The Morgridge Center for Public Service is delighted to welcome Anya Piotrowski to the team as its new Badger Volunteers Coordinator.
Piotrowski brings valuable knowledge on mindful language and understanding community assets in creating an ethical and equitable lens in community work. Her insight will inform how the Badger Volunteers program can increase conversations around equity disparities in the community and facilitate learning about reciprocal and healthy civic engagement.
Her work with AmeriCorps VISTA in Greensboro, North Carolina, was an entry point to working in higher education and with community partners. There, Piotrowski found passion and importance in developing reciprocal community relations, including through shifting language.
“Language is important for humanizing people and really meeting them where they are without judgement and with empathy,” Piotrowski says. “I am excited to see how the Badger Volunteers program is already mindful of language and narrative, and thinking about how we can improve that.”
Piotrowski has considerable experiences in coordinating annual and ongoing service opportunities. Her past roles at Bennington College in Vermont as assistant director of community engagement and assistant director of student engagement provided her with extensive process management abilities.
As the Badger Volunteer Coordinator, her responsibilities will encompass planning timelines, communicating with community partners, recruitment of team leaders and volunteers and managing the registration process. She will also be responsible for evaluating and assessing participant reflection and expanding community partnerships.
In particular, Piotrowski is excited to be a part of an ongoing partnership that provides intentional opportunities for students to thoughtfully participate in the community. As an institution we can work on expanding how we are building, working and living in the community, says Piotrowski.
“My value system is rooted in community and how we engage in community with each other,” Piotrowski says. “It’s great that students, staff, community workers and anyone involved, have an opportunity to participate together for the betterment of the whole community.”
Currently pursuing a PhD in leadership and change from Antioch University, Piotrowski is developing key understandings of healing justice and collective care through her research, which empowers her to cultivate a relationship-based culture through her work.
This knowledge will inform her approach to working with students and community partners in the Badger Volunteers program.