New UCSC director sees reciprocal benefits for community, UniversityBy Josh Schonwald
Students, faculty and staff interested in community service opportunities can now tap into a tremendous new resource: Wallace Goode Jr.
“If someone comes into my office and tells me how they want to volunteer—that, for example, they want to work as a writer for an arts organization on the Southwest Side—I can get on the phone and help put them in touch with an organization that will need their help,” said Goode. “Creating meaningful connections between our students and the community is a really exciting part of the job.”
Goode succeeds Pamela Bozeman Evans as the Director of the University Community Service Center, which strives to foster an active culture of community service and partnership at the University, and serves as a clearinghouse linking the University community to meaningful volunteer opportunities throughout the city.
Goode, who also is Associate Dean of Students in the University, comes to the University after seven years with the City of Chicago. He is the former director of the Mayor’s Workforce Solutions Division, assistant commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development and most recently the executive director of the Empowerment Zone, where he managed the disbursement of nearly $150 million in federal and state funds to more than 300 community organizations.
Because of his work in city government and grant-making, Goode has developed a vast network of not-for-profit and community contacts. From folk museums and community theatres to soup kitchens and AIDS service organizations, Goode has a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of Chicago’s community organizations. And he says he plans to put his community contacts to good use in his new job.
Bill Michel, Assistant Vice President for Student Life and Associate Dean in the College, is pleased to appoint Wallace as part of the senior student life leadership team. “Wallace will be a tremendous resource for us. His experience working with the city, with such a wide variety of community organizations and in such a wide variety of neighborhoods will really be a great asset to UCSC and our students.”
But Goode’s vast network of contacts with the city’s community service organizations is not the only reason that Steve Klass, Vice President and Dean of Students in the University, called him “a dream candidate” for the job. Goode has years of experience in higher education, community service, international programming and, said Klass, “He’s a native of Woodlawn. He understands the dynamic between the University and its neighbors. That’s a really unique and valuable perspective to bring to his role.”
A current resident of Woodlawn, who attended Mt. Carmel High School, Goode has worked in higher education for more than a decade, serving as an assistant dean of students at both Earlham College and the Illinois Institute of Technology, as well as dean of off-campus and international programs at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. Additionally, Goode has been active in the Peace Corps throughout his career, having worked in community and rural development in the Central African Republic and the Solomon Islands. He also has served as the president and vice president-for-life for the Chicago Area Peace Corps Association Board since 1991.
“It’s an incredible opportunity,” said Goode of his new role. “It’s a chance to work with and encourage incredibly smart and talented young people at a University I love,” he said. “And at the same time, I’ll continue to work with community organizations and have a chance of making a positive impact throughout Chicago.”
Goode knows firsthand the impact the University’s volunteers can have on the neighboring communities. As an adolescent growing up in Woodlawn, Goode was tutored by two Chicago students who met with him at the St. Clare Elementary School (64th and Woodlawn) and who often brought him to Ida Noyes Hall.
It was this youthful glimpse of the intellectual life across the Midway that, in large part, motivated Goode academically and encouraged him to pursue a career in higher education. “I knew from the time I was in eighth grade that I wanted to work at a university,” he said.
But just as much as Goode believes the University’s community outreach and volunteerism can enrich the lives of its neighbors, he also sees a reciprocal effect: the community can have a “transformative” effect on the University. Goode, for instance, said he wants to encourage more and more Chicago students to develop what he calls “cross-cultural dexterity.” Whether its international travel or travel within different ethnic or socioeconomic enclaves domestically, Goode believes the ability to speak different languages and understand different cultures is invaluable.
In his new role at UCSC he plans to encourage more and more students, faculty and staff to not only broaden their education through interactions in different parts of the city—in less-familiar surroundings—but to also “talk about these experiences with their peers. I really want to encourage people who serve to share their experiences with others.”
The UCSC has continued to expand its role in the past several years, as more and more students, staff and faculty develop an interest in volunteerism. Goode credits the success of UCSC to his predecessor, Pam Bozeman Evans and UCSC’s veteran staff, including David Hays, Gail Zurek and Kimberley Gardiner, and a committed group of students.
“I’m really stepping into a wonderful, enthusiastic environment,” said Goode. “They’re doing great work. And I just want to continue to build on the momentum.”
Members of the University community will have a chance to meet Goode at the UCSC’s open house from 4 to 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7 in the UCSC offices, 5525 S. Ellis Ave. For more information on the UCSC and its volunteer opportunities, please visit: http://communityservice.uchicago.edu, or call (773) 753-GIVE.