J uan Benitez, Ph.D. has been appointed executive director of the Center for Community Engagement (CCE).
For the past two years Benitez has served as interim director of the CCE, which creates opportunities to expand civic participation for students, community-based research for faculty, and empowerment strategies for communities. In his new role as executive director, Benitez will provide university-wide leadership for community engagement initiatives and community partnerships. He will play a key role in positioning the CCE as a state and national leader in connecting the university with the broader community by fostering service learning programs, promoting community-based participatory research and planning projects, and by developing productive and responsive partnerships with the City of Long Beach, community non-profit agencies, and the surrounding region.
"President Alexander and I are confident that Dr. Benitez will provide strong and effective leadership to help us expand and further enhance a comprehensive program of community-grounded activities, community-engaged research, and robust partnership development," Provost Karen L. Gould said. "CSULB recently received the Carnegie Foundation's Community Engagement classification for 2008, recognizing the campus as among the nation's best in finding ways to engage with, learn from, and contribute to local communities. Dr. Benitez played a crucial role in coordinating this process and making our compelling case to the Carnegie Foundation."