New special projects coordinator to advance pursuits of the Dean’s office

Daniel Kington
October 13, 2016

Sarah Vaughn NyklThe Voinovich School is pleased to welcome Sarah Vaughn Nykl as special projects coordinator.

Nykl has deep connections to Southeast Ohio as well as Ohio University. She was born and raised in the region, graduated from Athens High School and then stayed in town to complete her bachelor’s degree in political science at Ohio University in 2009 with a minor in anthropology and a certificate in gender studies. She returned to the University in 2010 to pursue her master’s degree in public administration (MPA), beginning her relationship with the Voinovich School. This relationship with the School did not end after her graduation in 2012, however. Instead, she became a founding board member of the George Voinovich School Alumni Society (GVSAS), and was back on the Ridges regularly for board meetings and occasionally as a class speaker.

“What’s great about the Voinovich School is that there’s always a project going on and there’s always a way to help,” Nykl said. “There’s always a chance to make an impact.”

One week before completing her MPA, Nykl found a position with Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio, where she worked as the resource development director. In this position, Nykl served as the primary fundraiser for the Habitat affiliate, thereby assisting the program in its mission to provide quality, safe and affordable housing. Nykl’s next step was to return to Ohio University as the assistant director of external relations with the Ohio University Alumni Association, where she planned events and worked to increase alumni engagement. Roughly two years later, Nykl began work as the assistant director of central advancement with Ohio University Advancement, where she worked to identify and cultivate potential donors to the University. While fulfilled in each of these positions, Nykl said she is happy to be back at the Voinovich School.

“When I saw an opportunity to work here in the Dean’s office with Dean Weinberg, Amista Lipot and Laura Alloway, I jumped at the chance,” Nykl said. “It’s my first week, and I’m very happy. I love having a fast-paced, dynamic work day. I love moving from project to project; I love working with lots of different projects at the same time. And I’m excited to be back up here on the hill.”

As special projects coordinator, Nykl will manage a wide and diverse array of ventures on behalf of the Voinovich School Dean’s office.

“This is a place where I can use and grow my skillset, and dive back into the nonprofit world,” Nykl said. “I missed the nonprofit world, working daily on projects that matter to people here in Southeast Ohio. That’s why I’m back at the Voinovich School, and I’m excited.”

Despite devoting herself so wholeheartedly to her career in public service, Nykl manages to find time to nurture her other talents and hobbies.

“I’m an avid power-lifter, swimmer and chef. And I just got a cat,” Nykl said.