May 9, 2008 – Linda Poulson Dunn, vice president of Dunn Communications and recent executive director of Utah Campus Compact, has been named director of the University of Utah’s Lowell Bennion Community Service Center. She succeeds Marshall Welch, who served as the program’s director since 2001. Dunn will assume the position on May 12.
“As the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center completes 20 years of engaging University of Utah students with the community through service, Linda is the ideal person to lead the Bennion Center into the next twenty years,” says Kari Ellingson, associate vice president for student development.
Ellingson notes that throughout the search, which attracted a large national pool of applicants, it was Dunn’s experience in service, education and the community that impressed students, staff, faculty, community partners and all others involved in the extensive process. “Her enthusiasm, optimism and ability to bring together groups of people for a common goal were consistent themes from those who know her,” Ellingson says.
Vice president of Dunn Communications since 1996, Dunn’s long-term commitment to community service is evidenced in her legacy of civic engagement as a public school teacher; through her leadership on the Bennion Center’s Friends of Service Board; and as executive director of Utah Campus Compact.
In her 25-year teaching career in the Salt Lake and Granite School Districts, Dunn cultivated community relationships, implementing a one-of-a-kind civic engagement course at Skyline High. “From the outset I was naturally drawn to community partners, service-learning and community engaged teaching, even before those terms were coined,” says Dunn.
Dunn earned her B.S. in secondary education and M.S. in educational administration from the University of Utah in 1981 and 1997, respectively. For five years she served as executive director of Utah Campus Compact, promoting service-learning and student participation in civic and community service throughout the state.
Initially housed in the Bennion Center, Utah Campus Compact later moved to the Board of Regents where it interacts with university and community systems. During her tenure with Utah Campus Compact, Dunn worked with hundreds of administrators and faculty across the state, helping them to understand and implement academic service-learning.
In her new position, Dunn hopes to enlarge the Bennion Center’s mission, expand its scope and engage the campus even more in the vital work of creating citizens that will participate in the community by focusing on local, national and global issues.
“I am excited to work with the students, faculty, administration and community partners to continue the important work the Bennion Center has been engaged in the past 20 years: that of connecting the campus, the curriculum and the students with the active role of citizenship in the community,” says Dunn. “I hope to bring an increased sense of collaboration within the University and with more community partners.”
For 20 years the Bennion Center has encouraged University of Utah students to become civically engaged through service to their communities. Recognized third in the nation as a leader in engaging students in service to their communities, the Bennion Center involves more than 7,800 volunteers annually, providing more than 250,000 hours of service in the community. With each volunteer hour currently valued at $18.77, Bennion Center volunteers provide in excess of $4.6 million in service to local communities each year.
For more information on the Bennion Center, visit http://www.bennioncenter.org/ or call 801-581-4811.