The Civil Service Council will feature a civil service employee at Illinois State University each month to highlight an exceptional colleague and the outstanding work being done on campus! This month get a chance to learn about and applaud Harriett Steinbach from the Center for Civic Engagement.
What is your position on campus and how long have you been with the University?
Assistant director in the Center for Civic Engagement – I’m responsible for facilitating campus-community partnerships (mostly within academic spaces), oversight of our civic education and political engagement initiatives, and leading our voter engagement efforts. I’ve been at ISU for 15 years; the first 10 years were in the Dean of Students Office.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
Even though I’m a little removed from students, I know my work helps develop their civic skills and identity. I believe if we can help students in those areas we can have a thriving democracy.
What are your hobbies or favorite past-time?
I’m a part-time doctoral student at University of Illinois-Springfield very close to proposing for my dissertation. That’s not a hobby, but it is definitely how I spend a lot of free time. I enjoy spending time watching movies with my husband and seven year old son and I love binging television shows.
What else would you like others to know about you or your time at ISU?
I’m really grateful to the Division of Student Affairs for how much I learned and developed personally in the areas of equity and social justice. I also appreciate the small things like the Children’s Holiday Party or Family Swim that make ISU a family friendly place to work.
More about Harriett from Katy Strzepek, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement:
Harriett Steinbach is an incredible educator who supports students, community partners, staff, and faculty as we collaborate to create a more just and equitable world. Through her exemplary leadership during CCE’s creation and growth, Harriett has institutionalized civic engagement practices and has elevated Illinois State’s commitment to the public purpose of higher education by preparing students to be informed and engaged citizens. One of Harriett’s strengths is her ability to maximize the impact of our programs through collaboration. She helped create our Deliberative Dialogue program and is passionate about providing opportunities for civic learning, student leadership, and democratic engagement. Under Harriett’s leadership, the Dialogue program grew from a small pilot program to one that reached 792 participants in the fall and summer of 2021. Harriett is also a wonderful partner to faculty and staff who seek to integrate civic engagement into their curricula and co-curricular programs. She has elevated the University’s community partnerships by leading the Community Consulting Board, a group of leaders from community agencies, who advise the CCE on issues that affect our local community. It is an honor to work with Harriett! She is a civic engagement rockstar!