Trecia Pottinger has been appointed director of the Bonner Center for Service and Learning (BCSL).
Pottinger has been with the Bonner Center since 2011, most recently as program director of the Bonner Scholars Program and associate director of the BCSL. She replaces Beth Blissman, former director of BCSL who chose to depart at the end of May to explore other opportunities, due to organizational restructuring. Blissman’s long-standing service at the college included significant accomplishments within the Bonner Center for Service and Learning.
The BCSL will continue to provide its core programs, including the Community Service Work-Study Program, the Bonner Scholars Program, the Ninde Program, America Reads, and community-based learning. The BCSL staff remains focused on building and sustaining reciprocal relationships between community partners and Oberlin College students, faculty, and staff.
Pottinger came to Oberlin from Bryn Mawr College, where she was an interim assistant dean and a coordinator for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr, where she studied German and the growth and structure of cities, and a PhD in American studies from the University of Minnesota.
Pottinger says she looks forward to working with campus and community partners in this new leadership role. “In the year ahead the BCSL staff is looking at new ways to integrate our work with the curriculum, such as increasing support for faculty interested in community-based learning and research, while participating in broader conversations on engaged scholarship and pedagogy through national networks,” she says. “Responding to community partner-identified needs and enhancing teaching, learning, and scholarship remain at the core of the center's work.”
Pottinger will continue to oversee the Bonner Scholars program. As the new associate director of the BCSL and director of curricular initiatives, Tania Boster will work with faculty and community partners to expand community-based learning while continuing to manage the community service work-study program. Susan Pavlus continues to serve as assistant director of the BCSL and director of education outreach programs.
The education outreach team also includes Maureen Simen, coordinator of America Reads; Katie Hayes, college access coordinator; and Brittany Gordon, the AmeriCorps College Guide at Oberlin High School. This fall, the BCSL will hire a coordinator to provide additional support for the Bonner Scholars Program.
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