2013 Innovation & Leadership Finalist
Nominated by Serve Illinois
Jane Angelis is a retired educator who holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Communications from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her research includes studies on civic engagement and leadership in retirement, organizational development for intergenerational programs, and coalition development across generations. She currently directs Generations Serving Generations, a public private partnership in cooperation with the National Governors Association and sponsored by both the Illinois Department on Aging and Serve Illinois Commission.
Jane Angelis has been Serve Illinois’ most active Commissioner since her appointment in 2009. She has brought with her the vast network of education, government, and foundation contacts that are critical to social sector impact that State Commissions seek to achieve. Jane sits on all four of the Commissions substantive Committees (Outreach, Volunteer Recognition, Strategic Planning, and Resource Development), and is by far the most engaged Commissioner with the Serve Illinois staff.
The National Governor’s Association (NGA) Project on the Civic Engagement of Older Adults was launched in June 2008. Illinois was one of 14 states selected to participate in the project designed to improve the health and lives of older Americans and increase their involvement in service, learning, and work. Other states chosen were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wyoming. Built on strong intergenerational traditions in Illinois, the original goals were to 1) Build an infrastructure of involvement for those 50+ in work, learning and service, 2) Communicate the importance of civic engagement to retirees, educators, employers, and the public, and 3) Develop policy and public support for civic engagement. The only state that formally continued the work out of the 14 is Illinois, with the Generations Serving Generations initiative. Housed under the Serve Illinois Commission, and represented by the Illinois Department on Aging, the City of Chicago Department on Aging, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, and the Illinois Office of CNCS, this public-private partnership is driven by the amazing leadership of Jane Angelis. The signature publication of the Generations Serving Generations partnership is Continuance, the semi-annual publication for which Jane is the editor-in-chief.
There are two noteworthy accomplishments that Jane Angelis spearheaded in the past year. First of all, Jane identified an exciting opportunity that the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation was administering, known as “Why News Matters.” Jane led the charge on applying for this project, and she secured a $40,000 grant to explore news literacy across generations. This project will culminate in an intergenerational news literacy summit in Chicago, scheduled for August 14, 2013. The second accomplishment took Jane around the world to gather information and ideas about how national educational systems are preparing countries for their aging populations. From October 9 to November 19, 2012, Jane traveled to the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Finland, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, and Australia to survey successful public programs that lead to longer, more fulfilling lives for the populations of these countries. Jane’s report – Opportunities for Education in an Aging World – will be sent to numerous international and federal agencies, and will be published in the next issue of Continuance Magazine.