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Valuing Community Connections in Connecticut

Written by kate Harner

Willimantic, Conn. - The Community Connections: A Summit for Engaging Nonprofits, Volunteers and Higher Education conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 2 in the Betty R. Tipton Room at Eastern Connecticut State University. Sponsors of the conference include Eastern's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and Center for Educational Excellence (CEE), the University of Connecticut Office of Community Outreach, Windham Region United Way, the Nonprofit Alliance of Northeastern Connecticut (NANC) and the Connecticut Campus Compact. The conference is open to executive directors and staff of community-based organizations (CBOs) and higher education faculty and staff. Registration and payment deadline is Sept. 25. Registration is $15 per person.

            Eastern President Elsa Núñez will greet conferees. Afterward, Susan Dunn, president of United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, will provide the keynote address, "Volunteering in these Times." Participants will then engage in the three workshop blocks, consisting of three sessions each. Workshops range from "Organizational Change and the Impact on Volunteers" to "Generational Differences" and "Service Learning 101."

            "The goals of this conference are to increase the capacity of local CBOs to effectively utilize and manage volunteers," says Kimberly Silcox, director of the CCE. "This conference also will create opportunities for collaboration that can mutually benefit higher education faculty, staff, students and community organizations."

            The conference intends to bridge the gap between the cultures of nonprofits and higher education. Faculty and staff in higher education will learn ways to work with community partners in service opportunities. Nonprofit members will learn how to attain and maintain volunteers and work productively with available resources.

For more information on the conference, contact Irene Cretella by phone at (860)465-0090 or e-mail


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