U.Va. CIOs, faculty, community members foster nonprofit collaboration

Discussion part of Student Council public service forum series

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Third-year College student Tyler Kernodle, the social media intern for Learning in Action, said she hoped to show CIO leaders how to get students interested and involved in their events.

Emma Lewis | Cavalier Daily

The Public Service Committee of Student Council kicked off its Public Service Forum series Wednesday with a discussion titled “Nonprofit and Program Development.”

Six representatives from around Charlottesville helped foster conversation about encouraging greater collaboration between University CIOs and making stronger connections between students, faculty, community partners and people in service jobs around Charlottesville.

The panelists included third-year College student Tyler Kernodle, a social media intern for Learning in Action, City Council Member Bob Fenwick, Rachel Winters, the director of community engagement at Madison House, Jacki Bryant, executive director of Ready for Kids, Dreama Johnson, associate director for public service and global careers at the University, and fourth-year Commerce student Natalia Kazakevich, a member of the Student Council Academic Affairs and Public Service Committee.

Second-year College student Sarah Kenny, co-chair of the Student Council Public Service Committee, spearheaded the event and said it would promote cooperation between CIOs, faculty members, community partners and people in service jobs as each group works to achieve similar goals in the community.

“First and foremost I want this to be a space for CIOs to collaborate with groups who are doing like-minded things,” Kenny said.

Students chose the topic through a survey Student Council sent out to CIOs asking what students would primarily be interested in discussing and what skills they would want to develop. The most popular choices were “nonprofits” and “program development.” Kenny said they combined the two to have this forum.

Winters said she wanted to share stories about barriers nonprofits face and nonprofits she has worked with. She said she hoped to help create a better network of service organizations on Grounds and in Charlottesville.

“I think it’s important for us to bring together different service organizations to collaborate and to be in constant communication about what we are trying to do in the community,” Winters said.

Kernodle said she hoped to show CIO leaders how to get students interested and involved in their events.

“I will talk about how they can work on their marketing skills [by] making sure that all U.Va. students have the opportunity to hear about what the organizations have going on,” Kernodle said.

The forum turned into a more intimate roundtable discussion, Kenny said. There were about 25 students present and they ranged from long term executives of CIOs to first years hoping to get more involved on Grounds. Through the different panelists, attendees were able to foster conversation about how to grow organizations on Grounds, Kenny said.

“I was surprised with how people were able to bounce off of each other,” Kenny said. “We were able to [discuss how to] add value to existing organizations and, if you have an idea, how can you carry that idea to fruition.”

Fenwick said they would use the energy from this meeting to make further connections and facilitate change in the future.

“We were trying to capture some of that energy and that was one of the goals,” Fenwick said. “From here on out it is our work to make sure it goes somewhere.”

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