Valerie Hennings has a unique political science background that will lend to her work as Newman University’s new director of institutional assessment and research.
Prior to Newman, where she started on Oct. 27, Hennings worked at Morningside University in Sioux City, Iowa, as a political science faculty member and director of the Colonel Day Center for Civic Engagement. She also worked as a faculty member and scholar-in-residence at Iowa State University’s Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.
Hennings holds four degrees, including two master’s and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Now at Newman, Hennings looks forward to helping Newman thrive using her skills in strategic assessment and research.
She shares that she was drawn to the director of institutional assessment and research role for several reasons.
“I am inspired by the university’s mission and share Newman’s commitment to empower graduates to transform society,” Hennings said. “I am excited about the position because it provides me with an opportunity to work with members of the Newman community from all parts of campus.”
Moreover, “I really enjoy problem solving, working with data and trying to understand how processes work, so this role truly has all the markers of what I define as the ideal position for me,” she said.
Within her role, Hennings will analyze various types of processes and data from across the institution, which ultimately support the work and decisions being made throughout campus.
One of Hennings’ immediate goals is to learn as much as possible about the Newman community.
“I want to work with a variety of people and identify ways that my office can best contribute to the success of the institution, and, more importantly, contribute positively to students’ experiences,” she said.
Hennings is passionate about education and the transformative effect it can have on one’s life, so being able to contribute directly to that passion inspires her.
“As a first-generation college student, I benefitted a great deal from the life-changing opportunities and experiences that higher education can provide,” she shared. “As a member of the Newman community, I have the chance to use my skills in ways that can help Newman, support the university’s mission and make positive differences in the lives of students.”
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