Published 04/27/17

Brianna LaGuardia ’19: A Newman Civic Fellow committed to community

Major: Business Administration
Concentrations: Social Entrepreneurship, Global Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Lavallette, NJ
Path: Newman Civic Fellowship

Brianna LaGuardia '19 Brianna LaGuardia ’19 has devoted her life to social entrepreneurship. “I strive to make the world a better place for people who are not as fortunate and need assistance,” she says.

"This is an incredible opportunity and I hope that it allows me to bring more awareness to social entrepreneurship."

This drive recently led to her being named a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a national higher education association dedicated to campus-based civic engagement. As a fellow, LaGuardia will take part in an array of educational and networking opportunities, including a national conference in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities. 

“This is an incredible opportunity and I hope that it allows me to bring more awareness to social entrepreneurship to the Bryant campus,” LaGuardia said. She is one of 273 Newman Civic Fellows this year. The last Newman Civic Fellow from Bryant was  Rocina Dalzell '13  in 2012.

President Ronald K. Machtley and Associate Professor of Sociology Sandra Enos, Ph.D., nominated LaGuardia for the fellowship.

Addressing education challenges in Haiti

At Bryant, LaGuardia worked on the  Giving for Good marketplace, a pop-up market featuring vendors whose profits support social enterprises. In just four hours, LaGuardia and her team raised more than $5,600, which included funds to provide aid to Haiti and humanitarian relief to Syrian refugee camps. She is also an Honors Program peer mentor, a student assistant for the Women’s Summit, and serves on the Special Olympics Committee and Professional Development Committee of the Honors Council.

In Enos’s Community Engagement and Service Learning class, LaGuardia and another student came up with the idea of creating wooden learning blocks for children in Haiti who could not receive an education. Games on each side of the blocks are related to creating proper sentences, spelling, and other essential learning tasks.

“Brianna has not only educated herself about the challenges facing the world, but she has begun the important work of addressing these issues,” Enos wrote in her nomination.

“Brianna ... is destined to make a difference in the world,” Machtley wrote. “She is interested not only in educating herself in the issues of the day, but in understanding what it takes to make a difference.”