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Human of the Hilltop: Thinks broadly, advocates locally

Many faculty and staff members at Bradley choose to go above and beyond their official obligations to the university. One example of these individuals is credentialing coordinator for the College of Education and Health Sciences, Julie Schifeling. 

Schifeling’s responsibilities include federal and state reporting, reviewing agreements for practicum and clinical experiences, and more. She also advocates for others through programs such as Amnesty International USA, a human rights organization. 

“I have always had a passion for helping people; especially helping those who, through circumstances not of their own making, do not have a voice,” Schifeling said. “As a result, my advocacy has focused on two issues: human rights and education.” 

Schifeling has served as co-director of the Women and Gender Studies Program and on the Women’s and Gender Studies Advisory Committee. She’s overseen lectures, moderated panel discussions and helped plan over fifty events regarding feminist activism and gender equality. 

“Julie is the consummate ethical servant leader and tireless advocate; she is one of the most creative, dependable, and energetic teammates that I have worked with at Bradley,” Amy Scott, associate professor of History and director of Women’s and Gender Studies, said. 

In the same department, Scott has worked alongside Schifeling. 

“She’s always engaged in a project that is intended to make the world a more just, equitable and humane place; she wears that heartfelt mission on her sleeve, and in doing so, she inspires her colleagues and her students to get engaged in social justice work as well,” Scott said. 

Schifeling was also involved with the Tunnel of Oppression, an event that increased awareness among students on issues including domestic abuse, sexual assault and racial discrimination, taught through a walking tour. She organized petitions, brochures and information for students. 

“[Julie] came in and volunteered to be on the [Tunnel of Oppression] committee and help us, the committee and the program provide a civically focused response to all the stuff students were learning,” executive director for Diversity and Inclusion Norris Chase said. “Julie’s genius helped us take all of that information and create actionable things that students could do afterwards.” 

She also participated in a walk out in March. 

“I joined the National Walk Out here at Bradley because I believe in the reasons for the walkout – to honor the victims killed by firearms and to protest to push lawmakers to pass common sense gun reform,” Schifeling said. 

Schifeling and Chase first worked together on a committee to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. According to Chase, Schifeling feels passionately about her work. 

Schifeling has worked as a Bradley adjunct professor for 14 years and served as the community outreach coordinator for the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service for over seven years. 

“I just remember this very, very outspoken, kind and compassionate and very intelligent professional that I connected to immediately,” Chase said. “She’s one of my favorite people on campus because of her candor, her compassion, her dedication to her industry, to her students, to her team members. If I could create or envision what servant leadership looked like in person, it would be Julie.” 

This story is part of the Scout 2018 summer special issue. Read the full summer issue

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