Paynter named to 2022 APLU board of directors

An East Carolina University assistant vice chancellor will have the opportunity to shape economic and community engagement efforts at the national level after being named to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ 2022 board of directors.

Dr. Sharon Paynter, assistant vice chancellor for economic and community engagement, was one of 28 members named to the board during APLU’s 134th annual meeting. Paynter serves as the vice chairperson for community engagement on the APLU’s Commission of Economic and Community Engagement.

Dr. Sharon Paynter, East Carolina University assistant vice chancellor for economic and community engagement, was named to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ 2022 board of directors. (Contributed photo)

The APLU board of directors provides oversight and direction for the organization’s work. Board members work to foster student success and research and innovation at higher education institutions, while working hand in hand with local communities to solve societal needs.

“Having an opportunity to bring a voice to the incredible value that partnerships between universities and communities around them provide to the growth of talent and workforce development, innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development, and public service and outreach is a true honor,” Paynter said. “I am thrilled to serve in this role with the APLU board.”

During her tenure with the Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement, Paynter has overseen community engaged research, projects and programs that include ECU’s Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy, Office of Continuing and Professional Education, Public Fellows Internship Program and the university’s annual Purple and Gold Bus Tour.

Paynter’s office also oversees the university’s economic development efforts, including the Small Business and Technology Development Center, Office of National Security and Industry Initiatives, Office of Innovation and New Ventures, RISE29 student entrepreneurship program, and the development of the university research and innovation campus.

These efforts help fuel ECU’s $2.5 billion statewide economic impact.

“The appointment of Dr. Paynter to the APLU board is recognition of her accomplishments and ECU’s leadership in regional outreach,” said Dr. Michael Van Scott, interim vice chancellor for research, economic development and engagement. “In the position, she will engage in discussions and strategic visioning of how universities engage with their communities. The insights she gains will help shape ECU’s programs and increase the mutual benefits realized from interactions with regional partners”

The APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization that advances the work of public universities in North America. Made up of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations promote research that aims to improve society, foster economic growth and address community needs.

ECU has been designated by the APLU as an innovation and economic prosperity university. The university is one of just 70 institutions that have earned the designation.

ECU has also been recognized as a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged Institution and has earned several community engagement awards, including the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Public Service Award in 2008 and 2011. The university received national recognition through the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship award in 2012, and the W.K. Kellogg Community Engagement Award in 2012, 2016 and 2017.