KATE PRAVERA, PhD, has crossed off one major item from her to-do list: become a member of APAC.
PRAVERA, WHO is Academic Director at the School of Continuing Studies, is APAC’s newest member after her recent election.
SHE WANTED to become involved in APAC because, she said, “I am very passionate about professional development and promoting the role of academic professionals at UIC.” Pravera added, “I am very interested in creating new programs. That’s my passion and expertise.”
“I WANTED to do this for some time and I just didn’t have the time,” she said. That changed this year, as her job duties evolved and she is no longer responsible for marketing and administrative duties for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management (CNM) program.
“MY ROLE,” she said, “now focuses on being the academic director of the Certificate in Nonprofit Management program in the School of Continuing Studies,” a program she founded in 2001 in the Great Cities Institute at the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.
IN 2001, she established the Certificate in Nonprofit Management program, the first online, instructor-led professional development credential for nonprofit practitioners based at a U.S. university. In 2013, the CNM program moved to Continuing Studies.
“I WAS RESPONSIBLE for all facets of program management before bringing the program to Continuing Studies,” Pravera said. “I had no time to consider APAC. Now in the School of Continuing Studies, I can focus on curriculum development and building partnerships for our nonprofit management initiatives.”
THE CNM PROGRAM has tremendous stability, Pravera said, now that it has the necessary administrative support. “This program is not well-known on campus,” she explained. “It complements degree studies, and tends to serve people who already have a graduate degree and may be working in nonprofits but need professional development.”
WITH APAC, Pravera also wants to raise awareness about professional development programs that are available. “It’s maybe a simple matter of linking people with programs,” she said. Since the programs are entirely online, there are no geographic boundaries, and may reach even to other campuses. “I’m a social entrepreneur so you never know where things will go,” she said.
SOME CNM CLASSES are especially well suited for Academic Professionals, Pravera noted. Among the course offerings she recommends for Academic Professionals are Grantwriting, Strategic Management, Social Media, and Partnerships in Collaboration Across the Sectors.
“I DO THINK it’s important that Academic Professionals have a voice at the University,” Pravera said.
CONCERNING CHALLENGES facing Academic Professionals, Pravera said she thinks the big ones are recognition and opportunities for advancement. In terms of salary, “I think we should have appropriate increases commensurate with the market,” she added.
IN HER twelfth year at UIC, Pravera noted, “We have tremendous benefits here.” As far as a rule change to the University employees’ pension law that will stop a potential “brain drain” by the end of June because of an error in calculating benefits, “that’s the least they could do,” Pravera commented. A recent injunction stopped the pension law from going into effect.
PRAVERA TEACHES as well as oversees. “I have personally designed all the courses we offer in collaboration with other instructors,” she noted. A new class that she teaches is Nonprofits Today. She also teaches periodically as an adjunct in the Department of Public Administration in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.
MORE THAN 30 years of experience building partnerships across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and working across disciplines helped her develop her methods. With a highly participatory and results-oriented approach, she has shaped the successful design and facilitation of numerous professional development workshops, conferences, graduate-level courses, and online classes.
PRAVERA WAS founding Executive Director of the Chicago Community Loan Fund and also served as the Executive Director of the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation. As a Senior Consultant at Millennia Consulting LLC, she established a practice centering on planning, design, and evaluation services, including business planning, curriculum design for adult learning, program design, and organizational development. Her PhD is in social ethics from Northwestern University.
SHE AND her husband live in Berwyn, a 17-minute Metra ride from her office.
TO CONTACT Pravera, email firstname.lastname@example.org.