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UMD Names First Associate Provost for Community Engagement

Minnesota Scholar to Lead New Center, Support Research, Teaching, Learning and Service

By Maryland Today Staff

Tania D. Mitchell headshot

As associate provost, Tania D. Mitchell will work to integrate service learning and civic engagement into courses and academic programs, and to encourage impactful research partnerships.

Photo courtesy of Anna Min

The University of Maryland on Thursday named a University of Minnesota Twin Cities researcher and professor as its inaugural associate provost for community engagement, effective Aug. 1.

Tania D. Mitchell will lead UMD’s new Center for Community Engagement, guide the development of a vision and mission for the center’s work, and collaborate with campus partners to expand and support community engaged research, teaching, learning and service activities. She will also oversee the coordination of campuswide community engagement efforts—elevating existing partnerships and creating new programs and initiatives.

“An internationally recognized scholar committed to diversity and inclusivity, Dr. Mitchell brings decades of experience that is essential to developing collaborative relationships with communities,” said UMD Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer King Rice. “I am confident that her leadership will cultivate mutually beneficial community partnerships that support our strategic vision to advance the public good through impactful teaching, research and service activities. This mission-critical work will help prepare students to be civic leaders that serve communities across our state and nation and around the globe.”

At Minnesota, Mitchell serves as professor and chair of the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development, and is the Rodney Wallace Professor for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Her scholarship and teaching focus on fostering students’ leadership capacity for social change and social justice; and the pedagogy, philosophy and practice of service-learning and community engagement in higher education.

“I am excited by the opportunity this position offers to align my education and professional work while also supporting the University of Maryland in building, strengthening and advancing community-engaged teaching, participatory and community-centered research, partnership development, and other community-facing efforts,” said Mitchell.

As associate provost, she will work to integrate service learning and civic engagement into courses and academic programs, and expand our impact through research partnerships with local, state, national and global stakeholders. To support these goals, the existing Office of Community Engagement will join the center and continue to work with the campus community and surrounding neighborhoods to create mutually collaborative educational, business, government and community partnerships.

With professional experience in admissions, student activities, residential life and academic affairs, Mitchell is a scholar and practitioner who has taught at Stanford University, Mills College, California State University Monterey Bay and the University of Massachusetts. She has been recognized with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award and the Early Career Research Award by the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement and is also an inducted member of the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship, honoring her scholarly contributions.

Mitchell’s scholarship has been published in numerous books and journals, and she is an editor of four books: “Civic Engagement and Community Service at Research Universities: Engaging Undergraduates for Social Justice, Social Change, and Responsible Citizenship,” “Cambridge Handbook of Service Learning and Community Engagement,” “Educating for Citizenship and Social Justice: Practices for Community Engagement at Research Universities” and “Black Women and Social Justice Education: Legacies and Lessons.”

She holds a B.A. in political science and communications from Baylor University, an M.S. in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University, and a graduate certificate in feminist studies and an Ed.D. in student development from the University of Massachusetts.



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