Campus Compact Welcomes Director for Community College Engagement

Campus Compact is excited to welcome Verdis L. Robinson as Director for Community College Engagement. Robinson joins Campus Compact to launch The Democracy Commitment (TDC), which was previously housed at the American Association of State Colleges & Universities, as a new Campus Compact initiative.

Robinson, who for the last two years served as national director of TDC, will maintain the TDC initiative as part of his portfolio and continue the work of expanding membership, resources, and programming opportunities for community colleges.

During his tenure as national director of TDC, Robinson travelled extensively, conducting site visits, delivering keynote addresses, facilitating workshops, organizing summits, and moderating and serving on panels about, for, and at community colleges. He will also continue this work for Campus Compact to support the growing network of community colleges committed to democracy.

“I am eager to join the national leadership team as it will increase my capacity to support even more community colleges in the urgent work of civic learning and engagement.” said Robinson. “It is so apparent that advancing democracy is more critical than ever and that America’s community college students deserve to be better informed and more engaged. With Campus Compact and the civic power of its network, they will.”

Before becoming national director of TDC, Robinson was a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies at Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, NY, where he taught web-enhanced, writing-intensive, service learning history courses for ten years. While in this role, he was MCC’s TDC Campus Coordinator and served on the TDC National Steering Committee and on the Advisory Council for its Economic Inequality Initiative.

Robinson is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Seminar on Citizenship and the American and Global Polity and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Faculty Seminar on Rethinking Black Freedom Studies: The Jim Crow North and West. He is also a fellow of Columbia University’s Summer Teaching and Scholars Institute on Black New York. He is also a Public Scholar with New York Humanities delivering interactive presentations on Frederick Douglass & his global search for democracy and equality, and also on the Rochester Race Riots of 1964.

Additionally, Robinson is the founder of the Rochester Neighborhood Oral History Project that created a walking tour of the community most impacted by the 1964 Race Riots, which has engaged over 450 members of the Rochester community in walking, discussing, and learning about the legacy of Jim Crow Rochester.

Robinson serves on the advisory boards for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, the Students Learn Students Vote coalition (SLSV), and the Reacting Consortium of Reacting to the Past (RTTP). He holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from Boston University, a B.S. cum laude and M.A. in History from SUNY College at Brockport, and an M.A. in African-American Studies from SUNY University at Buffalo.

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