Bollivar ’88 Receives Communication Innovator Award
March 27, 2019
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Linda Bollivar ’88, executive director of the Multicultural Leadership Program (MCLP), was recently awarded the Communication Innovator Award, one of three Crystal
Awards from the Association for Women in Communications - Bloomington/Normal.
The Communication Innovator Award recognizes a woman who has achieved excellence in
communicating a project, mission, or event that benefits the Bloomington-Normal community.
Recipients are marked by their leadership abilities, civic engagement and ability
to connect with and inspire audiences.
“To me, effective communication involves finding the right amount of detail for each
situation,” said Bollivar. “I've worked in a wide variety of settings with people
of different ages, religions, cultures, abilities, etc. I always try to think about
what information my audience already has, and what is most relevant to them so that
I can adapt my message accordingly.”
For several years, Bollivar has guided the growth of the Multicultural Leadership
Program, a non-profit organization that offers professional leadership development
for current and aspiring community leaders. Throughout the nine-month program, MCLP
participants come to better understand their own leadership style and how to work
within a diverse team through seminars, discussions and hands-on experience leading
a project to benefit local non-profits.
MCLP’s location less than a block away from Illinois Wesleyan’s campus has facilitated
a steady connection between the two organizations, linked by shared values. “Because
of IWU's commitment to diversity and inclusion, the University has been a strong supporter
of the Multicultural Leadership Program since it was started in 2009,” said Bollivar,
who also maintains her ties to the University through her husband, Miner Linnaeus
Sherff Endowed Professor of Botany David Bollivar. “Our offices have been on IWU's
campus since the fall of 2014, which has provided the opportunity for us to partner
with wonderful interns over the years.”
Linda Bollivar has held a number of leadership positions before MCLP, such as director
of Faith in Action and program director of Sugar Creek Alzheimer's Special Care Center.
Bollivar, who graduated from Illinois Wesleyan with degrees in psychology and French,
has found that her broad liberal arts education at Illinois Wesleyan has given her
the skills to be successful in a range of leadership roles.
“In my nonprofit leadership career, I've been amazed at how much of my time is spent
writing in a wide variety of formats such as emails, and press releases, in addition
to one-on-one communications, presentations and even media interviews,” Bollivar shared.
“The strong liberal arts focus really prepared me well for being able to communicate
effectively with a wide variety of audiences.”
By Rachel McCarthy ’21