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Samuel Named Director of Community Engagement and Outreach

UT alumna Javiette Samuel has joined UT’s Office of Research and Engagement as director of community engagement and outreach. She began work on September 25.

Javiette Samuel, director of community engagement and outreach

Javiette Samuel

In this role, Samuel will lead efforts to create and strengthen partnerships between UT and external stakeholders and cultivate relationships with key national, state, and regional partners. She will work with units across campus to identify and tackle grand challenges critical to the well-being of our state and its citizens.

“We are thrilled to have Javiette back in Knoxville and part of the ORE family,” said Marisa Moazen, executive director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Office of Community Engagement and Outreach. “Her experience in and passion for community engagement and extension programs will strengthen UT’s relationship with current and future collaborators across Tennessee.”

A native Knoxvillian, Samuel received her bachelor’s degree in family studies from UT in 1996, her master’s degree in child and family studies in 1999, and her doctorate in human ecology in 2002.

“I’m excited to return to Knoxville and have the opportunity to serve the university where I discovered my passion for engagement,” she said. “To be able to return to my alma mater and develop a comprehensive program benefitting the students and citizens of our great state is both a challenge and an honor.”

Samuel comes to UT from the University of Kentucky, where she was interim associate director of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment School of Human Environmental Sciences. She assisted with curriculum development and assessment of academic and student affairs, and she oversaw travel stipends, research activity awards, extension mini-grants, extension activity awards, graduate fellowship awards, and endowed professorships.

Prior to that, she was an associate extension administrator and associate professor at Kentucky State University. In that position, she gained experience developing outreach and engagement programs within the structure of a land grant university. She secured grant funding to address educational disparities in secondary education and establish a Family and Consumer Sciences bachelor’s degree.

Samuel began her professional career at Tennessee State University as an assistant professor, extension specialist, and program leader. She also worked closely with TSU’s Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement and was on the leadership team that helped TSU receive its first Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification takes place on a five-year cycle. UT earned the designation in 2015. The next opportunity to apply for classification will be 2020, with the process opening in 2018.

The Office of Community Engagement and Outreach was established in 2013 to more deeply integrate community engagement with its land-grant mission of research, teaching, and outreach. UT is one of only 52 universities to be designated by the Carnegie Foundation as “Community Engaged” with “Very High Research Activity.”



Erin Chapin (865-974-2187, erin.chapin@utk.edu)