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The Easterner

New Director of Community Engagement Looks to Increase Amount of Eagle Volunteers

By Kyle Fredricks, Staff Reporter

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Seven weeks into his tenure as director of community engagement, Brian Davenport, Ph.D., has been hard at work on his plans to connect EWU students to their community.

“EWU is a great place to work, and I love it here so far,” said Davenport. “Seeing what EWU’s mission [is] and how they’re about helping students succeed made me want to come here. If I can do my job, then I can have a transformative impact on students, faculty and the community.”

After working at the University of Southern Maine, Davenport said he is looking to bring his leadership skills to EWU.

“I’m a first-generation college student,” said Davenport. “Educators invested in me and I saw what an impact that had on me. I want to give back and that starts by connecting students, faculty and the community.”

Davenport said his focus is set on continuing to build up the relationship that EWU has with the community by building volunteer programs back up and getting students involved in service.

“One of my plans is the get Eagle Volunteers back to the rates of the previous years,” said Davenport. “I want to get students involved in events such as Eagle Up, a one-day service event in the fall, MLK Day, and work with the homeless outreach team, as well as continue to have student mentors for the local middle and high schools.”

Davenport said he chose to join EWU as director of community engagement because he wants to stay involved in community work and help students realize what they can learn from giving back to their community.

“I want people at EWU to see and be a part of the positive impact we have on our community,” said Davenport. “It can be your friends, person next door, across the street or town. As an Eagle, you are part of a community where we should all want to create a feeling of coming together.”

In order to get student involvement back up to the level that EWU has had in the past, Davenport said that he would need to talk to students and see what they are passionate about, and what service events they want to participate in.

Davenport’s plan to increase the number of student volunteers at EWU is to create a leadership team of 18 committed students who want to serve the community and recruit other students who want to serve.

“Leadership development is a passion of mine,” said Davenport. “I want to help students realize their full potential as leaders and how they can affect the world around them. Each day I ask myself what I can do to better my community, if I help one person a day and invest in them, they can go on to help others I may have no contact with. Soon enough you have a ripple effect across an entire community of people coming together and helping.”

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The independent, student-run news site of Eastern Washington University.
New Director of Community Engagement Looks to Increase Amount of Eagle Volunteers