We are delighted to share news of two additions to the IOP staff! Melissa Navas has begun this week as our new Director of Career Development and Purvi Patel will join the IOP mid-February as our new Director of Campus & Civic Engagement.
Melissa Navas joins the IOP this week as our new Director of Career Development, working closely with Program Coordinator Scott Davis. Melissa is currently an MPP candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy and knows the IOP inside and out from her time as Graduate Student Chair on the IOP’s Student Advisory Board. Melissa comes to the role not only with unique insight into the UChicago student experience and demonstrated passion for the IOP’s mission, but also formidable previous experience as a reporter, press secretary to two governors, and communications executive in county government. And she has a natural passion and track record for mentoring young people, both formally and informally. We are delighted to welcome her to lead the IOP’s efforts to provide opportunities for UChicago students to explore different potential career paths in public service, to develop relevant skills for doing so, and to offer students advice and support in navigating the exploration process.
Purvi Patel will join the IOP February 11th as our new Director of Campus & Civic Engagement, working closely with Program Coordinator Jenny Huang. Purvi comes to us from Washington University in St. Louis, where she has been the Assistant Director of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion and serves as an instructor in the civic scholars program. In that role, Purvi has led efforts to provide Wash U students with various opportunities to develop civic leadership interests and skills. She has taught and mentored both individual students as well as cohorts of students to help them promote positive change in their communities on a myriad of different issues. She has also worked to nurture socially-engaged communities of students at Oberlin College and Loyola University Maryland, and has strong knowledge of our wonderful city from getting her BA at Loyola University in Chicago. Her vibrancy and experience in cultivating civic spirit and skills amongst young people, as well as her track record in working with diverse student groups, will be a tremendous asset to the IOP in further growing our portfolio of civic engagement programs.