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Kris Nelson Earns Outstanding Community Service Award

Photo of Kris Nelson

Kris Nelson, director of neighborhood programs, CURA

Date: 
April 20, 2010
Contact person: 

Kris Nelson, director of neighborhood programs at CURA, was presented with the University’s Outstanding Staff Community Service Award at a reception on April 20 at the Campus Club. The award is given by the Office of Public Engagement to a staff member who has made an extraordinary, significant contribution to the betterment of society.

“Kris personifies the idea of an engaged University,”” CURA Director Ed Goetz said in nominating Nelson for the award. “He has demonstrated a sustained commitment to community-based organizations, believing them to be the life-blood of a democratic society and vital partners for the University. Kris has devoted time, energy, and imagination to connecting the University to these groups and helping the University make good on its commitment to engagement with its urban community.”

During his 17 years at CURA, Nelson has been involved in a range of projects growing out of his familiarity with the University and community organizations, including:

  • creating Neighborhood Partnerships for Community Research (NPCR), a consortium of CURA and eight Twin Cities higher educational institutions that provides student and faculty research and technical
    assistance to community-based organizations;

  • initiating an early-warning system to identify properties at risk for abandonment in Minneapolis;

  • coordinating the Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC), a collaboration with Macalaster College and Metropolitan State University that supported students and faculty to work with community
    organizations on St. Paul’s East Side;

  • securing funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce for an internet-based web mapping system that shows the relationships among housing, transportation, and jobs in the Twin Cities metro area; and

  • participating in the University District Alliance, a partnership among the five University neighborhoods concerned with housing, commercial development, and near-to-campus livability issues.

The award includes a $1,000 professional development stipend.