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Office of Community Engagement

371 Varner Dr.
221A Varner Hall
Rochester, MI 48309
(location map)
248-370-3150
engagewithou@oakland.edu

Office of Community Engagement

371 Varner Dr.
221A Varner Hall
Rochester, MI 48309
(location map)
248-370-3150
engagewithou@oakland.edu

Office of the Provost

Wilson Hall, Room 205
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)
(248) 370-2190
provost@oakland.edu

Pontiac Initiative core group members posing for a photo in a conference room

OU-Pontiac Initiative

A Collaboration between Oakland University and the City of Pontiac

The OU-Pontiac Initiative is committed to helping advance the City of Pontiac while enhancing experiential learning opportunities for Oakland University students. Over the past year, a network of leaders from the City of Pontiac, Oakland University and the local community served as Pillar Leads for six focus areas: PK-16 Education, Civic Engagement, Economic and Workforce Development, Health Care and Wellness, Arts and Culture, and Building Capacity for Non-Profits and Neighborhoods.

The OU-Pontiac Initiative was recently featured prominently in the 2020 State of the County address. Take a look.

Welcome
President’s Welcome
Oakland University, the city of Pontiac and its residents are more than neighbors defined by geographic proximity.

We share a mission, and a sense of community. And, we share a future. The OU-Pontiac Initiative reflects the possibilities and promise of the region’s distinguished university and one of Michigan’s most historic urban centers. Our relationship is mutually beneficial. For the last five years, we have built a steadfast partnership that has created invaluable learning and research opportunities for OU students and faculty to engage in meaningful and impactful projects that have also improved the quality of life for Pontiac residents. Collectively, these initiatives promote education, healthy living, civic engagement, economic and workforce development, arts and culture, and the capacity of nonprofits to further provide support for neighborhoods.

Under the leadership of OU Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer Glenn McIntosh, we have fostered a collaborative and engaged approach. With Glenn’s direction, the resources of our university will continue to be focused on finding ways to improve education, health and economic opportunities in Pontiac. Furthermore, the recent appointment of Kevin Corcoran as OU’s Chief Community Engagement Officer is a testament of our long-term, unwavering commitment.

Together, we look forward to the future that lies ahead.

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D. President Oakland University
Mayor’s Welcome
The 2018-19 year was a remarkable year for the OU-Pontiac Initiative as we introduced several key initiatives. The Community Impact Sponsorship Awards program enabled us to create and engage more community partners by awarding funds to groups who applied. The project funds were awarded on the basis of their impact in any of the six established pillar areas of community benefits.

This year also marks the meaningful five-year anniversary of our dynamic partnership. We are proud to celebrate this multi-faceted, mutually beneficial organization that has significantly enriched both the University and the Pontiac community. During this time, we have mobilized more than 400 individuals and 75 community organizations in approximately 50 initiatives and projects to the benefit of both entities. The success of five consecutive years of positive, historically significant projects, programming, and community engagement, serves as a strong foundation for the incredible, advanced opportunities that lie ahead. Together we have formed a cohesive organizational infrastructure that unites “Urban Achievement with Academic Excellence.”
Mission, Vision and Goals
VISION STATEMENT
A sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship between Oakland University and the City of Pontiac

MISSION STATEMENT
The Oakland University-Pontiac Initiative is advancing the vitality of Pontiac while enhancing experiential learning opportunities for Oakland University students. Promotes civic engagement in the community. In addition, it calls upon a broad network of individuals and organizations to achieve these goals by using appropriate infrastructure, human and financial resources. Oakland University, the city of Pontiac and its residents are more than neighbors defined by geographic proximity. We share a mission, and a sense of community. And, we share a future.

COLLABORATIVE GOALS
  • To be a catalyst for relationship building and collaborative projects involving groups from Pontiac and Oakland University
  • To promote the University’s research agenda with a focus on mutually beneficial projects that enhance both communities
  • To enhance the curricular and co-curricular programs by connecting students with Pontiac-based opportunities for service learning, internships, volunteer experiences, recreation and arts
  • To support the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan: Pontiac Moving Forward
  • To connect Pontiac-based entities with OU faculty, students, programs and resources
  • To facilitate consistent, accurate and timely communication between Pontiac and the University communities
  • To identify and secure human and financial resources (including external grants) needed to ensure a sustainable model for community engagement
Get Involved

Headshot of Teresa RodgesThe OU-Pontiac Initiative is committed to helping advance the City of Pontiac while enhancing experiential learning opportunities for Oakland University students. Over the past year, a network of leaders from the City of Pontiac, Oakland University and the local community served as Pillar Leads for six focus areas: PK-16 Education, Civic Engagement, Economic and Workforce Development, Health Care and Wellness, Arts and Culture, and Building Capacity for Non-Profits and Neighborhoods. There are many opportunities for the residents of Pontiac and Oakland University faculty, staff and students to become involved with the OU-Pontiac initiative. For more information, contact Teresa Rodges, Coordinator for Community Service Partnerships, Oakland University, trodges@oakland.edu or (248) 370-3087.

Leadership

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz
President, Oakland University

Deirdre Waterman
Mayor, City of Pontiac

Kevin Corcoran
Dean of College of Arts and Sciences and Chief Community
Engagement Officer, Oakland University

Jane Bais-DiSessa
Deputy Mayor, City of Pontiac

Thomas Kimble
President Emeritus, AARP and Initiative Co-Chair

Glenn McIntosh
Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer,
Oakland University and Initiative Co-Chair

Jean Ann Miller
Senior Director for Office for Student Involvement, Oakland University

Teresa Rodges
Coordinator for Community Service Partnerships & Interim Director of Pre-College Programs, Oakland University

Wayne Thibodeau
Senior Director for Career Services, Oakland University

Nicole Wells Stallworth
Assistant Vice President for Government & Community Relations, Oakland University

John Young
Vice President for University Communications and Marketing, Oakland University

2020 Community Impact Sponsorship Awards

We are pleased to announce that the OU-Pontiac Initiative has renewed the Community Impact Sponsorship Awards for 2020. The awards are intended to invest in core activities which provide a financial basis for supporting the ongoing sustainability of projects related to one of the following six pillar areas within the initiative including: PK-16 Education, Civic Engagement, Economic and Workforce Development, Healthcare and Wellness, Arts and Culture and Building Capacity for Nonprofits and Neighborhoods.  The Community Impact Sponsorship Application must be submitted by April 10, 2020 by 5:00 pm and is open to any organization having demonstrated involvement in the OU-Pontiac Initiative.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact the OU-Pontiac Initiative office at 248-370-3203. 

2020 Community Impact Sponsorship Application