By: Mary-Ellen Davis, Staff Writer
In the early days of her presidency, Towson University President Kim Schatzel introduced renewed interest Baltimore+TU: Partnerships at Work for a Greater Baltimore as one of her presidential priorities, in an effort to highlight and strengthen existing University partnerships in the Greater Baltimore area.
Through BTU, the University works with partners to focus on five impact areas: high-quality and equitable education, lifelong health and wellbeing, strong neighborhoods and sustainable communities, thriving and competitive economy and a vibrant arts and cultural community.
On Monday, April 24, the Office of Partnerships and Outreach will host the tenth annual BTU showcase in SECU arena from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The main goal of the showcase is to create opportunities to collaborate with organizations to help move Greater Baltimore forward, according to Partnerships Manager Kathleen Crostic.
Coordinator of Community Engagement and Outreach Stephanie Easterday is in the group focusing on sustainable communities.
“Our office has a few kind of main initiatives that make it up,” Easterday said. “So we focus on political engagement, environmental initiatives, community service and service learning, and specifically for service learning and community service, we can’t do those things without partners, so it’s really important for us to be there to meet community members, as well as people across campus that we can collaborate with to create opportunities for our students.”
Easterday said that she would love to see students attend the showcase as an opportunity to make both personal and professional connections, whether that be for internships, jobs or volunteer opportunities.
Anthropology professor Matthew Durington, who was appointed BTU Faculty Director in February, said that the showcase will demonstrate what he feels is unique about Towson — that undergraduate students are consistently placed in research opportunities with their professors.
“We’re one of the only institutions that really do that,” Durington said
The BTU Showcase was formed around a few ideas, the first being the desire to help connect existing external partners and collaborators to areas on campus they may not be aware of, according to Associate Vice President for Outreach Bobbie Laur.
It was also started in order to “better highlight and tell our story related to economic and community engagement,” Laur said.
According to Laur, the third idea behind the showcase was to develop “a signature event that didn’t previously exist that is solely focused on bringing together external and internal individuals all focused on working through partnership to address challenges in our region.”
The showcase is expected to have 50 exhibitors this year, compared to last year’s 15.
Laur stated that this growth “presents all kinds of benefits to our TU programs and leaders and to the attendees for better networking and potential to build connections.”