Some students and faculty may do a double take when they enter the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) this semester and see Blake Stack sitting behind the front desk.

That’s because Stack supervised many UR students—including Build It volunteers, Jepson students, and Bonner Scholars—during the past two years when he served as the volunteer coordinator at Boaz and Ruth, a local nonprofit dedicated to successful re-entry of ex-offenders. Prior to his stint at Boaz and Ruth, Stack managed a Philadelphia thrift store whose proceeds supported local nonprofits.

He’ll draw heavily on his nonprofit expertise—with its emphasis on community development, volunteer management, and student development—as he interacts with faculty, staff, and students in his new role as CCE administrative coordinator.

“Being on the ground level in the community was an eye-opening experience,” Stack said. “It shaped the way I see Richmond. You come to realize that it’s not just the people you work with who need transforming. You need transforming as much as, if not more than, they do.”

Stack expressed enthusiasm about how he can support CCE staff in their efforts to help students connect with the community in ways that will be transformative for students and community alike.

“Community development is not done in isolation,” Stack said. “Working with UR students is a key part of helping the city of Richmond grow and thrive. We at the CCE are committed to that, and I’m grateful to be part of the team.”