Shenandoah University’s School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) has launched a new center that will serve as a resource for public and nonprofit organizations. The Center for Leadership in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors supports the work of area organizations including local school systems, higher education institutions, nonprofit entities and public sector agencies.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to foster an ongoing dialogue with the region’s public and nonprofit organizations and to create opportunities for collaboration with and among these organizations,” said School of Education & Human Development Director Dennis Kellison, Ed.D. “It also helps us ensure our SEHD leadership programs are aligned with current and anticipated needs in these sectors.”
The center will serve organizations in the quad-state area extending from the northern Shenandoah Valley to south-central Pennsylvania along the Interstate 81 corridor.
“A central part of the mission of the School of Education and Human Development is to support our regional schools in fulfilling their respective missions,” said Dr. Kellison. “We’re always mindful to keep our programs energized and current with the needs of these schools. Efforts like this one are key to our success and to theirs as well, as the students our school serves are very often their teachers. We all need to be at our best, and this center will help to achieve that goal.”
The center will also create professional development and mentoring opportunities across the board, as well as give Shenandoah University faculty and students a chance to conduct field-based research. Faculty and students can also provide assistance to organizations in the form of strategic planning, program evaluation, topic-specific research, and quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.
“We are very excited about the possibilities this center will provide to our students,” said Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies Lisa Pluska, Ed.D. “Professional development, mentoring, and research opportunities will help our students, schools, nonprofits, university, and our community to grow. Tying all of these entities together will ensure everyone knows the needs and how to fill those needs through quality programming.”
Since 2012, the SEHD Leadership Studies Department has hosted a series of breakfast meetings with area public school superintendents to discuss concerns, issues and the future of educational leadership. These meetings have led to several regional events hosted by the SEHD.
In addition, SEHD hosts the meetings of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Nonprofit Alliance for Excellence and the school has become very active in the local Chamber of Commerce. These actions, among other things, have led to the natural progression toward the Center for Leadership in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors.
The center will continue to provide meeting space where large or small groups can explore topics of shared interest in the region, and will sponsor short institutes and speaker series focused on topics of interest to the region’s public and nonprofit organizations.