UNI receives national award for program excellence

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Christa Beall Diefenbach, CNP, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, 414-921-4298,

Blake Ruane, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761,

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance recently presented the University of Northern Iowa with the prestigious Campus Program Excellence Award. The awards presentation took place at the 43rd annual Alliance Management Institute from Jan. 3-5, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston. The Institute is an educational conference geared toward students planning a career in the nonprofit sector.

The Campus Program Excellence Award is presented each year to an affiliated college or university that has demonstrated a commitment to running an exceptional Alliance program on its campus.

“We really examine all aspects of the program. We want to recognize those campuses that excel in developing current and relevant coursework, meaningful nonprofit internship and employment opportunities, and strong connections between the campus and the local nonprofit community,” says Susan T. Schmidt, CNP, president of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. “University of Northern Iowa was selected based on the quality of its program, its community outreach, and the exceptional experience it provides students.”

One way that UNI demonstrates excellence is through the service it provides to the local community. During the spring semester of 2015, UNI students facilitated trainings to assist local nonprofits, taught children how to give back to their community, engaged families in the community in activities to promote health and well-being, raised money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the United Way, and recognized the work of local nonprofits through the annual awards banquet.

Students from UNI were also recognized during the conference for their poster session presentations. The poster session program at the Alliance Management Institute is designed to allow students to showcase either a best practice from their campus student association or research conducted in one or more of the Alliance competency areas. Students present their poster in front of a panel of judges.

  • Second Place, Undergraduate Research: Heaven Connelly, Sarah Hanson, Andrew Juarez, Brittany Suchanek
  • Second Place, Graduate Research: Carley Johnston, Rachel Patterson, Fallan Stark, Kelsey Umthun

The 2016 honorees were chosen by an awards selection committee comprised of key Alliance stakeholders, including affiliated faculty members, alumni, nonprofit partners, board members and sponsors. The selection of the award recipients was based on specific criteria for each respective award.

Since 1948, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance has worked to strengthen the social sector with a talented, prepared workforce. Its Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential is the only national nonprofit management certification in the U.S. The Alliance system, which includes 37 colleges and universities, 14 national nonprofit partners and more than 9,000 CNPs, is the largest network in the country working to build a talent pipeline for the social sector.