Student, Community Champion Named 2024 Newman Civic Fellow

Elijah Mudryk receives access to leadership development and educational resources

A man sits on a concrete bench in a darkened room.

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi psychology graduate student Elijah Mudryk will spend the next year learning how to make the world a better place as a 2024 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow.

Mudryk, a clinical psychology doctoral candidate, is among a cohort of 142 students selected from 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico. University presidents nominate students based on their potential for public leadership and community work.

"This fellowship reflects Elijah's outstanding leadership, and I applaud his engagement with communities and his drive to problem-solve and help groups access resources," Chancellor Glenn Boyce said.

Elijah Mudryk

"In particular, his work with the Psychological Services Center at the University of Mississippi has helped provide evidence-based social skills training for neurodivergent children, demonstrating the reach and impact of our graduate students' efforts on the greater community."

Each student will participate in learning and networking sessions, one-on-one leadership development and opportunities to present or publish work through Campus Compact, a coalition of colleges and universities with a goal of expanding the public impact of higher education.

Mudryk plans to maximize the fellowship by connecting with people from disciplines outside of psychology in search of new ways to approach community issues.

"I'd love to learn as much as I can from business, from art, from sociology, from communications, from the hard sciences, all of the different fields I can," he said. "How they communicate findings to the public, how they really try to instrument change using their knowledge."

"We spend years and years and years learning these really specific ways of understanding things and it's so hard to communicate that knowledge to the public a lot of the time. Trying to learn from different perspectives and seeing how they've applied civic change will be the most useful thing."

Mudryk's research and personal interests focus on community health and resilience.

Some of his projects include:

  • Investigating what inspires African Americans to vote
  • Organizing free chronic pain clinics in the community
  • Working with hospitals and clinics to educate the community on behavioral health
  • Collaborating with Delta Autumn Consulting and the UM Graduate School to organize digital mental health training workshops.

Mudryk is deserving of this fellowship because he seeks out opportunities to grow, learn and help, said Annette Kluck, dean of the Graduate School and professor of leader and counselor education.

Elijah Mudryk (second from right) helps with a fundraiser for Syrian refugees while conducting research in British Columbia, Canada. Submitted photo

"Elijah is committed to his studies and ensuring that the results of his research benefit people beyond the lab and the research committee," Kluck said. "He presents at conferences and pursues research projects that are designed to expand access to mental health."

Mudryk is a community champion who embodies the qualities of a Newman Civic Fellow, said Danielle Maack, his practicum supervisor and CEO of Delta Autumn Consulting.

"He's all about connection, increasing resources and disseminating the best information for people to get the most help, especially underserved communities," Maack said.

"Being able to have those evidence-based solutions for people who otherwise might not have that access is really at the heart of a lot of things for him."

Mudryk is the second Ole Miss student to be named a Newman Civic Fellow, following Caroline Leonard, a member of the 2023 cohort.


Marvis Herring



May 24, 2024