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New Director for Bennion Center for Community Engagement

Student Affairs welcomes BobbiJo Kanter as the director of the Lowell Bennion Center for Community Engagement. New Director for Bennion Center for Community Engagement

The director is responsible for fulfilling the Bennion Center for Community Engagement's vision of creating a student-centered and empowered Center. Kanter will build strong partnerships and relationships with community organizations and partners within the University and surrounding communities. She will oversee a team of professional and graduate assistant staff within the Center, who will report to her. This role involves close collaboration with student board members representing program areas of the Center, such as Alternative Breaks, Community Engagement Cohorts, Community Partner Programs, Residential Engagement, and Utah Reads. Reporting to the Associate Dean for Student Engagement and Leadership, Kanter will join the team of Student Affairs Directors and play a key role in facilitating the overall vision, strategic planning, and general operations of the Center.

For the past 7.5 years, Kanter has been a dedicated and enthusiastic member of the Bennion Center team at the University of Utah. She previously served as the associate director for co-curricular engagement before accepting the director position in October 2023. Her role at the center exemplifies her passion for social change and experiential education. She has tirelessly contributed to the development and implementation of meaningful community engagement initiatives, leaving an indelible mark on the university and its surrounding communities.

"BobbiJo's experience working in the field of non-profit organizations coupled with her tenure as a leader in Bennion Center will enable her to hit the ground running as the next Director of the Center,” said Erica Andersen, associate dean for Student Engagement and Leadership. “Additionally, her passion for student learning and development in the field of community engagement, along with her true understanding of the impact students can make in their local and global communities are both skillsets that will not only serve the Center well but inspire others to act, serve, and engage. We cannot wait to witness and be part of what BobbiJo will accomplish in this role"

Kanter is a dedicated professional with a passion for influencing positive impacts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Psychology from Hastings College where she was also a member of the women’s soccer team. Building upon this foundation, she earned a Master of Arts in History from the esteemed University of Alabama.

Kanter has embarked on a fulfilling career journey, marked by a deep commitment to advocacy and community engagement. She commenced her professional endeavors with Special Olympics Wyoming where she dedicated her expertise to fostering inclusivity and empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities. Her impactful work led her to Utah, where she continued to contribute significantly to the community by working with Special Olympics Utah for more than a decade. Her dedication to this invaluable organization showcased her unwavering commitment to inclusion and community building.

Beyond her professional achievements, Kanter finds deep fulfillment in her personal life. She is happily married and welcomed her first child in December 2022.  She finds joy in exploring the outdoors and her adventurous spirit has taken her on countless journeys, allowing her to appreciate the beauty of the people and places in our world.

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Last Updated: 12/12/23