UIC student earns national civic honor
Marvin Slaughter is dedicated to ensuring that higher education remains a priority for policymakers in Illinois.
As the University of Illinois at Chicago junior witnessed the state’s budget impasse affect students and faculty in recent years, he sought out several roles to encourage funding in support of the university and public higher education.
Slaughter’s efforts, both on and off campus, recently earned him a 2018 Newman Civic Fellowship by Campus Compact, a national nonprofit coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities. He is among 268 students who will make up the organization’s fellows cohort this year.
UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis, who nominated Slaughter for the award, called him a “servant leader dedicated to increasing civic engagement amongst college students through political advocacy and empowering the voice of students.”
Slaughter has worked with Illinois Connection, the legislative advocacy network of the University of Illinois Alumni Association, and the University of Illinois System’s Office of Government Relations to advocate in Springfield, on Capitol Hill and in district legislator offices across the Chicagoland area.
“My catalyst for my work related to higher education funding was witnessing close personal acquaintances unable to continue furthering their education due to the uncertainty surrounding MAP grants at the time,” said Slaughter, who is dual majoring in political science and economics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “It has been a personal pleasure to advocate on behalf of students who need this funding to better their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities.”
Slaughter, a member of the Honors College, serves as president of the UIC Student Advocacy Coalition, where he leads the faculty-student alliance in grassroots government relations efforts, as well as campus-based initiatives to encourage more student civic engagement, such as voter registration and early voting.
Event planning and logistics, research on Illinois political trends, and surveying campaign contributions are among Slaughter’s current duties as an intern with the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a non-partisan public interest and advocacy group. He formerly interned for State Sen. Michael E. Hastings.
He is also a member of UIC Provost Susan Poser’s Student Advisory Board and serves as an ambassador for the Honors College and UIC, with the latter considered one of the highest student honors at the university.
Slaughter, a native of Markham, Illinois, says that at an early age he recognized the important role education plays in transforming economic circumstances.
While at Hillcrest High School, he was president of the school’s National Honor Society chapter, completed over 250 community service hours, and helped establish a mentor program to prepare local grammar school students for their transition to high school.
“My experience with ‘Project Bridging the Gap’ helped me to recognize my passion for ensuring students had the tools needed to be successful academically, and that passion has carried over to my current college career and my work with advocacy,” he said. “The notion of giving back to my community has been a part of my foundation as a person.”
Slaughter’s other notable honors include the Chancellor’s Student Service and Leadership Award, and the President’s Award Program Honors, which is the most prestigious four-year tuition and housing scholarship given to exemplary incoming first-year Honors College students.
Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate. The fellowship also offers access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.
The Newman Civic Fellowship program, which is named in tribute to Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is supported by KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.