CCE on 2, Tyler Haynes Commons 201
Dr. Amy Howard is the executive director of the CCE and associated faculty in American Studies. She holds an A.B. with honors in history from Davidson College and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary.
The theme of engaged citizenship runs through her work. Howard has taught courses on urban history and American studies, including a Sophomore Scholars in Residence course, "Urban Americas". Howard's recent book, More Than Shelter: Activism and Community in San Francisco Public Housing, explores the history of tenant activism, community building, and racial and ethnic alliances in San Francisco public housing. She is currently working on a book about leadership and politics in Richmond, Virginia with Thad Williamson. In 2013, she chaired the housing task force of Mayor Dwight Jones' Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty. She serves on the board of the Better Housing Coalition and is a member of the City of Richmond Planning Commission.
Dr. Sylvia Gale, associate director of the CCE, holds a B.A. in English from Reed College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English with a concentration in rhetoric and writing from the University of Texas at Austin. She joined the CCE in August 2009.
Forging mutually beneficial university-community partnerships, which extend liberal arts learning to diverse communities, has long been Gale's passion. At UT, she played a key role at the Humanities Institute, helping to develop Writing Austin's Lives: A Community Portrait, a publication representing diverse voices from across the area. She also helped to develop the Free Minds Project, which offers low-income students without college degrees an opportunity to take free college-level arts and literature courses, and the Community Sabbatical Program, which brings community partners to UT for a month to work with faculty and students on research questions with implications for local non-profit organizations. Gale serves on the national board for Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, a consortium of colleges and universities committed to strengthening the public and civic purposes of humanities, arts, and design through mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships that advance democratic scholarship and practice.
Gale's current research examines the ongoing implications of liberal arts education at vocational institutions in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Manager, Community-Based Learning
Terry Dolson joined the CCE in June 2008 as the manager of the community-based learning program. Dolson earned a B.A. in English literature from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. in English literature from Virginia Commonwealth University.
As a participant for two summers with the National Writing Project, Dolson also became interested in composition theory, writing across the curriculum, and faculty development. Dolson has taught writing and composition theory courses at University of Richmond, along with Core courses and adjunct certification courses.
Before joining the CCE, Dolson worked in faculty development with the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. She is an active member of the Professional and Organizational Developers Network and a board member for the Henrico Education Foundation.
Manager, Educational Initiatives and Leadership Development
Adrienne Piazza coordinates events and student outreach for the CCE. She earned a B.A. in management from Georgetown University and an M.Ed. in education policy from George Washington University.
Before joining the CCE staff in May 2007, Piazza was an associate site manager for George Washington University's Jumpstart DC, a nonprofit organization that pairs college students with at-risk preschool children in a mentoring relationship aimed at achieving school success. Piazza is also a member of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).
Administrative Specialist and Data Reporting Analyst
CCE Fellow, Community-Based Learning
CCE Fellow, Events and Mentoring
CCE on 3, Tyler Haynes Commons 333
Director, Bonner Scholars Program
Bryan Figura serves as the director of the Bonner Scholars Program. He earned a B.A. with honors in English, a minor in history, and a Virginia teaching license from Longwood University.
Figura also holds an M.A. in college student personnel from Bowling Green University where he served as coordinator of leadership for Greek affairs and as house director for Phi Kappa Tau. Prior to joining the CCE in August 2008, he taught middle school English and history at P.S. 860 in Harlem for several years.
Coordinator, Bonner Scholars Program
Blake Stack serves as the coordinator for the Bonner Scholars Program. Before joining the University, he worked with various nonprofit organizations serving in the areas of youth mentorship and community development. Most recently, Stack served with Boaz & Ruth, a community partner with the CCE's Build It initiative, as a volunteer coordinator in the Highland Park neighborhood in Richmond's Northside. In 2005, Stack graduated from Cairn University with a B.S. in business administration and a B.S. in biblical studies.
Administrative Coordinator, Bonner Scholars Program
Community Initiatives and Program Manager
Cassie Price, CCE community initiatives and program manager, holds a B.A. in English literature with a minor in history from the College of William and Mary and has worked as an editor and writer. Before coming to the CCE in September 2007, she handled many aspects of the experiential-education curriculum for the University's Jepson School of Leadership Studies, forging some strong university-community partnerships in the process.
Price currently coordinates the Build It initiative, the David D. Burhans, the Deborah L. Marsh, and the F. Amanda DeBusk Civic Fellowships for the CCE. She also serves as the staff advisor for the the student organization FAME (Future American Men of Excellence). She is an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.
Community Initiatives and Programs Coordinator
Grace Leonard supports students engaging with the CCE's community partners in Northside Richmond through the Build It program. She holds a B.A. in anthropology and a minor in geography from the University of Richmond.
As an undergraduate, Leonard was a curatorial assistant at the University Museums and participated in Build It for four years as a mentor with Youth Life Foundation of Richmond. She completed a Burhans Civic Fellowship that led to her thesis research which combined community-based learning and ethnographic research to explore nonprofit management and community development in Richmond and northern Ghana.
University of Richmond Downtown, 626 E. Broad St.
Director, Richmond Families Initiative and University of Richmond Downtown Program
Kimberly Dean, director of the Richmond Families Initiative (RFI) and UR Downtown Program, earned a B.S. in psychology with a minor in women's studies from the University of Richmond, where she also was a Bonner and CIGNA Scholar and past president of Women Involved in Living and Learning (WILL). She earned an M.Ed. in social foundations from the University of Virginia's Curry School. Dean joined the CCE in July 2007 as the director of the Bonner Scholars Program before assuming her current position as director of RFI and URD in February 2011.
Before joining the CCE staff, Dean was director of programs at Partnership for the Future (PFF), a Richmond-based nonprofit focusing on college access and transition. Dean is also a former trainer with Virginia Mentoring Partnership and past board of directors member with Virginia College Access Network. Dean is a member of the WILL advisory board and the Carole Weinstein International Center steering committee.
Educational Programming Coordinator, University of Richmond Downtown
Through innovative events and partnerships, Alexandra Byrum seeks to engage students, faculty, and the greater Richmond community at UR Downtown. She holds a B.A. with honors in English from the University of the South and an M.A. in art and museum studies from Georgetown University.
Before joining the CCE, she managed educational programs at the Chrysler Museum of Art and taught the history of photography at Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community College’s Visual Arts Center. In our nation’s capitol, she worked at the Smithsonian Institution during the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian and the reopening of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Administrative Coordinator, University of Richmond Downtown
Ebony Smith is the administrative coordinator for the University of Richmond Downtown. She earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Before joining the staff at UR Downtown, Smith worked at the T.C. Williams School of Law as an administrative assistant. There her interest in pro bono and nonprofit services grew by working closely with the Harry Carrico Center for Pro Bono Service. She has enjoyed working with local organizations such as HandsOn Greater Richmond, Habitat for Humanity, and Mentor Match.
John V. Moeser
Dr. John V. Moeser is a senior fellow at the CCE and professor emeritus of urban studies and planning at Virginia Commonwealth University. He was one of the founders of the Department of urban studies and planning at VCU in 1973. His scholarship focuses on the politics of city-suburban relationships, post-World War II racial politics in Richmond and other southern cities, and current trends in poverty in Central Virginia including the history associated with the concentration of poverty.
Moeser received a B.A. from Texas Tech University, an M.A. from the University of Colorado, and a Ph.D. from George Washington University. All three degrees are in political science. Moeser is active in public life and serves as an analyst for newspapers, television, and radio.
In 2003, Governor Mark Warner appointed Moeser to the Urban Policy Task Force, a group of state and local officials and urban analysts charged to study the challenges facing Virginia's cities and urban areas and to recommend actions designed to promote urban revitalization. Governor Timothy Kaine continued the Task Force, whose work culminated in the development of the Urban Policy Report, part of which was written by Moeser. In 2013, the Honorable Cynthia Kinser, Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, appointed Moeser to the Access to Justice Planning Committee, which was chaired by the Honorable Bernard Goodwyn. Moeser was the only non-lawyer among the fifteen members. In 2011, the Director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation appointed Moeser to the Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Committee, whose charge is to advise appropriate governing bodies regarding plans affecting that part of the James River flowing through the City of Richmond.
The Richmond City Council appointed Moeser in 2008 to the City Charter Review Commission. Mayor Dwight Jones appointed him to both the Mayor's Redistricting Committee and the Mayor's Anti-Poverty Commission. In the early 1980s, Moeser served two terms on the Richmond Human Relations Commission and chaired the commission for one term.
Moeser has also served with a variety of organizations in the community and is currently on the Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. In October 2008, the Valentine Richmond History Center named Moeser a Richmond History Maker for his efforts to foster regional cooperation.