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April 13, 2017

Director sought for community engagement ctr.

Pitt is seeking a director for its first community engagement center, which will be located in Homewood.

Last June Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced Pitt’s plans to fund three-five such centers, which will help coordinate and support Pitt faculty in community-based education and research programs.

In cooperation with local businesses, residents, institutions and community leaders, the center staff will help define needs and priorities, identify potential Pitt programs and guide and support their implementation.

Lina D. Dostilio, assistant vice chancellor for community engagement, reported on the Homewood center at the April 7 University Senate research committee meeting, which included members of the Senate community relations committee (CRC).

Paul Supowitz, vice chancellor for Community and Governmental Relations and a chancellor liaison on CRC, said Pitt hopes to open the Homewood center this fall.

The center will have a director, administrative support and student workers.

The job listing for the director has been posted on PittSource. The director will need to be very familiar with Homewood, said Dostilio.

“A place-based strategy really does something very, very important: It gives us a front door,” she said. “Let’s think about our own front doors on our homes: They’re important. It’s the way that people both knock on our door and invite us out to do really interesting and good things, but it’s also the way that people knock on our door when something needs to be addressed.

“So, being a part of a neighborhood and being at that fabric and scale of a neighborhood provide us a really wonderful platform to do this work in ways that are collaborative and capacity building and pretty meaningful.”

She said that a community engagement center in the Hill District is expected to open 18-24 months after the Homewood center opens.

Supowitz suggested that his staff provide an update on the community engagement centers at a fall meeting of the research committee.
—Katie Fike

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