Northern Arizona University and the city of Flagstaff announced Wednesday that Valeria Chase was chosen for the Neighborhood Liaison position.

Chase, an NAU employee, got both her bachelor's and master’s degrees at NAU and is raising her family in Flagstaff. She has lived in Flagstaff for about 20 years, and prior to living in the city served eight years in the United States Army.

“This position serves a critical function and we are excited to see it filled,” Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans said in a press release. “Strengthening neighborhood relationships and community building are City Council priorities and Valeria will be an asset in this role.”

At a public forum to discuss her plans for the first few months on the job, Chase said she was committed to extensive outreach with stakeholders, including the city, university, business community, neighborhood associations, the police and fire departments, and student groups.

Her signature program would be the student ambassadors program, which would ideally involve students of different majors who live in the various communities off-campus. The ambassador would spearhead neighborhood projects like a trash cleanup, cookouts or other activities for the neighborhood to get both students and longtime residents involved, she told the audience at the forum.

“This position plays an important role in bridging the relationships between the university, the city, and the neighborhoods, and Valeria brings a strong understanding of each,” NAU President Rita Cheng said in a press release. “Her existing connections with long-term residents and students will allow her to enhance cooperation and communication.”

The position was previously held by Karissa Morgan, who spent less than a year on the job before accepting another job in May. The position has been vacant since her departure.

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