Nicole Higgins, a lecturer in the English Department, has been appointed by Kansas City Mayor Sly James to serve on the mayor’s “Challenge Cabinet,” a group of 30 young professionals acting as an advisory panel to the city’s government. Higgins will serve on the new cabinet, charged with transforming the way City Hall approaches problems and working to develop efficient, effective and enhanced municipal operations. Mayor James announced the appointment at his March 19 State of the City address.
The Challenge Cabinet will have access to a number of resources in Kansas City’s entrepreneurial community, including UMKC’s Digital Sandbox, the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Google Fiber.
Higgins has been at UMKC for five years, first as a graduate student and now as a lecturer in the English Department. She is a poet and has received fellowships from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops and the Cave Canem Foundation. Her work has appeared or will appear soon in several publications, including Vinyl, Toe Good, and Cave Canem Anthology XIII. She also co-founded and serves as poetry editor of Hyphenate, an online magazine of literature, art, and ideas.
Higgins joins Troy Lillebo, assistant vice chancellor for external relations, who also was appointed to the cabinet. Read about Lillebo’s appointment here.