Success Stories: Beverley Baker

What does Public Engagement mean to you?
A: Public Engagement means the University stepping outside of the campus and engaging with the community in meaningful ways and bringing the wealth of resources located within the university setting to benefit/improve the souring area that so deeply supports it. It also means bringing the public into the university to explore and examine all that transpires in the classrooms and facilities and moving beyond things like arts and athletics and sharing the innovative learning and ideas that develop on this campus.

How has the United Way partnered with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
A: The United Way and the University have a long history of working together. Together we launched which serves as a portal for those needing volunteers and those wishing to volunteer. The United Way has provided countless poverty simulations for various departments and student groups on campus allowing those on campus to walk for a little while in the shoes of a family that is struggling to survive. We’ve partnered together to create Student United Way encouraging service minded students an opportunity to give, advocate and volunteer. We’ve been a convener of service learning; helping to connect instructors, professors and student groups with opportunities to support the local non-profit community. The University not only provides student volunteers that help improve the local community but also local experts on areas of child development, education, social justice, communication, business and technology that have helped to guide work at the local level to meet human care needs.

How has the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign contributed to the local community?
A: Two of the most significant contributions the University of Illinois has made to the local community are embracing a service learning philosophy that puts 1000’s of students in the community each year to volunteer and apply newly gained knowledge and skills; and the Campus Charitable Fund Drive which allows over $700,000 annually back into the local human care network. The safety net of services available in the community would look alarmingly different without the continued support of U of I employees and retirees.