Angela Oxford served the U of A community for 14 years and she has stepped down to pursue her next great adventure as Senior Director of the Northwest Arkansas Region with the Walmart Foundation. Her last day as director of the Center for Community Engagement will be July 15, 2022. There will be a “see you later” drop-in reception on July 12 from 3-5 p.m. at the Arkansas Union Center for Community Engagement office A643. Come, say hello, share funny stories and say, “See you later!”
As founding director of the Center for Community Engagement, Oxford has been at the forefront of community engagement, service, and student leadership development here at U of A. Under her leadership, the Volunteer Action Center launched the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry, three mentorship programs and Razorback Food Recovery. By adopting and managing GivePulse, the university’s online service platform, CCE has engaged thousands of volunteers each year, creating thousands of dollars in economic impact throughout the NWA community.
In 2014, Oxford was named the inaugural Co-Chair of the Learning Service alongside Jennie Popp by Provost Sharon Gaber. Oxford helped lead and oversee the academic and community partner facets of service-learning for the U of A. During her tenure as co-chair, the service-learning program grew to include over 100 courses per semester, engaging hundreds of in-service students for course credit. “Angela’s knowledge, connections, and commitment to the NWA community were instrumental in the early campus/community partnerships that helped us quickly and successfully launch and grow the number of learning courses by service from a dozen when we started at nearly 200 today,” adds Popp, co-chair of the Service-Learning Initiative and associate dean of the Honors College. The Service-Learning Initiative distributes $25,000 annually to faculty members to support service projects, thanks in part to Oxford and Popp’s dedication to creating a thriving program.
Oxford has impacted the lives of hundreds of students, and we could write an entire book of student quotes and stories. Katie Loethen, a recent University of Alberta graduate and former VAC board member, said, “Angela is my role model who has provided incredible guidance to me as a student and a human. Her Commitment to CCE values is an example to all of us of how to maintain your vision in a professional work environment.”
Sage McCoy, Deputy Director of CCE, says, “Angela has a unique and special ability to make you feel seen from the moment you sit down in her office. She invests in everyone who sits across from her at that little round table. . Working with Angela allowed me to grow and further develop my professional and personal identity. She taught me to have a penchant for action, to not be afraid to try new things and to always look for opportunities. Thanks to her, I approach all situations with a “Yes”. Angela has really changed my life.”
“Over the past 14 years, Angela has mentored and mentored countless Volunteer Action Center student leaders who have taken it to heart to serve with them beyond the Razorback community to make a greater impact in the world. This legacy will be recognized for years to come, and I personally will miss his heart-centered leadership and his ability to mentor students in learning the essential skills needed to be outstanding service leaders,” says Lori Lander, vice- Deputy Chancellor for Campus Life.