From the series Faculty Awards for Excellence 2017

Frederick A. White Distinguished Professor of Professional Service

Jennifer Subban

Jennifer Subban

Jennifer Subban, associate professor of urban affairs, breathes community into her teaching, scholarship and service. Her engagement is being part of change and helping to make change.

Subban, who received the Frederick A. White Distinguished Professor of Professional Service Award, is well known for her work in the community. She is the director of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) certificate program, recruiting and advising more than a dozen students a year. This program includes service-oriented courses, a 300-hour internship, involvement in the NLA Student Association and participation in the Alliance Management Institute. With Subban’s help, Wright State students have produced poster presentations that have won awards at national meetings.

Subban advises the NLA Student Association, which requires students to complete community service hours, professional networking events, participation in a shared community service event, planning and presenting two professional workshops for the nonprofit community, fundraising and the planning and presentation of a community awards ceremony every year.

Subban has also reached out to collaborate with and mentor other faculty members. This magnified opportunities for civic engagement, particularly through her leadership in obtaining student philanthropy grants, which were initially funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and awarded through the Ohio Campus Compact. Subban developed a mechanism to make the project sustainable beyond the life of the grant. Because of these grants, other faculty received money for their classrooms to initiate student philanthropy.

Most recently, Subban serves as a board member of the Harambee Coffee Roasters Cooperative, an economic development opportunity for Dayton’s African population, particularly those who came to Dayton as a result of conflicts within their home countries.

Not only has Subban worked to improve the local community, she is also contributing to Wright State’s efforts to be a university of the world. Subban established the Wright LEAD program in Durban, South Africa. This program involves students enrolled in a UCIE Ambassador course as facilitators of a community-based youth leadership training program. Students and Dayton community members travel to South Africa to support youth efforts to link their leadership knowledge and skills in various areas such as music, soccer, photography and poetry for their betterment of their communities. Her students support South African youth as they complete community service projects, such as building playgrounds, painting classrooms and creating community gardens. This year the program celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Wright State became an independent institution in 1967 and spent the next 50 years growing into an innovative leader in community service. In 2017, it celebrates its 50th anniversary as an independent public university, culminating with a special Homecoming celebration Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.

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