Provost Announcement: Introducing the Office of University Outreach and Engagement

Dear Kent State University Community,

I am excited to introduce the Office of University Outreach and Engagement, a new office under the Office of the Provost that intentionally brings together long-existing programming that will benefit from the shared knowledge, resources, experiences and successes that each separate program has demonstrated so well. The goals of the new office include coordinating and growing the mission-based K-12 to college pipeline work of the university; building a holistic student success strategy for all pipeline engagement experiences; developing and implementing a strategy for community engagement; and enhancing strong town-and-gown relationships, initiatives and opportunities. 

Dana Lawless-AndricDana Lawless-Andric, Ph.D., will lead this new office as associate vice president for university outreach and engagement. Previously, she served as associate vice president for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Dr. Lawless-Andric has been with the university since 2002, first working with TRIO Upward Bound Programs. She works with the Greater Akron Chamber as well as recent appointments to the boards of the American Red Cross of Greater Akron and the Mahoning Valley and the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation. She is also a recent graduate of Leadership Akron’s Signature Program. Her tremendous achievements and vast experience made her a natural choice to lead this new office.

The Office of University Outreach and Engagement consists of three main areas:

  • K-12 Pipeline and Pre-College Engagement
  • Town-and-Gown Partnership 
  • Community Relations and Development

K-12 Pipeline and Pre-College Engagement

The K-12 Pipeline and Pre-College Engagement area currently consists of Kent State’s partnerships with the LeBron James Family Foundation, Akron Public Schools’ College and Career Academies, the First Star Kent State Academy, Upward Bound Programs, Summit Education Initiative, Mahoning Valley College Access Program and more. The goal of this area is to establish a coordinated, comprehensive and mission-driven K-12 pipeline and pre-college effort that cultivates relationships and college readiness.

Town-and-Gown Partnership

The Town-and-Gown Partnership area will work to ensure that Kent State continues building strong connections and partnerships with the city of Kent and in Portage County. We will enhance our meaningful relationships and look for ways to further our partnerships through shared purpose.

Community Relations and Development

The Community Relations and Development area serves our public good mission through linking our expertise and voice with community needs. This will include ensuring a Kent State presence in the broader Northeast Ohio community on boards, nonprofits, community-based agencies and more.

Reporting to Dr. Lawless-Andric in this new office are Sonya Williams as executive director of Upward Bound Programs; Justin Hilton as senior administrator for community outreach; and Danielle Green-Welch as academic program director of the First Star Kent State Academy.

Please join me in congratulating the members of the new Office of University Outreach and Engagement. Their leadership and work help develop meaningful partnerships and relationships between the university and the community we serve.

My best,

Melody Tankersley, Ph.D.
Interim Senior Vice President and Provost

POSTED: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 5:04pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 5:04pm
Melody Tankersley