Michael Marafino | News Writer
Duquesne University is welcoming back an accomplished alumna as the new director for the Center of Community-Engaged Teaching and Research, Jessica Mann.
Mann is returning to Duquesne to aid in the development of the Center of Community-Engaged Teaching and Research (CETR). According to Duquesne University’s website, the Center of Community-Engaged Teaching and Research, supports and networks faculty, students, and community partners. CETR works on supporting education and research that will benefit the community and overall civic development.
The focus of the Center is accomplished through encouraging faculty members to network with each other, members of the community, and organizations, creating more opportunities for students to gain leadership experience, developing incentives for students, faculty and local citizens to work together to better the society they live in, and several other activities that benefit both the area and the educational system.
“In this role, I will assist faculty in creating and maintaining relationships with community partners, equip faculty with the tools they need to practice innovative teaching and research techniques, and create opportunities for students to gain leadership experience while recognizing their role as agents of change both on campus and in the world at large,” Mann said.
Mann’s educational background includes her attendance as an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Professional Communication, along with a certificate in Digital Media and a minor in Religious Studies. Then, she attended Duquesne University, where she acquired a Master of Arts degree in Integrated Marketing Communication. Finally, she attended the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education and attained her PhD in Administrative and Policy Studies with a focus on Higher Education Management.
Mann has a significant amount of experience in the field of higher education administration, being that she has worked for almost 10 years in Student and Academic Affairs. Her experience includes working at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where she served as the associate dean for student engagement, along with being the deputy Title IX coordinator.
Her job included managing Seton Hill University’s Office of Student Engagement, where she played an important in developing programs with partners in the community within the Greensburg area in order to have students expand upon their education through aiding the Greensburg community and gaining experience as a vital member of the community.
Mann’s focus on developing better community engagement in order to benefit local societies has been a positive influence in helping students learn more about their surroundings and how they can help based on what they have learned. Mann expanded upon her position in the area and the educational system.
“Specifically, I have spent my career developing and enacting strategic plans, assessing and evaluating institutional programs and initiatives, and creating and implementing programming which enhances the educational experience of students and supplements the research of faculty and staff, while simultaneously serving the local community,” she said.