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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) announced the creation of a new Engagement Office that will serve to connect students, faculty, staff, and community-focused efforts taking place on and across campus. of the UN to more strategically leverage one of the university’s great strengths.
A formal announcement of the creation of the Office of Engagement was made by UN Chancellor Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA, on Tuesday, October 11, during an event highlighting “Career Connect,” a recently launched university effort that leverages the community of relationships with businesses and nonprofits to provide students with guaranteed paid internship opportunities.
“As an urban metropolitan university, community engagement is at the heart of everything we do,” said Chancellor Li. “Today we announce a new chapter in fostering community engagement and partnerships. meaningful and impactful communities.”
The Office of Engagement will be overseen by Sara Woods, who was appointed Director of UN Engagement earlier this year. Woods has served as Director of the Barbara Weitz Center for Community Engagement since 2014, a position she will continue to hold as she assumes her new role.
“I am truly honored and thrilled to lead the Office of Engagement, which will be dedicated to ensuring that the UN is best placed to respond to the critical needs and greatest opportunities facing our community,” said Woods. “With a focus on communication, partnership and the metropolitan mission of the UN, the Office of Engagement will facilitate the growth of research, learning and engaged service on the UN campus. “
The Office of Engagement will provide strategy and direction for existing units such as the Service Learning Academy, Volunteer and Civic Engagement programs and the Barbara Weitz Center for Community Engagement, as well as expand efforts such as the Community Engagement Partnership Initiative and the transcript designation of community-engaged researchers.
Woods said the new structure is the successful culmination of decades of community efforts that have shaped the UN’s identity as the University of Omaha. In addition to the construction of the Barbara Weitz Center for Community Engagement, the first such building in the world at the time, the UN was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation with its official Community Engagement classification and, in 2014, the he United Nations was recognized among more than 800 universities by the White House for a community engagement effort that boosted economic opportunity.
“[We] will work to ensure that individuals, organizations and institutions far beyond the physical limits of our campus can more easily connect with the vast knowledge, talent, student energy, information and events that the can be found at the UN every day.
A new resource page for the Office of Engagement is also available for all students, faculty, staff, and community members who wish to partner with and support any of the office’s initiatives. You can learn more and meet the Office of Engagement team by visiting engage.unomaha.edu.