Community Affairs Leadership


Dr. Samory T. Pruitt

Vice President for Community Affairs

Dr. Samory T. Pruitt has served as Vice President for Community Affairs since the Division’s creation in 2004. In this post, he is responsible for developing and managing the University’s public outreach programs and providing campus leadership to enhance the quality of life both within and beyond the campus community. This is achieved through the formation of partnerships for engagement scholarship across the areas of teaching, research, and service, which seek to generate and preserve knowledge for the mutual benefit of the University and its community partners. Additionally, Dr. Pruitt provides civic engagement leadership, developing civic learning opportunities to sustain more effective community problem-solving strategies and democratic engagement on campus and in the community. Since 1986 he has worked for the University in increasingly responsible positions in management and administration, including roles in the divisions of Financial Affairs and University Advancement, as well as in the President’s Office, prior to being named to his current position. Under his leadership, the Division has grown to include the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, which houses a variety of community education and health-related programs geared toward building partnerships and capacity that lift traditionally underserved populations in life-changing ways. Additionally, the Division’s Crossroads Civic Engagement Center develops the civic capacity of students and community partners in ways that foster a thriving democratic society at the Capstone and beyond.

Dr. Pruitt is actively involved in the West Alabama area, where he serves on the Board of Directors for The First Tee of Tuscaloosa, the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, and on the Stillman College Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Tuscaloosa International Rotary Club, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and is a 1995 graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa. He chairs the Martin Luther King Jr. Realizing the Dream Initiative committee and serves on the leadership team of the annual UA United Way Campaign. In 2008, he was appointed by the governor of Alabama to serve as Education Chair for the West Alabama Regional Action Commission, which covers six Alabama counties. In 2002 the University presented him with the Award for Outstanding Commitment to Public Service. He received the E. Roger Sayers Distinguished Service Award — given to a faculty or staff member who has gone above and beyond their normal duties and performed in an exceptional manner in order to further the mission of UA — in 2016. Dr. Pruitt serves as immediate past president of the Board of Directors of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC), consisting of institutions located in the United States, Canada, and Nigeria, and in fall 2019 was named to the Commission on Economic and Community Engagement Executive Committee of the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU). Additionally, he is the publisher of the international Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship (JCES).

Dr. Pruitt earned his BA in mathematics, his MA in public administration and his PhD in higher education administration, all from The University of Alabama.


Dr. Jim McLean

Associate Vice President for Community Affairs and Executive Director of the Center for Community-Based Partnerships


Dr. Lane McLelland

Director of Crossroads
Civic Engagement Center


Dr. Ed Mullins

Director of Research
and Communication

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Dr. Fran Oneal

Director of Global and
Community Engagement


Dr. Drew Pearl

Director of Community Engagement
Research and Publications


Dr. Nicole B. Prewitt

Director of Programs and Partnerships
for Community Engagement


Dr. Daniela Susnara

Director of Planning and Assessment
for Community Engagement


Andrea Ziegler

Director for Community Education

Community Affairs Staff


Karyn Bowen

Marketing Manager


Dee Cook

Fiscal Affairs Coordinator


Adeline Ford

Strategic Marketing Coordinator


Dr. Jackson Harris

Assistant Director of Crossroads
Civic Engagement Center


Diane Kennedy-Jackson

Publications Coordinator

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Liz Lary

Conferences and Events Manager

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Ella Magerl

Program Coordinator


Michael Nichols

Program Coordinator


Jake Peterson

Program Coordinator for Community Education

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James Renshaw

Program Coordinator for Programs and Partnerships for Community Engagement


Dr. Elisabetta Zengaro

Communications Specialist