Baile selected to national economic and community engagement student advisory group

Rising East Carolina University senior Maggie Baile will represent the university on the inaugural Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ (APLU) Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) Student Advisory Group.

Baile, a Jacksonville native and double-major in security studies and political science with a minor in criminal justice, was one of eight students selected nationally to the advisory group. She will join representatives from Cornell, University of Texas at Austin, Michigan State, UC San Diego, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Ohio University and Georgia Southern.

The advisory group will take part in a national conversation about student involvement in economic and community engagement initiatives led by public and land-grant universities.

Rising senior Maggie Baile will represent the university on the inaugural Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ (APLU) Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) Student Advisory Group. (Contributed photo)

“This pandemic has shown now more than ever that a lot of decisions are being made that impact college students without the counsel of those students,” Baile said. “Giving students like me an opportunity to serve on this board will aid in ensuring all students on campuses across the United States are represented in how universities plan for programming to aid the communities they work with.”

According to the APLU, the advisory group was created to ensure that student voices are represented and consulted by the CECE and to provide advice on best practices for economic and community engagement.

The group will provide student perspectives and input on CECE initiatives and programs; conduct projects addressing student issues on university engagement and economic development; and advocate for CECE-supported initiatives among members’ home institutions and regions.

The CECE leads the APLU’s mission pillar of expanding university engagement with external partners for advancing economic and community development.

As part of her service to the advisory board, Baile will lead a local engagement project and present it at the national APLU conference in Philadelphia this fall.

“Although we’re still working through the specifics of my project, I want to continue to work toward a more equitable campus that fosters lasting community partnerships that transform a student’s learning inside and outside of the classroom,” Baile said.

A member of the ECU Honors College, Baile’s candidacy was supported by Sharon Paynter, assistant vice chancellor for economic and community engagement. Baile will be mentored by Paynter and Elizabeth Hodge, director of engaged research, during her advisory board term.

“One of the hallmarks of strong community engagement initiatives is stakeholder involvement,” Paynter said. “Student involvement in the national conversation on university-community engagement initiatives is an important advancement in how campuses work with their partners to advance economic and community development.”

Community engaged projects are partnerships between institutions of higher education and their local, regional, state, national and global communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources.

At ECU, community engaged projects often begin by asking communities what aid or resources they need and then working together with local leaders and faculty, students and staff to solve those problems.

Baile was previously selected as the sole ECU representative and one of 290 students nationwide for the Newman Civic Fellows offered by Boston-based nonprofit Campus Compact. The yearlong program offers students an opportunity to find solutions for challenges facing their local communities. Baile was the first woman selected for the honor at ECU.

Since the spring of her freshman year, Baile has been a student worker for recruitment and admissions for the Honors College. She has also been involved across campus in the Student Government Association, the Honors College Student Council, Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society and Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society.

Baile is the co-host of the podcast “That’s My Twenty Cents,” in which she interviews women in industry about their professional journeys and the hardships they may have faced, using the stories and lessons of these women to encourage others and equip other women to follow their own passions within the workplace.

ECU has a rich history of economic and community engagement scholarship and programs, including its Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy, SECU Public Fellows Internship Program, and various economic development programs like RISE29 and the Small Business and Technology Development Center at ECU.

The APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization that advances the work of public universities in North America. The association’s membership is made of 224 members that include research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations.