The University of Connecticut is bolstering its outreach and engagement efforts throughout the state through the hire of a director to oversee a new Office of Outreach and Engagement.
Rosa Raudales, associate professor of plant science and landscape architecture and an extension specialist in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, will lead the development of this new office in her appointment as director.
Through her oversight of this new office, Raudales will coordinate University public engagement activities and the establishment of policies to promote best practices in outreach across schools, colleges, centers, institutes, and regional campuses. Raudales will report to the Senior Provost for Academic Affairs Jeffrey Shoulson.
The office will play a central role in connecting faculty, staff, and students with community, governmental and non-profit partners in mutually beneficial ways that advance the university’s missions, as well as the well-being of the state and its citizens. It will aim to promote sustainable development and an inclusive society by building and maintaining strategic partnerships across campus and with community members. The office will promote and support public engagement through outreach, engaged scholarship, and community-based learning.
Raudales has a successful history nationwide in outreach and engagement in technical areas related to controlled environment agriculture. Raudales came to UConn in 2014 and holds a doctorate degree in horticultural sciences with a minor in agricultural education and communication from the University of Florida after earning her master’s from Ohio State and her undergraduate degree from EAP Zamorano in her native Honduras.
“We are delighted that Dr. Raudales is taking on this role,” says Shoulson. “She brings to the position years of experience working with Connecticut growers, along with extraordinary enthusiasm for, and commitment to, the land-grant mission of the university.”
Raudales’ areas of academic interest include controlled environment agriculture, irrigation water management, and adoption of innovations in agriculture.
“Our ultimate goal is to improve people’s lives,” says Raudales. “We want our potential partners to know about the great work that we do at UConn and that our doors are open to collaborate on building an institution that promotes sustainable development, an inclusive society, and scientific advancement. Our office will be a focal point between UConn and external partners.”