Thoughts Upon Arrival: Mole, Curry and a Cinnamon Stick

My first days at UNP have been full of welcoming kindness, openness and passion from staff, community members and partners. What a privilege it is to be invited to be part of this delicious UNP recipe.

Mole, curry and pho are all delicious foods simmered to a perfect blend of spices. If one spice overpowers it does not taste as good. How does one learn how much of this and that to add? It takes experience, time, care, knowledge, expertise with a willingness to take risks and openness to learn from the results. And so here we are making mole one day, curry another, pho, alichaa, and marinara. Don’t forget to add the noodles, rice, bananas, sweet potatoes or kale to make it a meal. We invite you to be a spice in our UNP recipe and vision:

The University and west side neighborhoods share a vision of a community woven together through partnerships based on mutual empowerment, discovery, and learning rooted in diverse life experiences. By addressing systemic barriers to educational success, these collaborative partnerships foster increased access to higher education for west side residents, a University enriched by its involvement in the broader community, and an enhanced quality of life for all involved.

And to make our vision a reality we will implement the following Long-Range Priorities & Strategies.

Priority 1: Interweaving for Deeper Impact

Deepen the impact of UNP-supported partnerships through a stronger interweaving of west side neighborhoods, the University of Utah, and influential institutions around shared questions, priorities, and successful models.

Priority 2: Resident Leadership

Amplify the leadership and engagement of west side residents in defining, creating, and participating in the evolution of the west side.

Priority 3: Education Pathways

Enhance opportunities for people to achieve their goals and contribute to community through diverse, equitable, culturally responsive, and transformative educational pathways.

Priority 4: Engagement & Understanding

Engage and communicate more effectively with the University, west side neighborhoods, and broader audiences in ways that increase understanding, encourage participation, and influence the work of others who could learn from UNP and its partners.

I fancy myself a cinnamon stick…one of my favorite spices. As a child, canela tea with leche and sugar was a favorite. And so I bring my cinnamon stick self to this work and hope that I can add some sweet and savory flavor to our UNP recipe as well as be a tool for leading this orchestra of flavors.

Content provided by Jennifer Mayer-Glenn, UNP Director and Assistant to the President for Campus-Community Partnerships, University of Utah.

To view UNP’s Long Range Plan in an illustrative form, click HERE.