Our staff spotlight this week is Sara Saylor. Sara works at the Ginsberg Center as the Assistant Director for Community Engagement.
What is your professional background in?
I have been a teacher working both in Detroit and Dallas with middle schoolers. I also have worked with young people as an Americorps member. I had taken some time at home with my oldest son before starting work with the Ginsberg Center. In my first position, I worked with our literacy programs and over the last several years have transitioned into this current role with community engagement. I really see my professional connection around supporting community members whether that was how to reach young people through education or in this current role thinking holistically about community priorities and how can the university support those efforts.
What is your job function at the Ginsberg Center?
As the assistant director for community engagement, I help oversee our community engagement efforts. At Ginsberg we are really focused on cultivating and stewarding equitable partnerships between the University and community. In the community, I am working to understand the goals & priorities of community organizations in the social sector. First understanding the big picture, such as what are the challenges this organization is trying to address on a bigger level, and then also thinking with them what are their day to day functions where they could benefit with support from the University. I work with the partners to brainstorm these things and then bring them back to Ginsberg to try and find connections on campus that could help support the initiative. And we also think about how we can collectively address an issue that many organizations in the community are having.
What is one of your favorite projects you have worked on at the Ginsberg Center?
About five years ago we wrote a strategic plan that really outlined what our work is going to look like in the future. We stated what our goals were and then how we would get to those goals. One of the exciting things has been looking back at how one of those goals was about building out community partnerships and to see that we now have over 300 community partners is pretty rewarding. It has been exciting to help be part of building something with colleagues while keeping in mind Ginsberg’s mission of cultivating and stewarding equitable partnerships in the community.
What are your social change interests in your personal life?
I am very passionate about education equity and doing advocacy work for education in our community.
What has helped you during the pandemic (object, cooking, food, TV, etc.)
As cheesy as it sounds, it has been my family. As hard as it is sometimes to work at home, it is fun to be able to get a hug from my kids in the middle of the day while working.