Dr. Gabrielle Banick named to lead P-16 efforts

The University of Nebraska announced today that Dr. Gabrielle Banick, a longtime educator with experience in improving student outcomes and connecting education to workforce needs, will join NU on Aug. 1 as assistant vice president for P-16 initiatives.

Banick most recently served as dean of general education and academic support at Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville, Wis., a role she had held since 2010. Prior to that, she was the career and technical education coordinator for the Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wis.

In her new role, Banick will be responsible for leading the development, coordination and implementation of the university’s efforts in support of the Nebraska P-16 Initiative, which is dedicated to improving student success in the state. She will work closely with the university president, the four campuses and other P-16 stakeholders around Nebraska to develop strategies that prepare students for the workforce and facilitate a culture of lifelong learning in the state.

“Gabrielle Banick has the experience, leadership skills and passion necessary to move the P-16 Initiative forward. Her long career in education includes teaching, research and administrative roles that will serve her well in this new position at the University of Nebraska,” said Dr. Susan Fritz, NU executive vice president and provost. “Most important, Gabrielle understands that Nebraska’s success in today’s economy depends in large part on our ability to make sure students have access to high-quality education at all levels that prepares them for success in their careers and in life. I can’t wait to have her on board.”

Banick’s immediate duties will include fulfilling the “college pipeline” commitments the university made to the White House earlier this year as part of a national initiative to expand college access and success among underrepresented students. She also will be engaged in Nebraska’s pilot this fall of the American College Application Campaign, a national effort led by the American Council on Education to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students pursuing higher education credentials by helping them navigate the college application and admissions process. Expanding access to high-quality, rigorous STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses for Nebraska students – one of the core goals of the P-16 Initiative – will be another priority for Banick.

“The momentum and support surrounding Nebraska’s P-16 Initiative is remarkable, and I am honored to be a part of it,” Banick said. “Nebraska is at a critical point in building an educational system that not only prepares young people for college and career success, but also enhances the state’s economic competitiveness. I think the University of Nebraska and all of our education and business partners are well-positioned to do even more to make a difference in the lives of our students, the economy and the future of the state.”

Banick’s experience spans the K-12 systems in Nebraska and Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin system and Madison campus, the Wisconsin Technical College System state office, Blackhawk Technical College and Madison College. In all, she co-developed and led major educational reform initiatives to increase student access, retention and success. She also is experienced in workforce development, having built programs based on labor market data, increased youth participation in work-based learning programs, and led a curriculum integration that will help adult basic education students more quickly earn industry certificates from Blackhawk Technical College.

Banick earned her bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, master’s degrees in vocational education from UNL and in marriage and family therapy from Edgewood College in Madison, and her Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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