About Us

A variety of individuals and groups from across campus work to provide critical support, coordination, and decision-making to further the work of BTU: Partnerships at work for Greater Baltimore.

Office of Partnerships and Outreach

The Office of Partnerships and Outreach (OPO) within the Division of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research is tasked with managing BTU. The OPO-BTU team serves as the front door of the university for external partners and makes connections between TU's faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders. This includes strategic partnership management, data collection and utilization, reporting, marketing and communications, event management, funding support management, and cross-campus convening.

OPO-BTU Team Email
Matthew Durington, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Community Engagement and Partnerships 

Kathleen Crostic
Assistant Director, Partnerships and Engagement

Tess Heron
Engagement Coordinator

BTU Council

The BTU Council is comprised of individuals from across campus who work closely with community and corporate partners. Modeled as a think-tank, this group helps to support partnerships and relationships by raising awareness internally and externally, identifying opportunities for growth and expansion, evaluating impacts and outcomes, developing working teams to address strategic initiatives or challenges, while also serving as the advisory group to President Schatzel. The BTU Council includes representatives from every academic college and administrative division.

BTU Council members

BTU Council Members

Name Division/College Department
David Merino Academic Affairs Faculty Academic Center of Excellence at Towson
Anne Greene Academic Affairs Office of Sponsored Programs and Research
Alexei Kolesnikov Academic Affairs Provost's Office
Joe Herring Administration and Finance Public Safety
Jen Stano Administration and Finance Office of Human Resources
Jeff Schmidt Administration and Finance Office of Technology Services
Lauren Hoskins Athletics Operations
Lisa Michocki College of Business and Economics Student Academic and Career Services
Chaodong Han College of Business and Economics e-Business and Techonology Management
Gilda Martinez-Alba College of Education Elementary Education
Vicky Cai College of Education Instructional Leadership and Professional Development
Joseph Gotoff College of Fine Arts and Communications Music
Michele Alexander College of Fine Arts and Communications Theatre Arts
Gerald Jerome College of Health Professions Kinesiology
Sonia Lawson College of Health Professions Occupational Therapy & Occupational Science
Carrie Grant College of Liberal Arts English
Matthew Durington College of Liberal Arts; Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice; Office of Partnerships and Outreach
Sarah Haines Fisher College of Science and Mathematics Biological Sciences
Sara Slaff General Counsel  
Marcus Tuah GSA Representative  
Joyce Garczynski Library Research and Instruction
Katie Maloney President's Office Neighborhood and Government Relations
Tracy Jacobs Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Kathleen Crostic Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research Office of Partnerships and Outreach
Tess Heron Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research Office of Partnerships and Outreach
Ellen Bast Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research Regional Economic Studies Institute
Ardys Russakis Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research StarTUp
Lorie Logan-Bennett Student Affairs Career Center
Roodinz Vital Student Affairs Fraternity & Sorority Life
Amy Moffat University Admissions  
Geaninne Callaghan University Advancement Foundation Relations
Louise Miller University Advancement University Promotions and Events
Erica Green University Marketing and Communications Marketing and Brand Strategy
Matt Palmer University Marketing and Communications Communications and Media Relations
LaVern Chapman   Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity
Brian Jara   Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity

Towson University was the first higher education institution in the state of Maryland to receive the prestigious community engagement classification by Carnegie. As a leader in community engagement practice there a number of principles that the BTU team and our campus partners adhere to in their work. We hold to 'the principle of debt incurred' meaning that we value the time and localized specialized knowledge of our collaborators. We also seek to extend community engagement beyond volunteerism to ensure a two-way exchange of knowledge with our collaborators. 

Community Engagement Guiding Principles

Involve your partner in the planning and decision making processes related to your collaboration. Stay in touch regularly and make sure that you are not only communicating progress and next steps, but also asking for and addressing the needs of the partner and identifying each other’s roles and responsibilities.

All partners captured within the BTU Database will be asked to provide feedback on their partnership with TU at the end of each academic year. This feedback is necessary for the community engagement Carnegie classification for TU. This feedback will be provided to the associated TU faculty and/or staff. It is ethically sound and necessary to welcome feedback from your collaborators on an ongoing basis to measure successes and determine areas of improvement.

All community engagement and partnership work should be connected to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of work. This ethos should extend beyond recognition of diversity, equity, and inclusion to critical thought about structural conditions that affect our community collaborators.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Collect an understanding of organizations, communities, and their histories before engaging
  • Make sure that the community voice is at the table throughout all stages of a collaboration, including the planning phase
  • Listen first - our community partners are experts on their communities and their needs
  • Ensure that the work being developed is sustainable and projects can be completed
  • Hold inclusive conversations, utilizing the correct language and terms, without making assumptions. For resources to enhance faculty, staff, and student cultural competency, visit the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resources page
  • Create mutually beneficial partnerships, they should provide opportunities for not just TU, but also for community partners.

There are a great deal of resources, needs, and expertise across campus. Be open to brainstorming new collaboration ideas with your partner, to expand beyond your college or division.

A lot of planning and follow through is involved in the development of partnerships, on both sides. If you make a commitment to a partner, be sure to see it through. If any unexpected changes come up along the way, communicate them quickly with your partner.

There are several universities that have published guides and recommendations for community engagement and community based research. We enjoy a strong sharing relationship with these institutions and their work and recommend viewing some of these resources shared.