Heather Miklozek, Indiana State University – 2017 Community Service Director award winner
Heather is the Director of the Center for Community Engagement and the Executive Director for Sycamore Service-Corps at Indiana State University. She focuses her work on social change and started with capacity building at her institution. Heather’s passion for people and using a good, clear strategy is not a combination we see often, but it’s one that works. She not only provides her campus community with ample opportunities for both curricular and co-curricular partnerships and programs, she also has an exceptional record of her own personal professional involvement in the community as well.
Accolades for herself is not something Heather is looking for. She is looking for ways to energize faculty, share her vision for a just society with students, and make a real difference in people’s lives. And she succeeds. In one of the support letters included in Heather’s nomination packet, Chances and Services for Youth CEO Brandon Halleck says, “Heather is the type of community activist everyone should strive to emulate. She is also the type of volunteer, community partner, and servant leader every non-profit organization dreams to find.”
Heather has made building capacity of ISU’s quantity and quality of programming in service and community engagement a priority. Established programs like ISU’s half-day service plunge has grown from 125 students to over 1700. The Alternative Break program has expanded from one spring break trip to five spring, one fall, one winter, and two summer break trips. She has overseen the development of the Service-Learning Scholars program, an intensive service-learning program that includes coursework and the completion of a student-designed and implemented project. She is developing a casual, monthly gathering of faculty and community partners at which they discuss collaboration opportunities around a specific theme. And she has been instrumental in promoting staff involvement with community engagement including a Community Leave Program.
One of the review committee members wrote, “Heather’s work is a perfect example of a best practice in long-term solutions to some of society’s most pervasive issues.”
In a nomination letter, Indiana State Vice President Nancy Brattain Rogers says, “Heather’s commitment to instilling her students with a sense of citizenship and the desire to serve others is unparalleled. The community and Indiana State University are well-served by her efforts.”
Despite her humble persona, she is doing more behind the scenes and without credit each day than most of us could get done in a year. From work in the community, to volunteering for committees, to leading the newest initiative on campus, Heather is dedicated to her students, her campus, and her community.