Malunda appointed to serve as Assistant Vice President of Community AffairsBy Jennifer Leovy
Sonya Malunda has been appointed Assistant Vice President and Director of Community Affairs. The executive committee of the University board of trustees approved the designation at their most recent meeting in March. Malunda has served as Director of Community Affairs since 1998.
Sonya has done an exemplary job of improving the Universitys relationship with the Hyde Park community, the greater South Side and the City of Chicago, said Hank Webber, Vice President of Community Affairs. She meets our community initiatives head on, and her styleamiable and directhas been an invaluable asset to each conversation within our community and with our neighbors.
Serving as a liaison between the University and residents of its surrounding communities, Malunda has played a major role in coordinating the public process of the Universitys capital improvements plan, and working with the neighborhood, local elected officials, the City of Chicago and the Universitys Facilities Services to address community issues and awareness. She also has helped develop with Facilities Services a procurement initiative to ensure minorities and women are represented in the contractors and work force that will construct the new buildings.
Malunda has worked on multiple community enhancement initiatives that involve coordination among the University, local government and the greater South Side. Those projects include neighborhood beautification projects such as the landscape redesign at 55th Street and Greenwood Avenue and the new Bixler play lot adjacent to Ray School; cultural projects such as bringing the annual World Music Festival to Hyde Park and the Eschikagou powwow to the Midway; and serving as a member of work groups that have driven the streetscape improvement and the tax increment financing proposal for 53rd Street and the $94 million South Lake Shore Drive redesign.
From students interested in how they can help make the campus and surrounding areas more bicycle-friendly to Woodlawn community leaders involved in neighborhood revitalization, I am very blessed to interact with so many great people who wake up every day giving their best and making a difference in our communities, said Malunda. Im very optimistic about the future and the Universitys ongoing partnership with the community.
She is currently working on programming for the Midway Plaisance and the new ice-skating rink and warming house as well as the current developments for the revitalization of 63rd Street. Malunda also serves as a resource for residents, faculty, staff and students when they need help on projects ranging from acquiring grants for art projects to donating items to neighborhood community centers.