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CESL launches civic engagement ambassador program

Civic Engagement Ambassadors Program Meeting

Associate Provost Ani Yazedjian makes remarks at the program kick-off event

Illinois State University faculty and staff members gathered recently to celebrate the kick-off of the new Civic Engagement Ambassadors Program through the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CESL).

The role of the new Civic Engagement Ambassadors is to advance civic engagement at Illinois State University through department-level conversations and information sharing. The ambassadors will also be liaisons for CESL, sharing department/unit activities with CESL staff.

“I’m thrilled with the launch of this new program and the opportunities it offers us to build and strengthen our relationships with so many units across the University,” said Harriett Steinbach, interim director at CESL. “Our ambassadors will be advocates who will help us all advance the University’s core value of civic engagement.”

Civic Engagement Ambassadors Program Meeting

Civic Engagement Ambassadors attend the program kick-off meeting.

The inaugural group of Civic Engagement Ambassadors includes 47 people representing 46 different units, including faculty in colleges and staff members in the Division of Student Affairs and Athletics.

“I’m very excited about this new role and think it is a great way to encourage more faculty to get their students civically-engaged,” said ambassador Dave Kopsell, professor of horticulture in the Department of Agriculture. “I’m also excited to watch the connection between our campus and our community grow and the mutual support and partnerships that will be created.”

Ambassador Miranda Lin, professor at the School of Teaching and Learning, is also looking forward to the work of the new program. “I am certainly excited about being an inaugural ambassador,” said Lin. “It is our human nature to serve, and I am happy to be given the opportunity to share my humble experience in civic engagement with our colleagues.”

Associate Provost Ani Yazedjian and Dean of Students John Davenport both offered remarks at the program’s kick-off, representing the dual-reporting nature of CESL as well as the campus-wide aspect of the Civic Engagement Ambassadors Program.

Civic Engagement Ambassadors Program Meeting

Civic Engagement Ambassadors attend the program kick-off meeting.

“I’m excited about the important work our Civic Engagement Ambassadors will be doing,” said Yazedjian. “This program not only advances a core value of the University, but it also directly supports our strategic plan. Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State—The Strategic Plan for Illinois’ First Public University 2018–2023 specifically states that Illinois State University faculty and staff will promote and encourage civic engagement and service learning. Our new Civic Engagement Ambassadors will be doing just that.”

The CESL Civic Engagement Ambassadors are:

  • Olcay Akman, Mathematics
  • Deneca Avant, School of Social Work
  • Jen Barnes, Family & Consumer Sciences
  • Ce-Ce Brookins, University Housing Services
  • Tom Buller, Philosophy
  • Kerri Calvert, Health Promotion & Wellness
  • Linda Clemmons, History
  • Shelly Clevenger, Criminal Justice Sciences
  • Dana Davidson, Graduate School
  • Tashay Dennie, Dean of Students Office
  • Michael Gardner, University Police Department
  • Rosie Hauck, Accounting
  • Mary Henninger, School of Kinesiology and Recreation
  • Alycia Hund, Psychology
  • Elahe Javadi, School of Information Technology
  • Jin Jo, Department of Technology
  • Jim Jones, Katie School of Insurance
  • Chad Kahl, Milner Library
  • Peter Kaufman, Marketing
  • Joe Klausner, Athletics
  • Dave Kopsell, Agriculture
  • John Kostelnick, Geography, Geology, and the Environment
  • Jackie Lanier, Health Sciences
  • Miranda Lin, School of Teaching & Learning
  • Lance Lippert, School of Communication
  • Ciera Lorio, Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • Rose Marshack, School of Music
  • Christie Martin, Honors Program
  • David Marx, Physics
  • Sarah Metivier, Student Access & Accommodation Services
  • Hope Miller, Career Center
  • Lyn Morris, Financial Aid
  • Dimitrious Nikolaou, Economics
  • Kelsey Orrill, Campus Recreation
  • James Pancrazio, Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Katie Pratt, University College
  • Adriana Ransom, School of Music
  • Matt Schwab, International Studies and Programs
  • John Sedbrook, School of Biological Sciences
  • Noha Shawki, Politics and Government
  • Archana Shekara, Wonsook Kim School of Art
  • Debbie Shelden, Special Education
  • Michael Vetere, School of Theatre and Dance
  • Emily Vigneri, Event Management, Dining and Hospitality
  • Susie Watkins, Mennonite College of Nursing
  • Gavin Weiser, Educational Administration & Foundations
  • Chris Wellin, Sociology & Anthropology
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