Diane Hill Receives 2019 ARJ Civic Leadership Award

Dr. Diane Hill is Assistant Chancellor at Rutgers University-Newark. She has been an integral member of the Rutgers University administration since 1988 and has served in key senior leadership positions during her tenure.

Dr. Hill received a Ph.D. in Urban Systems, a joint program administered by New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Her research has focused on advancing community engagement in higher education, with special emphasis on university-community partnerships in urban universities, school-based youth college and career development, engagement demonstration models, and community-based participatory research.

Dedicated to create and strengthen bridges between Rutgers University Newark and the Greater Newark community, Hill brokers university-community partnerships that support research, teaching and scholarship initiatives that impact urban communities. She is the co- founding Director of the Center for Pre-College Education and Outreach at Rutgers-Newark.

In 2002, she founded and directed the Office of Campus and Conference Services, which evolved into the Office of Campus and Community Relations (OCCR) because of the department’s expanded role in executing and promoting community engagement initiatives. In 2010, Dr. Hill collaborated with the Office of the Chancellor to expand the vision of OCCR and transformed it into the Office of University-Community Partnerships, the campus’s first institutionalized office to advance university-community partnerships. She is responsible for creating and promoting partnerships and research collaborations between the university and public, private and community-based organizations.

Renowned for her expertise in building community relations, Dr. Hill has over thirty years of professional experience in education. A Newark native, she manifests a deep commitment and passion for collaborating with school systems to improve graduation rates and academic performance for youth.

She was at the forefront of creating numerous academic enrichment “pipeline programs” for youth in the greater Newark area to make  higher education opportunity an accessible reality for them. The "RU Ready for Work" program is a great example of Dr. Hill's dedication to the Newark community. She recruited and led a team in designing a school-based demonstration model for high school youth, supported by a university-community partnership among the Newark Public Schools, the City of Newark (NewarkWorks/Workforce Development Board), and several local foundations. The graduation and college going rates of its participants have exceed those of the district.

Her education and community engagement repertoire extends from early childhood to senior citizens. She has served as the principal and co-principal investigator for several grants, “Start Healthy Stay Healthy Early Childhood Education Program;” a partnership with Nestle’ Nutrition (Gerber) U.S., that provides early nutrition training to community members and develop community residents to continue training.

In collaboration with Rutgers Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Dr. Hill and her colleague, Rutgers Professor Dr. Mark Gluck, serve as co-principal investigators for the African-American Alzheimer's Disease Health Literacy Program, which promotes research, memory health and a better understanding of Alzheimer's among minority and economically disadvantaged seniors, who have a greater risk of developing the disease.

In collaboration with the United Way of Essex and West Hudson, the Urban League of Essex County and the Newark Public Schools, the Newark Fairmount Promise Neighborhood initiative (PNI) was another hallmark of Dr. Hill's outstanding community engagement work. A university-community partnership, the PNI was one of the signature programs of the Obama White House and the U.S. Department of Education. A collaboration among over 25 community partners, which was unprecedented in the City of Newark, PNI brings public and private partners together to build a continuum of high-quality support services for children and families.

She is currently engaged in brokering several university-community partnerships that support research, teaching and scholarship initiatives, which will positively impact urban communities.

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