Connie Hansen’s impact at UNI spans 34 years

Over the span of 34 years, Connie Hansen has made a tremendous impact on UNI’s campus and in student life.


Constance Hansen, affectionately known as Connie, currently works in Maucker Union as the Office of Student Involvement’s Associate Director. But, it wasn’t where she originally started in terms of working at the university. Hansen has a long history with UNI, from a student to an employee, Hansen’s influence and impact at the university spans 34 years. 

Originally beginning as an Admissions Counselor at Gilchrist Hall, Hansen remained a counselor for 15 and a half years. “I loved meeting with prospective students and families!” Hansen commented on her work in the Office of Admissions. After spending 15 years in the Office of Admissions, Hansen moved to Maucker Union for the first time to work in Student Involvement, but spent five years in Maucker Union before moving again to the Alumni Association, where she worked as the Student and Young Alumni Engagement Coordinator, overseeing Connecting Alumni to Students and the Mascot Program. 

Hansen spent eight years as the Engagement Coordinator before moving back to Maucker Union, where Hansen is now and has served for the past six years, first as the Campus Programs Coordinator, and now the Associate Director of Student Involvement. 

As the Associate Director, Hansen handles a number of responsibilities, including all 200 of UNI’s student organizations alongside Josh Bulten, the Campus Programs Coordinator, and Josh Farris, the Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator. Although this may seem like a large challenge to a majority of people, for Hansen, who enjoys a challenge, she welcomes all 200 student organizations with open arms. 

“Students need someone to say ‘you got this,’” Hansen noted. “We’re all here because we want to see you succeed, we want to be your cheerleaders.” Hansen envisions Student Involvement as a place where students can connect to other students and not just build their organizations, but truly find a home at UNI. 

“We want students to find themselves in places where they can make relationships and find their people at UNI.” On top of rooting for students who are dipping their toes into the water of student involvement, Hansen also provides support for student leaders within their organizations, assisting them in event planning and organizing, financing, and speaking at Greek Leaders Retreat to guide student leaders in their respective organizations. 

Hansen noted that one of the crises plaguing student organization can be drawn back to a lack of confidence. “Students that are already leaders need to be open to their failures and their successes – if an event doesn’t get as many people involved as you’d want, leaders need to be able to realize that at least you gained the skills and knowledge of what to do next time and how to improve it.” 

Hansen also acknowledges the struggle that student organizations have recently gone through as we emerge from the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. “We all went through a very traumatic experience and many student organizations had to put everything on pause.” Hansen said. 

As Hansen was the main contact for the Student Involvement Office during the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hansen assisted the 200 student organizations struggling during lockdown. “It was definitely a challenge, but I’m never one to shy away from that.” 

Hansen acknowledged the difficulty of assisting these student leaders and working towards solutions for them, but also acknowledged her support staff who gave her words of encouragement and help when she needed it. 

“I’m surrounded by support people; Mike Bobeldyk was the first person to remind me to take time for myself, and Pam Creger was always there telling me ‘I can do this for you’…The way they supported me is the way I want to support students – it’s contagious.” 

But prior to Hansen’s employment at the university, she was a student first, receiving her undergraduate degree in elementary education. Hansen accredits parts of her success today to the women that guided her in her undergraduate. Of these women include Dr. Sue Follon, who taught Hansen “how to use my gifts and talents in the right way and how to corral [her] passion and enthusiasm. She taught me to pick the things that really mattered, and other things can work themselves out.” Hansen also discusses the likes of other women who lifted her up during her undergraduate and during her early years of employment at UNI, naming Jan Hanish, the former Director of Maucker Union and Amy Mohr, who works in the Alumni Association with Hansen, “So many people gave me little gifts along the way.” 

Hansen also discussed how cool it is to be able to have similar impacts on students going through undergraduate at UNI. “I have 34 years of watching students go on to do great things, I have students who come back with children of their own who are now UNI students, I get notes of appreciation from students who have graduated, it’s so great to see that work come full circle.” 

The biggest takeaway Hansen noted about living, working and studying at UNI are the human connections people make everyday. The “trails” we leave of connections students and faculty alike have made that will carry on for the rest of our lives. 

The work Connie Hansen has done for UNI and its Office of Student Involvement cannot be understated. Providing a toolbox for UNI’s 200+ student organizations and its many student leaders on campus shapes the leaders of our future governments and communities. 

The connections Hansen has made at UNI will prove to nourish and provide us with the leaders of tomorrow, right here at UNI.