Rachel Nelson


Associate Director, Partnerships and Programs

I work to build relationships with people interested in making a difference through the combination of university and community knowledge, resources and passion. My focus is on developing authentic, respectful, sustainable and mutually valuable partnerships with community. One of the main channels for this work has been through the SFU Surrey – TD Community Engagement Centre, where we work in collaboration with people and organizations in Surrey to co-develop activities and initiatives for the purpose of building more resilient communities. 

Why community engagement matters to me:

At its core, community engagement is about people. I believe that a synergistic connection exists between the effectiveness of initiatives and the quality of relationships. Bringing our whole authentic human selves into relationships and acting with empathy, humility and flexibility is just as important as anything else in this work. Principled practice of community engagement is a powerful way for the university and community to work together on addressing the complex challenges our society is facing in the 21st century. I think bringing the strengths and assets of the academy and community together in ways that facilitate the genuine respect for different forms of knowledge and that provide the fertile ground for co-creation of ideas and action has the potential to catalyze lasting and meaningful change on issues that matter to us all.

CONTACT: rachel_nelson@sfu.ca
Telephone: 778.782.8082