In recognition of outstanding professional achievement in a long career dedicated to helping others, Joan Nelson, United Way Vice President of Community Investment, was recently honored by the UCF College of Health and Public Affairs as a distinguished alumni.
Nelson, who joined United Way in 1997, has served the organization in many leadership capacities over the years. Most recently, she has been responsible for the implementation and expansion of Investing in Results, United Way’s strategic model focused on prevention and creating lasting change.
Well-respected within the Central Florida nonprofit community, Nelson previously served as Director of Research and Evaluation/Campus Director for the UCF American Humanics certificate program. She’s also served as an adjunct professor at UCF and at California State University in San Bernadino, CA. In addition, her academic research in the areas of evaluation and outcomes has been published in leading professional journals.
Nelson, who received a master’s degree in social work from UCF in 1996, said she is “humbled” to receive the award.
“I’m honored to be recognized by my colleagues and peers, especially the many social workers who are on the frontline and doing the hardest work every day,” she said. “I love what I do, and I know that my skill set and background in social work help me make a difference in our community.”
Nelson added, “As a social worker, you want to make things better. It’s great to be part of a large organization like United Way where you can do that on a larger level.”