Ethyl Ruehman

Ethyl Ruehman, a first-year public affairs major at Indiana University Northwest was nominated by former Chancellor William J. Lowe

2020-2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are changemakers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact partner institutions. Fellows are nominated by their president or chancellor on the basis of their potential for public leadership.

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides students with training and resources that nurture their assets and passions and help them develop strategies for social change. The year-long 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.

Ethyl is committed to building clean, resilient, and united communities. Her work began with the creation of a blog, “Sustainable Bee,” a vehicle for sharing the message of sustainability. Ethyl’s deep commitment to effecting change in her home community of Northwest Indiana motivated her decision to remain in the region to pursue her degree in public affairs. In addition to studying environmental policy, she actively supports local sustainability initiatives. For example, she is a member of the Beyond Coal Coalition, an administrator for a Greenconnect Facebook group, and is co-administrator of CoThrive Timebank, a community-centered alternative currency based on the idea that no person’s hours are worth more than others. CoThrive is built on the principles of reciprocity and mutual benefit and enables people to see value and fulfillment in their lives through community interactions. Ethyl’s leadership in creating the Northwest Indiana Youth Climate Council speaks to her willingness to create connections and assume leadership when action is required. She has earned the respect of the community as well as her fellow students and faculty, and she is an agent of change seeking to “reconnect with and heal our earth.”

Personal Statement

Our world is changing rapidly, and so is the way we interact with it– and each other. In middle school, learning about sustainability was a fierce passion of mine. I have since gone on to learn the value of resilient local communities, regenerative agriculture, and youth voices. I wholeheartedly believe that real solutions begin within communities at the grassroots level. Last year, I became a co-administrator for CoThrive timebank, a community-centered organization. It is built on the principle of reciprocity and the idea that EVERY person has something to offer. As I continue to study and build vital community planning skills to develop the timebank, making it more accessible to others, I also have been highly engaged with people/communities on climate action for building a regenerative region. I am currently dedicated to coordinating for the NWI Youth Climate Council. Youth voices are often overlooked in conversations that determine their future. On September 20, 2019, in solidarity with millions of youth around the globe, youth representatives from cities in Northwest Indiana voiced their personal stories related to contaminated water and environmental racism, and how they have been impacted. That day is the essence of what I want my work to embody.

Ethyl Ruehman
Public Affairs/Environmental Policy: Class of 2023
written 2020