UNCG Campus Weekly

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Cathy Hamilton will retire after 14 years’ leadership of OLSL

Dr. Hamilton at retirement reception, joined by OLSL staff

Dr. Cathy Hamilton, director of UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service Learning for the past 14 years, will retire at the end of this month. A retirement celebration was held on June 25 in the Alumni House’s Virginia Dare Room.

Dr. Hamilton has worked in educational human resource development at the national and international level for the past 20 years, including leadership development, education, and publishing in Latin America. Through UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service-Learning, she has provided support for both academic and co-curricular service-learning, student leadership and civic engagement. She taught courses in leadership studies through a courtesy faculty appointment with the School of Education and School of Business and Economics. She served as a Coleman Foundation Fellow with the UNCG Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program.

“When Cathy Hamilton came to UNCG, she brought with her the heart, skills and dispositions needed to root leadership and service-learning into the university,” said her longtime colleague, Dr. Spoma Jovanovic, professor in the Department of Communication Studies. “She was able to bring faculty and staff together with community partners to transform what had been a growing, but still fledgling interest in community engagement, into a well-supported, well designed university-wide commitment. Cathy’s global connections and humanitarian experiences provided the depth and reasons for her staff, the faculty, and our students to join with her in developing programs to boost civic responsibility and action here in Greensboro, around the U.S. and across the world.”

Hamilton has worked with faculty in university-community partnerships locally and also with education initiatives in Latin America. She is known for fostering collaborative alliances between universities and partners that together transform communities.

She received her Ph.D. from the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development at Louisiana State University. She also holds the M.S. degree in Adult Education from Texas A&M University and a B.A. from the honors college (Plan II) of the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to UNCG, Dr. Hamilton was the director of the Hartman Center for Civic Education and Leadership and part-time assistant professor at DePauw University in Indiana and as visiting assistant professor for Louisiana State University.

In her retirement, Dr. Hamilton will continue to be a leader in service. She hopes to focus on alleviating food insecurity through community garden initiatives, in collaboration with refugee resettlement agencies.

She says about her time at UNCG, “I have an equal mix of pride and gratitude having had this opportunity to work with talented and committed staff, enjoying the support of colleagues and administration, to craft a unique office structure and programming that leverages leadership development with curricular and co-curricular community engagement. When student demand exploded for leadership development and service opportunities, we might have been surprised, but we also realized the value of an office like ours to the central mission of higher education.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photo by Drew Greenstein