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Faculty of Neighborhood Innovation and Schooling’s New Dean Shares Pleasure for Return to UCF

Faculty of Neighborhood Innovation and Schooling’s New Dean Shares Pleasure for Return to UCF

All through all 12 years of his main and secondary schooling, Grant Hayes solely ever missed someday of college.

The oldest of 4 boys rising up in rural South Carolina, Hayes says it was his mom who instilled in him the significance of a very good schooling. That dedication has resonated with Hayes since he was a baby, and he’s carried it with him by means of a number of levels as a first-generation scholar, in addition to varied schooling management roles.

Most just lately, it’s what introduced Hayes again to UCF — this time as dean of the Faculty of Neighborhood Innovation and Schooling.

A professor of counselor schooling, he holds a grasp’s diploma in secondary faculty steering, in addition to each doctoral and academic specialist levels in counselor schooling, from the College of South Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s diploma from Limestone College in South Carolina.

Faculty of Neighborhood Innovation and Schooling Dean Grant Hayes (Photograph by Kadeem Stewart ’17)

His return to UCF is a homecoming of kinds. Hayes spent greater than 17 years as college and in varied management roles right here, together with interim dean, govt affiliate dean, assistant dean, and division chair within the former Faculty of Schooling and Human Efficiency.

Hayes left to turn out to be dean of the Faculty of Schooling at East Carolina College in 2015, and in 2019, he went on to function the college’s interim provost and senior vice chancellor for Tutorial Affairs for 3 years.

Having saved up with what’s occurring round UCF since he left, his curiosity was piqued when he was contacted in regards to the Faculty of Neighborhood Innovation and Schooling’s seek for a brand new dean.

“The factor that basically sparked my curiosity was the distinctiveness of the faculty and the way the applications had been positioned, in addition to the mission of constructing stronger communities and group engagement,” he says. “I additionally see the potential of our mission, and it’s one thing that I instantly related with. I did a variety of work relating to group engagement in Greenville at ECU as a result of that was an enormous a part of the college’s mission, too. I believed it will be an exquisite alternative to proceed to work with a diversified program portfolio.”

The faculty’s mission of teaching and empowering leaders to serve by means of progressive instruction, robust partnerships and transformative scholarship particularly resonates with Hayes, who sees it as the important thing to group influence.

“It’s a possibility to harness the mental capital that we’ve right here on the college to unravel advanced or difficult issues of society.”

“It’s a possibility to harness the mental capital that we’ve right here on the college to unravel advanced or difficult issues of society,” he says. “Simply take a look at the influence that we will make when everybody comes collectively to focus on community-motivated analysis.”

New to Hayes since his final tenure on the college, UCF Downtown is one other key element he views as a vital useful resource within the mission of empowering college students to serve a various society.

“I see a lot nice potential right here,” he says. “It’s a fantastic facility. It’s unbelievable when scholar affairs and the way in which issues are located to the place college students can simply trip down the elevator from their dorm rooms and get tutoring or advising proper there with out leaving the constructing. Whenever you additionally take into consideration the potential for partnerships and networking, it’s fantastic to have the ability to create a lot of these accessible alternatives for college students.”

A part of Hayes’ preliminary focus for the Faculty of Neighborhood Innovation and Schooling is making a relationship-rich tradition inside the school wherein everybody feels extra unified. A method to do this, he says, is offering alternatives for applications to find out about one another, the kind of analysis wherein they’re engaged, and the way they have interaction and influence college students.

“I feel folks will understand that they’ve extra in widespread than not,” he says. “Once I take a look at three areas of focus, I feel it’s in all probability centered on college students, analysis excellence and partnerships, and constructing a relationship-rich group and tradition.”

“Once I take a look at three areas of focus, I feel it’s in all probability centered on college students, analysis excellence and partnerships, and constructing a relationship-rich group and tradition.”

Being again in a metropolis like Orlando additionally affords loads of artistic shops and alternatives — one thing Hayes by no means strayed removed from — exterior the office. A classically educated singer, music additionally has been an enormous a part of his life. Actually, when he isn’t attending to varsity issues, you would possibly catch him again on stage performing with the Bach Competition Choir of Winter Park or perhaps a native theater. After a 30-year hiatus, he took up appearing once more with a group theater in Greenville, South Carolina. Most just lately, he performed the roles of Purlie within the musical Purlie, Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy, and Reverend Dr. Harper in Arsenic and Previous Lace.

In the meanwhile, the chance to return residence and be a part of formulating the trajectory wherein the Faculty of Neighborhood Innovation and Schooling is headed is among the issues Hayes is most wanting ahead to.

“I feel the good issues which can be going to return out of this school will likely be wonderful not just for the faculty and the college, however for all of the communities that we serve,” he says. “Whenever you depart an establishment for one more alternative, you actually don’t suppose you’re going to return again. In some ways, I really feel like I’m coming residence. There’s such a robust sense of consolation, and it simply feels proper.”