New Director of Community and Government Relations

ErikaPosted: June 11, 2012

Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., has named Erika A. Ramalho as the University’s director of community and government relations, effective July 1.

Ramalho will oversee the University’s Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) community development initiative, which has expanded and built upon Gannon’s existing efforts to serve its campus neighbors. The program is focused on the area bordered by Presque Isle Bay to the north, Parade Street to the east, 11th Street to the south and the Bayfront Parkway to the west.

Ramalho will implement an overall vision for Erie-GAINS, to include establishing strategies to ensure that the program’s goals and objectives are being realized. She will work closely with governmental agencies and organizations as well as the primary Gannon University departments, such as the Center for Social Concerns, Office of Service-Learning and Center for Experiential Education, that help engage Gannon students in community service and volunteer projects. 

Ramalho most recently served as director and site administrator for PA CareerLink®, Erie County and was responsible for building and maintaining relationships with clients, government officials and others. CareerLink® is a resource for connecting employers and job seekers and provides consultation services and online access to a comprehensive database of employment-related information.

Prior to joining CareerLink®, Ramalho served as project manager/public liaison for the Erie County Executive’s Office. She managed internal and community projects for the office and established and maintained relationships with local government officials and media correspondents.

Ramalho also previously worked as a planner with the Erie County Department of Planning.

Ramalho is a graduate of Slippery Rock University, earning a bachelor’s degree in public administration, and received Slippery Rock’s award for the Outstanding Student in Public Administration. She also has taken courses through the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Institute at the Pennsylvania State University.

For more information, visit www.gannon.edu/gains. 

More about Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) 

Gannon University in the summer of 2010 launched the program with a focus on five key issues, all centered on urban development:

 

  • Education – Gannon has developed new relationships and strengthened existing ties with a number of schools and nonprofit organizations in the City of Erie, including a mentoring program with Strong Vincent High School, a tutoring and mentoring program with the Martin Luther King Center, a legal studies program with East High School and reading programs with St. Peter Cathedral Center and Emerson-Gridley School.
  • Health and wellness – Through Erie-GAINS, Gannon has implemented a range of programs, including a Childhood Obesity Intervention program in collaboration with UPMC Hamot, and a healthy eating and nutrition initiative developed with Second Harvest Food Bank and St. Martin Center.
  • Business and economy – The University’s Erie Technology Incubator (ETI) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) have continued to play a key role in local and regional economic development and revitalization. In addition, Gannon’s Center for Experiential Education helps the private sector and nonprofit agencies and organizations find qualified interns and co-ops.
  • Quality of life – Through Erie-GAINS, the University offers a number of programs focused on civic engagement, poverty reduction and crime reduction. In addition, hundreds of Gannon students annually volunteer for local agencies and organizations through targeted community service initiatives.
  • Environmental sustainability – Efforts include the GLISTEN project (Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship Through Education Network), the Gannon Goes Green Committee and the University’s participation in the Perry Square Alliance. Goals related to environmental sustainability include increasing recycling and the number of green buildings and creating more green space.