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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > University Settlement Announces Expanded Executive Structure

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University Settlement Announces Expanded Executive Structure

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Nov 27, 2012
New York, NY

As of January 1, 2013, University Settlement will operate under a new and expanded executive structure with former director of community development, Melissa Aase, assuming responsibility as executive director under Chief Executive Officer Michael H. Zisser. This is the first time in the organization’s history that the two roles will be held separately; the combined title was formerly held by Zisser.

“The past few decades have been some of University Settlement’s most exciting. Our budget has grown by over 1000%, we’ve expanded to more than 550 staff and we now serve thousands more families at 21 sites throughout New York City,” states Zisser. “This new structure reflects the next step in our growth, and I can’t think of a stronger, more intelligent, passionate leader than Melissa Aase.”

Melissa Aase has been with University Settlement since 1992, beginning as a student intern, then case manager, supervisor, and finally director of University Settlement’s highly-regarded eviction prevention program, Project Home. In 2003 Aase joined the senior management team as director of community development, overseeing the Houston Street Center, Older Adults programming and Project Home, as well as new community, strategic partnerships and intra-agency projects.

“University Settlement's strength has been its ability to evolve with our changing communities yet remain a strong, connected anchor,” states Aase.  “I feel fortunate to have grown along with it, doing work that is deeply satisfying on every level – professional, political, creative, intellectual, even spiritual if you consider the quest for social justice a calling; I do. I am humbled and honored to be able to lead this good work alongside stellar colleagues, a terrific mentor, and in such vibrant communities.”

About The Creative Center at University Settlement
The Creative Center at University Settlement is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the creative arts to people with cancer, chronic illnesses, and through all stages of life. Founded in 1994 on the belief that "medicine cures the body, but art heals the spirit," The Creative Center began as a series of free art workshops for women with cancer. 17 years later, with immeasurable recognition in the field of arts in healthcare and the nonprofit sector, The Creative Center is proud to have hospital artist-in-residence programs in more than 20 healthcare sites around the New York metropolitan area, free-of-charge art workshops every day of the week, an online gallery representing professional artists living with illness, and a training program bringing The Creative Center's proven approach to arts in healthcare around the country. In 2011, The Creative Center became a program of University Settlement and has begun to expand into the growing field of "creative aging", putting into practice what recent research has shown; that arts activities and experiences provide not only opportunities for artistic and self expression, but also measurable health benefits to seniors at all stages in the aging continuum, enabling them to live better and healthier lives. The Creative Center will now become integrated throughout University Settlement's senior programming.

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This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.