Shelley-Tremblay Tapped to Head Newly Developed Office of Community Engagement
Posted on January 19, 2018
University-Community Engagement, one of the five institutional priorities of the University of South Alabama, is being enhanced through the creation of the Office of Community Engagement, formerly known as CASCLE. Shannon Shelley-Tremblay is the new office’s director.
“As a campus, we want to continue enriching our curriculum, research, service-learning, and internship experiences in ways that bring the students, faculty and staff together with the community to apply scholarly and service efforts to address real problems and explore the enormous opportunities in our region,” said Shelley-Tremblay, who most recently was the project manager of USA’s Center for Healthy Communities. “The new Office of Community Engagement will promote community engaged teaching, learning, research and service. It is our goal to be a one-stop shop for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community to connect, collaborate and partner.”
Community engagement refers to the concept of intentionally pursuing partnerships aimed at producing mutually beneficial outcomes. Ultimately, this work is intended to be responsive to the needs of the community and result in civic-minded approaches.
“I am excited and humbled to be chosen to lead this effort at South Alabama,” Shelley-Tremblay said. “We will strive to support and build upon the great work already being done by so many students, faculty, staff and alumni.”
In her new role, Shelley-Tremblay will lead a strategic planning process to develop a common language and policies and procedures to encourage community engagement. In addition to expanding the office to include a full-time secretary, a part-time volunteer coordinator and faculty fellow, she hopes, over time, to help the University apply for the prestigious Carnegie Foundation for Teaching and Learning’s Community Engagement Classification.
In addition to leading volunteer and service events on campus and enhancing community engaged scholarship, the Office of Community Engagement will lead service-learning at USA by providing professional development, resources and tools. Service Learning courses, which can be designed for any subject, tie learning objectives to community service and require the student to reflect on their experience as part of their overall course grade.
“Studies show that when students are actively engaged with the community in meaningful ways throughout their educational experience their grades improve, attendance and graduation rates increases and they are more likely to make lifelong commitments to service,” Shelley-Tremblay explained.
Shelley-Tremblay’s background includes stints as the executive director of the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program, community manager for Lifelines Counseling Services, program manager for USA’s Youth Violence Prevention program, and she also served as an attorney and special education teacher for several years.
“For as long as I can remember, I have been a community advocate,” Shelley-Tremblay said. “Throughout my career I have been very fortunate to be able to apply my personal passion, education, training and skills to serve others.
Shelley-Tremblay will report to Dr. Angela Coleman, associate vice president for the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
“She will bring ideas and insights into the new office with a goal of supporting our education and community engagement activities at South Alabama,” Coleman said. “We want our students to foster a mentality of a thriving community, which means a lifelong commitment of civic and community engagement.”
Shelley-Tremblay earned her master of arts in educational theatre from New York University and Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law-Newark in Newark, N.J.
For more details, call (251) 460-6116 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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