West Virginia Campus Compact, hosted by West Virginia University, has hired a new director to continue its mission of facilitating civic engagement between higher education and the state’s communities.
Following a national search, Kelli Jo McNemar was named director of the West Virginia Campus Compact, a position she’s held since the New Year.
The position was previously held by Franchesca Nestor, who is now pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at WVU.
McNemar was formerly a senior training and development specialist in WVU’s Division of Human Resources where she launched the Mountaineer Leadership Academy. The academy promotes relationship building, leadership development and knowledge retention across the University’s approximately 7,000 employees.
West Virginia Campus Compact, an initiative of the Higher Education Policy Commission, is one of 34 Campus Compact organizations throughout the nation. Each state compact supports programs and partnerships that harness the power of higher education in service to the community.
“West Virginia Campus Compact helps deepen the commitments our institutions make to the communities around them,” said Dr. Paul Hill, Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission. “With a new leader at the helm, we are excited about building relationships across the state to instill in our students the importance of civic and social responsibility.”
McNemar has been busy learning about Campus Compact while connecting with other state directors and said she’s currently building relationships with the state’s 28 member colleges and universities as well as focusing on creating sustainable programs that higher education institutions can use with their communities.
“We want to focus on how we can continue to support, maintain and enhance those relationships and how West Virginia Campus Compact can best serve our member schools,” McNemar said.
Dr. Scott D. Miller, president of Bethany College, is currently serving as the board chair for West Virginia Campus Compact.
“West Virginia Campus Compact has played an important role in furthering civic engagement between our 28 member colleges and universities and the state’s communities,” he said. “On behalf of our member presidents, I am delighted to welcome Kelli Jo to her new position. We are really excited to have someone of her experience and ability focusing on the important work of this organization.”
WVU President Gordon Gee highlighted the importance of WVU’s ties to the Campus Compact.
“West Virginia University is proud to host the West Virginia Campus Compact office on our campus,” Gee said. “Strengthening ties between higher education and communities across the state is at the heart of our public, land-grant mission. We appreciate the robust partnership among 28 institutions in West Virginia in support of Campus Compact, and we look forward to Kelli Jo’s leadership in expanding our collective efforts in service to the state.”
McNemar, who served as an AmeriCorps and City Year volunteer, has a familiarity with non-profits and the impact they can achieve.
“I felt like my education was more deep and more rich because I had those experiences,” she said.
“It seemed really natural to me for campuses and communities to be working in partnership and using civic engagement as a solution.”
McNemar received her bachelor’s degree in Human Resources-Leadership from Marietta College and a Master of Public Administration from WVU.
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