Kennesaw State senior selected as Newman Civic Fellow for 2015


KENNESAW, Ga. (April 3, 2015) – When Kennesaw State University senior Khylil “Khy…

Georgia (Mar 31, 2015)

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 3, 2015) – When Kennesaw State University senior Khylil “Khy” Chestnut learned of his selection as a Newman Civic Fellow for 2015, the first thing he did was to call his mother in Douglasville and tell her the good news.

Chestnut had just been selected by a group of college and university presidents from 36 states plus the District of Columbia, all members of Campus Compact, who nominated student leaders they believed represent the best of the next generation of civic leaders.

“My mother doesn’t get excited about much,” Chestnut recalled, “but she really got excited about this. And for me, this is just a dream come true!

Chestnut, a political science major with a dual minor in business management and dance, who served as vice president of the Kennesaw State Student Government Association and currently serves as director of external affairs for the group, has distinguished himself throughout his time at Kennesaw State as someone who cares deeply about helping others.

In putting forward Chestnut’s name for consideration, Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp stated, “Khylil Chestnut is an outstanding example of student leadership and commitment to civic engagement. Khylil combined his commitment to community impact and academic studies as a 2014 Civic Leadership, Engagement and Research Fellow. Through this KSU undergraduate research program, he supported faculty-led research that explored how workforce skills are developed through service in the community.”

Papp praised what he termed Chestnut’s “commendable engagement in civic leadership and public service,” which he said, “is evidenced in the depth and breadth of his curricular and co-curricular activities. Khylil’s involvement includes direct service, civic leadership, and engaged scholarship. He has participated in numerous university initiatives to advance community engagement and regularly serves as a student advocate for diversity and inclusion in our efforts to strengthen community partnerships.”

The nomination also noted Chestnut’s involvement in university-sponsored programs and his “remarkable personal commitment and leadership through volunteer service and internships.”

“Khylil is an exceptional student leader and reflection of KSU’s commitment to community engagement,” Papp said.

Chestnut was cited for his assistance in the organization of campaign events for a gubernatorial candidate, leadership for the recruitment, training and coordination for over 20,000 volunteers for an Atlanta-based nonprofit, and garnering support for a city referendum through the collection of more than 3,000 resident signatures.

“Community is a very personal and meaningful concept to me,” Chestnut said. “I believe community engagement is a lifestyle that reflects regular commitment to action. As a proud and bold Kennesaw State student, I have focused on developing a diverse and inclusive community through service on the Cultural and Climate Assessment Task Force. I strongly believe that through diversity, ideas are stronger, and I have encouraged collaborative decision-making in each leadership role I have served in.”

Chestnut said he plans to use some of the proceeds from his Newman scholarship for graduate school.

“I plan on going to law school and studying for a master’s in city and regional planning at the same time,” Chestnut said. “It’s a special four-year, combined degree program. When I’m finished, I hope to work with an economic development agency with a focus on helping the arts.”

The Newman Civic Fellows Award is sponsored by the KPMG Foundation. Newman Fellows are selected through service, research and advocacy. These Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.

# # #


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 32,000 students from 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country. 



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit