ATHENS, Ohio (March 6, 2006) -- Merle Graybill has been named the first director of the new Office for University Outreach effective March 1. The office is part of the former Office for Regional Higher Education, which has been renamed the Office for University Outreach and Regional Campuses. She will report to Vice President Charles Bird.
The office was created to assist individuals and organizations - inside and outside Ohio University - with developing partnerships that support research, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary research. The office also will help create links across Appalachia in the areas of public education, economic development and health issues.
The office will help increase the range of service learning opportunities offered to students through paid and volunteer activities in the region. Outreach efforts connected to faculty research and service will be another area of emphasis for the office. Other activities will include exploring grants and revenue from services and hosting training sessions on grantwriting, collaboration, human resources, community-based research, online development and the use of the Ohio Learning Network.
Among Graybill's first tasks will be developing short and medium-range plans for the office.
Graybill has been the associate dean of students in Ohio University's Division of Student Affairs since 2003, overseeing three departments focused on multicultural services and programming. In this position, she has provided leadership for development of the Office for Off-Campus Living and the university's soon-to-open Women's Center. She also helped implement the Diversify Your World communication campaign for first-year students, National Coalition Building Institute diversity training and the Appalachian Learning Community.
Graybill came to Ohio University in 1993 as an adviser in the College of Education. In that role, she worked with Athens and regional campus students before being promoted to director of student services in the college in 1996. Before coming to Ohio University, she had worked as an adviser at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1988.
After more than four years in the College of Education, Graybill was named coordinator of Service Learning, a collaboration between Student Affairs and several colleges. In 2000, she became director of the Center for Community Service, the home of this and other community service programs.
"I am excited about the potential of this new level of outreach," Graybill said. "Many faculty, students and staff on our campuses have partnered with communities to the mutual benefit of all for so long. It's an historic move for Ohio University to elevate these activities as critical indicators of success and fulfillment of mission. I look forward to leading this effort to recognize, promote and foster continued engagement and innovation in partnering with our communities."
Graybill, a native of Cleveland, earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Union Institute in 1979 and a master's degree in educational administration from Ohio University in 1995. She is a licensed social worker.
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Editors: A photo of Graybill can be found at www.ohiou.edu/news/pix/GRAYBILL_MERLE.JPG