OSU Institute of Technology Nursing student Andrew Brestel has always felt a sense of duty to his community and a responsibility for the care and well-being of others.
“I feel that if you are a part of your community, you should treat it as something you cherish and respect, so it is our duty to ensure it stays maintained and everyone that makes up the community is taken care of,” said Brestel.
This type of outlook is what qualified this Muskogee native to be named one of the 2020 Newman Civic Fellows Award winners. Brestel is among 290 students, 15 from Oklahoma’s colleges and universities. The cohort represents 39 states, Washington, D.C., Greece, Lebanon and Mexico.
“It is a huge honor to be named a Newman Civic Fellow,” said Brestel excitedly. “It does come with much responsibility, but I am definitely up for the task!”
The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are change makers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact member institutions. The fellowship provides students with training and resources that nurture their assets and passions and help them develop strategies for social change.
“We’re proud to have Brestel represent OSUIT as a Newman Civic Fellow,” said Dr. Bill R. Path, OSUIT president. “He is passionate about leading efforts to address access to proper medical facilities that provide adequate, affordable healthcare to their patients.”
The yearlong program, named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, includes virtual learning opportunities and networking as part of a national network of engaged student leaders and an optional in-person convening. Fellows are nominated by their president based on their potential for public leadership.
Brestel says that he hopes to lead by example so that others may become leaders in the community.
“The impact and profound effect on giving to others and the community draws me toward wanting to impact as many people as possible,” said Brestel. “I want to make a difference and would gladly take on difficult challenges including social issues such as disparaged groups not able to have proper access to adequate medical care and the ability for health care facilities to properly provide adequate care. These are both problems that can be fixed.”
He has been active with his community, including participating in Walk to Defeat ALS for patients and families battling ALS, organize and assist with events, mentored youth through coaching wrestling and has donated items for families and children through self-service and the the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.
Brestel plans to continue his service at OSUIT through the Nursing department by finding or creating events that will enrich the community and make it possible to reach the population with the most need.
Upon graduating from OSUIT, Brestel plans to continue his work in the community and further pursue his education to become a Nurse Anesthetist.