald House and Medical Center, Keller also spent a significant amount of time with Latino Community Services, working with local elementary school students.

victoria latham

Throughout her time as an undergraduate student, Victoria Latham has immersed herself in both the Wake Forest and Winston-Salem community as a Co-Director for both Hit The Bricks and Dash Corps, and Captain of the Equestrian Team. A dual major in Politics and French, Latham is continuing her service to the community following graduation by working with the Winston-Salem Action Coalition as a Volunteer In Service To America (AmeriCorps*VISTA). After AmeriCorps, Latham hopes to enter the Peace Corps before returning to graduate school to study Economic and Community Development in order to pursue a career in policy work.

A member of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Latham was actively involved with Campus Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County, Twin City Harm Reduction, and the Salvation Army.

When reflecting on her time at Wake Forest, Latham is most proud of how much she has learned about the Winston-Salem community that she has called home for four years. Through her community-engaged efforts, Latham ensured the work she accomplished as both a student at Wake Forest and member of the Winston-Salem community had a positive and sustainable impact.


A Health and Exercise Science major with minors in Health Policy and Administration, Chemistry, and Economics, Grace Russell spent her undergraduate career heavily involved with Campus Kitchen. In her senior year, Russell served on the Campus Kitchen Executive Board as the Student Co-Coordinator, helping to oversee the entire Campus Kitchen operation.

Under her direction as Student Coordinator, community partner outreach grew exponentially. She worked tirelessly to meet the needs of community partners -- representing a wide variety of populations -- by encouraging her peers to serve meals that catered to their respective requests. Whether that meant buying no-salt canned vegetables for senior citizens with hypertension, or making kid-friendly meals for after-school groups, Russell ensured that Campus Kitchen served its partners with dignity, while maintaining mutual partnerships. One of her biggest contributions with Campus Kitchen: developing a long-standing relationship with City With Dwellings after serving as a shift-leader her sophomore year.

Throughout her time with Campus Kitchen, Russell began to look at food insecurity not just in the Winston-Salem community, but on campus as well. In her final year, Russell was researching food insecurity on campus, while developing a plan to confront the issue. Unfortunately, the move to virtual instruction disrupted her research, but her work is the start of a critical dialogue on campus.

Following graduation, Russell will be found in the classroom, teaching English through the Fulbright Program or middle school science with Teach for America.

Yassmin shaltout

A leader in community-engaged work on campus, Yassmin Shaltout has been deeply rooted in both the Wake Forest and Winston-Salem community since her freshman year. An Anthropology major with minors in Biology and Chemistry, Shaltout has served as the Dash Corps Director, President for Wake Women in STEM, a Wake Alternative Break trip leader, and grade advisor for Crosby Scholars in her final year as an undergraduate student.

Her focus on community-engaged work allowed Shaltout to realize that she valued learning about societies, cultures, and inequality, and how each of those factors influence a person's life. This encouraged her decision to major in Anthropology, which allowed her to implement in the community the concepts she learned in the classroom on a deeper, intellectual level.

In her work as a Dash Corps Director this past year, Shaltout worked with Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, surveying under-served areas in Winston-Salem on how they would like to see their communities develop in the years to come. While meeting with a community member she ended up speaking with a local child about going to college when they were older. The child responded that she never thought about going to college because she had never met anyone that had attended a university. In that moment, Shaltout realized exactly how much representation, access, and influence matter -- and how college students have the ability to inspire future generations in the communities that they call home as a student. It was a moment when Pro Humanitate came full circle, and reminded her of her passion for community engagement.

Madison Sinclair

A dual major in Philosophy and Politics and International Affairs, Madison Sinclair will be continuing her education at the University of Edinburgh pursuing a Master's degree in International Business and Emerging Markets upon graduation from Wake Forest in May.

A Richter Scholar, Sinclair spent the summer leading into her senior year in India conducting research and serving as a volunteer for various non-governmental organizations. While on campus, Sinclair served as a member of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity and was heavily involved with Campus Kitchen as a member of the Leadership Team.

Sinclair's community and engaged work while at Wake Forest was heavily rooted in philosophy, particularly Amartya Sen's Capability Approach, which claims that the freedom to achieve well-being is of primary and moral importance. She hopes to keep using this approach in her work after graduation to continue to make a difference in the life of others.

Created By
Jennifer Rubin


Wake Forest University