It is with enthusiasm and great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dr. Ali Modarres as the next Assistant Chancellor for Community Engagement. Dr. Modarres will succeed Dr. Linda Ishem in this critical role for the continuous development of our campus as Dr. Ishem transitions back to her original role and deep commitment to our students through teaching and mentorship as a senior lecturer in Urban Studies.
Dr. Modarres is no stranger to our surrounding community where he has served with distinction since arriving on campus in 2013. Ali Modarres is known throughout South Puget Sound for his advocacy and innovative research strategies using data to enhance economic and other community development initiatives. Dr. Modarres has also served as the Director of the Urban Studies Program for the past five years and will continue in this role with support from his faculty colleagues.
One of the priorities for his new role will be to lead the campus through the effort to obtain the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification for Higher Education Institutions. This is an elective classification that defines community engagement as “the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” Dr. Modarres will also be working to build out additional campus infrastructure to enhance UW Tacoma’s ability to better serve our faculty, staff, students as well as our surrounding community with increased support for their projects and resulting public scholarship.
Please join me in thanking Dr. Ishem for her excellent service these past two years and congratulating Dr. Modarres on his new role.