Walk into Bailo Hall, up a flight of stairs, around the corner, and who will you see? Sitting behind a desk surrounded by pictures of students and numerous awards acknowledging her service will be Fran Boltz, current Learn and Serve director and future IMPACT director at Niagara University.
Boltz, a member of the Niagara community since 1998, has made an instrumental impact on both campus and student life. She is the primary organizer of service activities on campus and serves on the board for the Vincentian Scholarship Program, a program for students who desire to complete intensive service throughout the Niagara region.
Starting today, the Learn and Serve Office will be renamed IMPACT, a further development of the program.
“Previously, our bragging rights were in hours,” says Boltz. “We’re shifting the emphasis to have it project-directed so what’s important is the project and how people talk about it.”
Starting this fall with the class of 2021, a new four-plus-one plan will be implemented through IMPACT, led by Boltz.
“Through the new four-plus-one program, students will identify a need in the Niagara region, plan how to make change for that need, work toward that need and evaluate that need through IMPACT,” she says.
The plus-one part of the program will deal with the extensive alumni base at Niagara University.
“We want to make sure that our students are leaving Niagara with a deep commitment to service,” says Boltz.
Boltz, throughout her entire life, has had a passion for serving others.
“My passion comes from my interchanges with people and the experiences that I have had throughout my lifetime,” she says.
Before serving as a full-time staff member at Niagara University, she graduated from St. John’s University, a sister Vincentian school to Niagara, with a bachelor’s degree in education. When she began working at Niagara University part time, she also served as the director of a shelter for women coming out of domestic violence situations.
Now as the director of Learn and Serve and soon to be IMPACT, Boltz has completely revitalized the program.
“When I first started working at Niagara, we had 50 people in community service,” she says. “Now I believe we count close to 1,900 students per year.”
At Niagara, Boltz has stressed the importance service to all students. She believes that students have to get invested in the world around them to see that life’s not just what it appears to be at Niagara.
“There are so many things that are going on all around the world,” she says. “Service can enrich a student’s life; it can help them with their own personal growth and it can help them in their own professions as well.”
Boltz is a highly respected employee that continues to influence the lives of countless students.
Article by Britini D’Angelo, a sophomore majoring in communication studies and theatre, and vice president of the Public Relations Student Society of Niagara. In celebration of Women’s History Month, PRSSN teamed up with the women’s studies committee to spotlight some of Niagara University’s most influential female faculty and staff. Throughout the month of March, get to know more about their lives, careers, accomplishments and the impact that they have on the NU community.