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Award nominations sought for UNI faculty engaged with community

January 5, 2012

Julie VanDaele, communications specialist, Veridian Credit Union, (319) 236-5694,

Gloria Gibson, UNI executive vice president and provost, (319) 273-2517,

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Veridian Credit Union is seeking nominations to recognize the outstanding contributions of University of Northern Iowa faculty members to community engagement through research and/or teaching.

Veridian Credit Union will fund up to five Community Engagement awards for faculty from among UNI's four undergraduate colleges: Business Administration, Education, Humanities, Arts and Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.  All full-time tenure-track and tenured faculty are eligible. Recipients receive a recognition award and a $1,000 check payable to the approved nonprofit organization of the faculty member's choice.  Veridian initiated the awards in 2006 to recognize the efforts of UNI faculty and inspire more partnerships among faculty, students and community organizations.

Community engagement is defined as the collaboration of the university with the public and private sectors for the mutual benefit of all.  This engagement is not simply service or membership, but it is the combination of meeting a community need through teaching and/or scholarship.  It includes collaboration with the commercial and nonprofit sectors, special interests or needs, and groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity.

"Veridian Credit Union is excited to again be sponsoring the Community Engagement Awards in partnership with the University of Northern Iowa," said Jean Trainor, President and CEO of Veridian Credit. Union. "Through these awards, it is our hope that we can continue to build a community of learning, innovation and shared leadership."

Community members and UNI faculty, staff and students may nominate a UNI faculty member by securing the consent of the nominee, completing the online nomination form at and providing a letter of recommendation from the community organization with which the faculty member is engaged.  All materials must be submitted online by Feb. 17. Nomination materials are available at

"Incorporating community engagement into research and the classroom puts theories into practice," said Gloria Gibson, Executive Vice President and Provost at UNI.  "The community projects some of our faculty undertake simultaneously strengthens them, our students and our community.  With the help of Veridian, we're able to recognize these faculty members and further reward the organizations they work with."

The 2012 Community Engagement Award winners will be recognized at the eighth annual Cedar Valley Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Awards Luncheon on April 13.  The luncheon is presented by UNI's Nonprofit Leadership Alliance program, and will take place at 11:30 a.m. in the Commons Ballroom on the UNI campus.

Veridian Credit Union, founded in 1934 in Waterloo, is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members.  The credit union offers a full range of consumer financial services and employs more than 500 Iowans throughout 26 branches, including 13 in the Cedar Valley.  For more information, visit or call (800) 235-3228.