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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

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Montaqo appointed first director of community service center

Salud Olessi Montaqo, currently the executive director of the YWCA of Trenton, N.J., has been selected as the first director of Princeton University's Center for Community Service.

She will join the staff in July as the Class of 1951 Director for Community Service, a position that has been endowed through an anonymous gift by a member of that class.

Plans to create a Center for Community Service at Princeton have been in the works for several years. Montaqo will be responsible for establishing a coordinating agency for the University's community, regional, national and international service initiatives. She will work with existing campus service organizations to provide opportunities for service learning, to identify needs and provide resources, and to create a centralized repository of information concerning Princeton/community collaborations.

"Ms. Montaqo brings to Princeton breadth of vision and experience," said Janet Dickerson, vice president for campus life, to whom Montaqo will report. "She will take the lead in establishing the Center for Community Service and in creating connections among campus, alumni and community agencies engaged in service work."

As executive director of the YWCA, Montaqo had responsibility for fiscal, programmatic, housing and human resources activities at all Trenton YWCA program sites within Mercer County. She has provided vision in implementing and managing new and existing social programs that deal with homelessness, immigration, youth development, women's issues, job development, affordable housing, racism and many other areas of concern. Her focus has been to build creative collaborations in order to strengthen the efforts of diverse groups working toward the same goal.

Before joining the YWCA, Montaqo was employed by Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey, where she oversaw statewide community service programs. She founded and, from 1992-95, served as executive director of the Latinas Unidas program, which serves the Latino community in Mercer County by providing education and training.

A graduate of the Stuart School in Princeton, Montaqo earned a bachelor of arts degree in Hispanic studies from Bryn Mawr College and a master of arts degree in international relations and economics from the School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University.

Montaqo has 11 years of professional experience in social services and civic activities, including her appointment as co-chair of the Human Relations Commission of the city of Trenton, appointment to the New Jersey State Board of Human Services and membership on the Lakeview Board of the Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Hospital.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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