Through creative partnerships, community-based projects, internships, and research and teaching with real-world applications, NIU has long been known for engaging with the wider community. During this challenging time, that engagement is more important than ever. But how can we continue to stay connected and make a positive impact in our communities?
That’s where the new NIU Keep Engaging website comes in. A website designed for faculty and staff, students and community, the NIU Keep Engaging website offers opportunities to volunteer, help the community and learn new skills, all while sheltering in place safely.
The new website is divided into four pages. Engagement for Everyone presents volunteer, learning and socializing opportunities for everyone. The other three pages present specific engagement opportunities tailored to faculty and staff, students and community members.
“Engagement matters now more than ever,” says Rena Cotsones, associate vice president of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development. “Difficult times cause us to turn to one another to develop new solutions. It is important for all of us to continue to work with our partners, our students and all the people in our networks who can help us create new ways of addressing mutual needs.”
“The site was created to provide options and channels for students, faculty and community to continue engagement outside of the classroom,” says Michaela Holtz, director of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning at NIU. “Our current situation completely upends our ways of teaching and learning, but we continue to do that as best as we can. The same applies to engaging with others. Especially during this time, it provides us the opportunity to grow, stay curious and stay connected.”
The NIU Keep Engaging website is a collaboration between the Division of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development, the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning in the Division of Academic Affairs, and the Recreation and Wellness Center in the Division of Student Affairs.