Valerie Paton will lead the committee that provides information and resources to help universities be partners in their communities.
Valerie Paton, a professor of educational psychology at Texas Tech University, has been named chairwoman of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Council on Engagement and Outreach (CEO).
The CEO, which is composed of university administrators responsible for outreach, engagement and community development, supports member universities in developing plans, programs and policies related to outreach, engagement, community relationships, service learning, extension programs and other activities related to universities' impact in communities.
“APLU places a high value on university efforts to be engaged with stakeholders so we can work in partnership to tackle societal challenges, create great places to work and live and advance economic growth and prosperity,” said Jim Woodell, the vice president for economic development and community engagement for APLU. “We are excited to have Valerie's leadership on the Council on Engagement and Outreach, which plays a significant role in supporting effective community engagement by our member universities.”
Paton is the program coordinator for the doctorate in higher education research in the College of Education. Her research interests include higher education policy and law, online learning, engagement, and planning and assessment. In 2012 she was a fellow with the American Council of Education at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso.
Additionally, Paton leads a Hispanic Serving Institutions STEM grant with dean of architecture Andrew Vernooy, which has created a statewide model for community college to university transfer in architecture at Texas Tech's El Paso campus. In 2011 Texas Tech recognized her as an integrated scholar.
“Texas Tech is recognized as a leader in partnerships with its communities, and this appointment recognizes that fact,” Paton said. “As chair, I have the opportunity to work with North American public universities partnering with their communities to address their most significant concerns: food, water, health, families, education, economic development and workforce, power, safety, culture and arts. I will work with other leaders in higher education to support these initiatives and learn from them to bring them back to Texas Tech and our communities.”