Julie Burkhart is the Director of Community Engagement at the University of Kansas. Her primary role is to facilitate linkages between KU resources, expertise, and capabilities on the Lawrence, Edwards, and KU Medical Center campuses with Kansas City area leaders to reduce workforce challenges, solve problems by utilizing community-based research and service, and grow entrepreneurship and economic development in this region and beyond.
To help solve the workforce challenge in the life sciences industry, Julie is leading a cross-campus program to build a sustainable talent pipeline. This program includes the launch of the KU Biotech Career Accelerator, which provides select students a unique opportunity to explore potential careers in industry, improve their professional, business acumen and industry specific skills, network with area companies, and gain real-world experience. To expand engagement efforts in the communities KU serves – with members of the public, community organizations, business and industry, state and local government and others – Julie is also leading an internal cross-campus initiative with faculty and staff to increase understanding of the full engagement spectrum.
Prior to joining KU, Julie spent 18 years at Sprint in training, leadership development, knowledge management and talent acquisition roles. She also served as president of Sprint’s Women’s Employee Resource Group. She was Sprint’s 2013 Diversity Award recipient and was selected for its High Performing Manager Program in 2010. Julie continues her active role in developing female leadership, especially in STEM fields, by mentoring students and serving as the chair of the Central Exchange STEMMy programs and events committee.
Julie’s academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in family life and human development from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in business communication from Fort Hays State University.