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Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement

We are a community-engaged university

Community engagement is part of Virginia Tech’s DNA. True to our mission as a land-grant institution, we are committed to being a force for good in communities across the commonwealth and beyond.

Since 2006, the university has been recognized as a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged University. Of the more than 4,000 universities in the country, it is one of only 80 that can claim that distinction as well as the Carnegie system’s elite “R1” research status.

The Community Engaged University designation recognizes “collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities — local, state, national, global — for the mutually beneficial creation and exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”

The classification is a voluntary classification that involves data collection and documentation of important aspects of institutional mission. Selection is based on the alignment of the university’s mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices in such a way that promotes community engagement among faculty, staff, and students.

In November 2023, the Commission on Outreach and International Affairs appointed 18 people from across the university to lead the university’s classification application.

  • Amy Azano, professor in the School of Education and founding director of the Center for Rural Education.
  • Leanna Blevins, associate vice president for health sciences academic affairs at Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.
  • Jodie Brinkmann, assistant professor of practice of educational leadership in the School of Education.
  • Kristen Bush, assistant provost for regional accreditation.
  • Catherine Cotrupi, interim assistant dean and director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Strategic Partnerships for the Graduate School.
  • Diane Deffenbaugh, assistant director of communications for the Office of Engagement in Outreach and International Affairs.
  • Pamela Gilchrist, director of K-12 programs at the Innovation Campus.
  • Jacob Grohs, associate professor in the Department of Engineering Education and interim director of the Center for Educational Networks and Impacts.
  • Ben Grove, associate director of strategy and administration for Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  • Marcus Johnson, professor in the School of Education.
  • Jessica Baty-McMillan, assistant director for service learning in VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning.
  • David Moore, associate director for strategic partnerships in the Institute of Policy and Governance.
  • Susan E. Short, associate vice president for engagement in Outreach and International Affairs.
  • Cathy Sutphin, associate director of 4-H Youth Development in Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  • Scott Tate, associate director for community innovations at the Center for Economic and Community Engagement.
  • Cris Thompson, doctoral candidate in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education.
  • Scott Weimer, executive director of Roanoke Regional Initiatives.
  • Ariana Wyatt, associate professor in the School of Performing Arts.

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