Nonprofit Leadership Program Wins National Campus Program Excellence Award

Sunday, January 8, 2017
Students and faculty after winning the Campus Program Excellence Award

At the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s annual Alliance Management Institute in Denver, Colorado, last week, Rockhurst received the Campus Program Excellence Award, a national recognition of the growing reputation of the program from peers in the nonprofit sector.

Jenny Rinella, Ed.D., assistant professor and director of the nonprofit leadership studies program in the University’s Helzberg School of Management, was there to receive the award alongside a number of the program’s current students. With so many programs doing so much great work at colleges and universities around the country, she said being selected for the honor was both humbling and exciting. It was also a reflection of the hard work of students and the community of faculty, alumni and community leaders that is working to continue strengthening Rockhurst’s nonprofit leadership curriculum.

“We are blessed with an exceptional team of adjunct faculty and the support of Kansas City nonprofit partner organizations that provide mentors and high-impact experiences for our students, so it’s fun to see their contributions recognized in this way,” Rinella said.

The program at Rockhurst has focused on creating opportunities for students to learn outside and alongside their work in the classroom, forging partnerships with organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, Catholic Charities and the YMCA. Those partnerships give students opportunities to learn skills in effective nonprofit leadership from the groups and the people in Kansas City and beyond who are already leaders.

The NLA Student Association at Rockhurst provides another opportunity for students to build bonds with each other and practice their skills by partnering with campus organizations for events and fundraising campaigns.

“(Receiving the award) was a wonderful feeling that reminded me how proud I am to be a part of the nonprofit leadership program at Rockhurst University,” said junior Meaghan O’Toole. “We are blessed with wonderful curriculum, professors, and connections throughout the nation.”

And as much as it shows where the program has been, Rinella said the Campus Program Excellence Award is also a reminder of where the program is going.

“We look forward to continuing to grow our nonprofit leadership program and forming leaders in the Jesuit tradition,” she said.