news releases

2005.04.12 > For Immediate Release
contact: Teresa Gleason - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: tmgleason@mail.unomaha.edu

Paul Sather to Lead UNO Service-Learning Academy, American Humanics Program

Omaha – A veteran faculty member and administrator at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will lead the institution's Service-Learning Academy and American Humanics program.

Paul Sather has been named director of the UNO Service-Learning Academy and American Humanics.  The appointment, which merges oversight of the two areas into one full-time position, is effective July 1.  Sather currently serves as associate director of the UNO School of Social Work and interim co-director of the UNO Service-Learning Academy.

"Paul Sather is the ideal leader for this important position," said John Christensen, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at UNO.  "He brings a wealth of academic and community experience, as well as a passion for service and community engagement.  The Service-Learning Academy and American Humanics are key components that assist UNO in achieving our commitment to student-centeredness, academic excellence and community engagement."

Service-learning is defined as a partnership among students, faculty and community organizations.  Projects are conducted in and meet the needs of a community, help foster civic responsibility, are integrated into and enhance the academic curriculum of the students enrolled, and include structured time for students to reflect on the service experiences.

The Service-Learning Academy at UNO was founded in 1999.  Its mission is to:

- Coordinate UNO's service-learning effort, providing a central point of contact between the campus and community-based organizations;

- Encourage, assist and recruit faculty members interested in developing service-learning courses;

- Provide professional development opportunities in service-learning;

- Maintain and provide a library of the most current service-learning resources for faculty and community personnel;

- Make information about service-learning available to students; and

- Cultivate continuing professional working relationships among the stakeholders in service-learning.

American Humanics, founded in 1948, is a national alliance of colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations devoted to preparing college students for careers in nonprofit organizations.

UNO is one of more than 75 campus affiliates offering the American Humanics certificate in nonprofit management.  The American Humanics program at UNO works closely with a local community council made up of representatives from local nonprofit organizations, UNO and others in the community.

"As one of the interim co-directors of the Service-Learning Academy this year, I have learned so much about the depth and breadth of the creative and important work accomplished by UNO faculty and students in both these community outreach efforts," Sather said.  "I am really looking forward to promoting and supporting that vital work.  With the kind of institutional support also in place, I think UNO is well on the way to becoming a real leader in both these areas of civic engagement."

Angela Eikenberry, who currently serves as director of American Humanics at UNO, has accepted a faculty position at Virginia Tech.  She is completing her Ph.D. in public administration at UNO.  Eikenberry was responsible for launching the program at UNO.  The planning began in 2001, and students joined the program in 2002.

"Angela Eikenberry was the primary force in bringing the UNO American Humanics program to life," Christensen said.  "She has done a fabulous job working with the metropolitan area nonprofit community, faculty and especially UNO students.  She deserves a great deal of credit for establishing such an effective program."

Theresa Barron-McKeagney, director for the UNO School of Social Work, said a search for Sather's replacement will begin as soon as possible.

"Paul Sather has been a wonderful leader in our School of Social Work," Barron-McKeagney said.  "Our undergraduate program has reached great heights due to his passion for undergraduate education.  UNO will benefit greatly from Paul's leadership at the Service-Learning Academy, and the communities we serve will truly understand our vision of civic engagement."

For more information, contact Sather at (402) 554-2850 or psather@mail.unomaha.edu.

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