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Reed steps into Engage Dallas Initiative Manager role effective September 7

Audryanna Reed (she/her/hers) is the newest addition to the Office of Academic Initiatives, serving as our new Associate Director for High-Impact Practices. Reed will provide leadership, vision, and management for the implementation and sustainment of high impact educational practices in SMU’s residential setting.

As the Associate Director, Audryanna will serve as initiative manager for Engage Dallas, collaborate with various offices to offer our Peer Leader programs, and implement the pillars of SMU in Four.

As the initiative manager, Reed will lead campus elements of Engage Dallas including: facilitating the Engage Dallas implementation team, supporting the Engage Dallas Student Directors, overseeing risk management efforts, and supporting sustained relationships with community partners.

Reed continues her service at SMU, transferring from Office of Housing Operations to the Office of Academic Initiatives in Residence Life and Student Housing, effective September 7th, 2021.

She has experience with curriculum development, policy review, and began her journey in student affairs as an Academic Resident Assistant. Audryanna earned her BS in Hospitality Management from the University of North Texas, and went on to earn her Master of Liberal Studies with concentrations in Human Rights & Social Justice and Organizational Dynamics from SMU.

Reed is active with DFW Urban League Young Professionals, One Community Church, and keeps busy as the owner of her own small business.

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Announcements

We are better together: Partnership brings author and social impact entrepreneur to campus

Engage Dallas partnered with SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning on July 21 for a engaging virtual discussion entitled Better Together: Service that Improves and Unifies and Community.

Author and Social Impact Entrepreneur, Alex Quian, discussed his book Better Together: How 30 Days of Service Changed My Life. The book chronicles Alex Quian’s decision in spring 2019 to use his college summer break to serve the DFW community.

Unsure of what he should do after college, he shared this idea with his mentor, who then challenged Alex to complete 30 different service projects in 30 days. He accepted this challenge and created an initiative called 30 Days of Service. Watch the video and get inspired! Serve via Engage Dallas or directly in the community.

Interested in serving? Check out opportunities for service on the Engage Dallas website. Students in attendance were able to receive 1-hour of general engagement credit toward their Community Engagement Proficiency and Experience with Engage Dallas. Have a program that relates to the Engage Dallas initiative or one of the 11 identified community needs? Submit your program to be marketed to SMU students and/or count toward hours required for the proficiency.

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Student Directors give their take on Engage Dallas

Launching a new initiative in the middle of a pandemic is no small task, but at SMU, our students were ready for the challenge! The SMU student directors created a video that briefly shared their experiences with Engage Dallas, why they decided to join the initiative, ways that they have been able to continue “Engaging Dallas” despite current restrictions, and how other SMU students can get involved.

Check out their video below:

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Announcements Armstrong Commons Boaz Commons Cockrell-McIntosh Commons Crum Commons Kathy Crow Commons Loyd Commons McElvaney Commons MHPS Commons Morrison-McGinnis Commons News Virginia-Snider Commons Ware Commons

Community partners announced to address community needs in South and West Dallas

Pre COVID-19 service photo of SMU students staffing community event
Pre-COVID-19 service photo of SMU students staffing community event

Engage Dallas is excited to announce our community partners as we work to address community needs via the SMU Residential Commons (RC) and their 2,600+ residents. After an extensive research process by faculty, staff, and students to identify expressed community needs in South and West Dallas, each Residential Commons student leadership team adopted a long-term cause they were committed to addressing via Engage Dallas. 

In Fall 2020, the Engage Dallas Offsite and Risk Management Committee began to identify community organizations already well-positioned, who are addressing the RC-chosen community needs. Throughout this intentional pairing process involving conversations with non-profit leaders, the committee focused on identifying community organizations whose missions aligns with the RC-chosen community need with which SMU could assist, and who — in the era of COVID-19 — offered virtual opportunities for our students. 

Matt Nadler, Residential Community Director and Offsite and Risk Management co-chair, shared, “Getting to know the various Engage Dallas community organizations has been a highlight of my semester. I’m excited for our students to begin volunteering and getting involved with their various community needs.” 

This semester, SMU students will put the online education and training they received into practice to begin volunteering remotely and may have direct-service opportunities as early as March. The Engage Dallas Student Director for each Residential Commons met with their partner organization liaison to organize virtual service opportunities for the spring semester. 

Melanie Wright, Engage Dallas Student Director for Boaz Commons, exclaimed, “There is nothing I’m more passionate about than engaging with my community and helping those around me. My excitement about Engage Dallas has been growing ever since getting to know Boaz’s community organization, North Texas Food Bank, and so I’m excited to encourage everyone to participate in Engage Dallas this semester.” 

Amber Martin, External Relations Manager for Reading Partners of North Texas, remarked, “I appreciate Engage Dallas and Eduardo [Engage Dallas student director for Virginia-Snider Commons] for the willingness to help within the community. The services Engage Dallas is providing North Texas will make a tremendous impact. Thank you for choosing Reading Partners to be one of Engage Dallas’ community partners.” 

SMU is excited to announce the following organizations as the initial community partner cohort for Engage Dallas. Each Residential Commons is listed with its chosen community need and initial partner(s). 

Armstrong Commons | Homelessness 

  • Partnering organizations 

Boaz Commons | Food Insecurity 

  • Partnering organizations 

Cockrell-McIntosh Commons| College Access & Preparation 

  • Partnering organizations 

Crum Commons |Arts as Social Impact 

  • Partnering organizations 

Kathy Crow Commons | Environmental Injustice 

  • Partnering organizations 

Loyd Commons | STEM Education 

  • Partnering organizations 

Mary Hay, Peyton, Shuttles (MHPS) Commons | Immigration & Refugee Support 

  • Partnering organizations 

McElvaney Commons | Community Wellbeing 

  • Partnering organizations 

Morrison-McGinnis Commons | Childhood Poverty 

  • Partnering organizations 

Virginia-Snider Commons | Childhood Literacy 

  • Partnering organizations 

Ware Commons | Community Rebuilding 

  • Partnering organizations 

“We look forward to what we will be able to accomplish together,” concluded Nadler. For more information or to suggest an organization, visit the Engage Dallas websiteInquires by community organizations can be directed to Staphany C. López-Coronado, Assistant Director for the Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (sclopez@smu.edu; 214-768-4582). 

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Announcements News

Engage Dallas launches for SMU students

Engage Dallas launched for SMU students on October 9. SMU students are now able to enroll in the initiative and complete getting started tasks to prepare for direct service experiences.

Erica Zamora, director of the Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement shared “we are grateful for the intentional work our student, faculty and staff implementation team for creating thoughtful and engaging content for students as they prepare for service in South and West Dallas.” Zamora mentioned the initial education and training sessions now available to students include an overview of the initiative, elements of personal reflection, and context building for service in Dallas.

Students wishing to enroll in the initiative can do so from the Engage Dallas website by following the getting started instructions.

A unique feature of Engage Dallas is SMU students are able to fulfill the Common Curriculum’s Community Engagement Proficiency and Experience requirement for graduation. Students can reach out to their Residential Commons’ Engage Dallas student director with questions or for assistance.