Rasul named Director of Neighborhood Schools Program

Shaz Rasul, Managing Director of the Chicago Public Schools/University of Chicago Internet Project, has been named Director of the University’s Neighborhood Schools Program. Rasul also will manage the Gear–Up Program that provides academic enrichment to students at Dunbar Vocational Career Academy and Kenwood Academy High School. He will begin his new position Monday, Nov. 1.

Rasul, SM’08, AB’97, has a wide array of experience working with schools as a teacher trainer, curriculum integration expert, and an IT consultant for nearly a decade. He has worked with more than 35 public schools and the CPS Technology Magnet Cluster Program to help strengthen technology integration efforts throughout greater Chicago.

A Hyde Park resident, Rasul has been instrumental in mentoring various Neighborhood Schools Program students, and he worked closely with teachers and school administrators to find the best ways to utilize technological resources that would make a transformative impact in the classroom. Rasul also served in the U.S. Peace Corps, where he developed and facilitated workshops for teachers and school management committees in South Africa on the post–Apartheid curriculum.

“We are delighted to have Shaz Rasul join our team as director of such a worthwhile program that helps to enhance our education outreach efforts,” said Sonya Malunda, Associate Vice President for Civic Engagement. “The Neighborhood Schools Program provides support to more than 40 schools, community centers and the administrative offices of local elected officials. It is our goal to link these partners to the vast array of University resources to improve the quality of life within the community.”

Founded more than 30 years ago, the program provides opportunities for University of Chicago students to assist in classrooms, community centers and government offices. In addition to classroom instruction, students also do individual and group tutoring. The program not only connects the University’s public school partners to campus resources but also offers a way for students to gain invaluable, hands–on experience by working in the community.

“It has been the greatest of pleasures to work with Shaz and to experience his practical solutions to very difficult, daily problems of the city schools,” said Donald York, the Horace B. Horton Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, who has worked with Rasul as a co–director of CUIP. “I and all of our staff members wish him the very best in his new position.”

Bernadette Butler, Principal of William H. Ray Elementary School, located in Hyde Park, said Rasul has a sound ability to work with many different constituencies to handle the various educational needs within the community.

“I have worked with Mr. Rasul for the past three years in his leadership capacity with CUIP,” said Butler. “He worked over months, tirelessly, facilitating the process of how to upgrade our technology hardware at Ray School. During that project, Mr. Rasul had to work with parents, teachers and community members to address technology needs.”

Rasul succeeds long–time program director Duel Richardson, who retired in June after 34 years of building the University’s ties with the community. Richardson was an early staff member of the Office of Civic Engagement when it was created in 1974 as the Office of Community Affairs.

“As a college student at the University, working in the Neighborhood Schools Program gave me my first opportunity to help schools in a meaningful way,” said Rasul. “I am humbled by this appointment as this is an excellent way to help nurture and build upon our partnerships in the community while supporting the University’s commitment to public education.”