College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

College Establishes Advisory Board to Foster Community Connections

by Brooke Braun

During the fall of 2007, Dean Jack Censer selected and convened an advisory board whose first task is assisting the college by forging meaningful and mutually beneficial connections with the community. The advisory board members will offer guidance and support as the college seeks to establish ongoing working relationships with area businesses, organizations and individuals to explore how the college’s wealth of applied research and services can be applied to the community.

“Many of the departments and faculty within the college are already actively engaged in outreach initiatives,” said Censer. “The formation of the advisory board is intended to recognize these outreach efforts to highlight the college’s contribution to the community.”

In its early phases, the advisory board is tasked with creating a community mission statement, a community communications plan, and identifying the core competencies of the college as they relate to community outreach. These competencies will be consolidated into key outreach areas that can be presented and promoted externally. The advisory board is combing through department and faculty activities to learn about all external initiatives so as to define the outreach areas. Among the outreach areas already identified are education, local government, national and international government, specialty training, and public speaking. Such targeted services run the gamut from prison program assistance to teacher training for writing in the K-12 environment.

The benefits of establishing external relationships to the college, its departments, faculty and students are vast. Collaboration with external organizations increases the potential for a variety of instructional and research opportunities that will offer faculty and students access to relevant applications of classroom knowledge. Byproducts of these relationships will likely be increased positive publicity and revenue producing opportunities.

The advisory board will convene again in the beginning of the spring semester.

The members of the advisory board include:

  • Randolph “Ranny” Church, Senior Counsel, Hunton & Williams, LLP
  • Ashok Deshmukh, PhD
  • Michael Hincewicz, Managing Director, Northwestern Mutual Finance Network
  • Nancy Hirst, Omar L. Hirst, Inc.
  • Robert Montagne, Jr., President & CEO, Walnut Street Development
  • John A. Wilburn, Managing Editor, Houston Chronicle
  • Chryssa Zizos, President, Live Wire Media Relations
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