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2012.10.16 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@unomaha.edu

Ira Harkavy to Visit UNO; Lecture Will Focus on Community Engagement

Omaha - Ira Harkavy, a nationally-known expert on university-community-school partnerships, will visit the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) on Monday, October 22.

Harkavy, the founding director and associate vice president of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania, will deliver a public lecture, “Community Engagement and Impact on Scholarship, Learning, and Democracy,” in the Milo Bail Student Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. He also will meet with smaller groups of university and community officials while in Omaha.

Harkavy teaches in the departments of history, urban studies, Africana studies, and city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania. As director of the Netter Center since 1992, Harkavy has helped to develop service-learning courses as well as participatory action research projects that involve creating university-assisted community schools in Penn's local community of West Philadelphia.

“Dr. Harkavy’s visit is one that will help us further refine and focus our vision for what our Community Engagement Center can become,” said B.J. Reed, UNO senior vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. “He’s more than just a leader in university-community engagement. His career has defined what it means for higher education to be meaningfully involved with community.”

UNO’s Community Engagement Center will officially break ground on Wednesday, Oct. 24. The 60,000-square-foot facilit will serve as both the front door to the campus and as the university’s signature outreach venue. The center, which will be completed in 2014, will support and allow for expansion of university-community partnerships, help meet growing demands for community meeting and planning space and extend the campus’ logistical resources to its community partners.

In addition to Harkavy’s academic position, he serves as executive editor of Universities and Community Schools. He has also written and lectured widely on the history and current practice of urban university-community-school partnerships and strategies for integrating the university missions of teaching, research, and service. His recent publications include: Dewey's Dream: Universities and Democracies in an Age of Education Reform (Temple Press, 2007), which he co-authored with Lee Benson and John Puckett, and The Obesity Culture: Strategies for Change. Public Health and University-Community Partnerships (Smith-Gordon, 2009), co-authored with Francis E. Johnston.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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