The OARS staff warmly welcomed me into their department this summer, making my move from University Communications and Marketing a seamless transition. As director of university external relations, I have been focused on developing relationships with business and community leaders in Greater Cincinnati since 2013. Joining OARS now allows me to more fully help faculty to increase their academic partnerships, expand research collaborations, and find new opportunities to share innovations and commercialization activities.
Because of my 29 years of experience at Miami, including invaluable times in intercollegiate athletics and government relations, I have developed a unique, holistic perspective of our university. My knowledge of Miami and extensive collaboration with colleagues in the region, give me insights on where we can maximize our resources and form new partnerships.
The goal to strengthen our business partnerships and visibility in Cincinnati evolved from the Miami 2020 Plan. “Foundation Goal 3: Effective Partnerships and Outreach” states as one of its objectives: “To advance Ohio’s economic development and prosperity by providing talent and expertise that helps shape policy and improves quality of life.”
Interestingly, the question I hear within the university most often is, “Why Cincinnati?” The Greater Cincinnati Region with its 15 counties is “home” to Miami University. Furthermore, we are deeply embedded in the region because of our Oxford, Hamilton, and Middletown campuses, the Voice of America Learning Center in West Chester, our presence in Over the Rhine, and our extensive alumni network. We have more than 50,000 alumni living and working in the region.
The region is known for its collaboration, innovation, and shared values. Cincinnati is a city where C-suite executives from Fortune 500, mid-cap, and startup companies strive to speak with one voice. They use the services of the Cincinnati Business Committee, Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, REDI Cincinnati, Cintrifuse, and city, state, and federal officials, among others, to activate a network that fosters the next phase of economic growth. These are the organizations I work with on a daily basis.
Currently, we have nearly 60 regional businesses actively engaged with the university through academic programming, advisory boards, client-based classes, and applied research and development. These include industry sectors spanning consumer products, financial services, health care, manufacturing, and military services.
Now, the Boldly Creative Initiative gives us new ways to serve the public through teaching, scholarship, and research. As President Crawford says, “It is the time for Miami to take bold and creative steps to benefit our students, the people of Ohio, and our nation . . . to invest in our future – innovating and creating a new generation of academic excellence that meets the challenge of our complex, data-driven global economy.”
A major key to our success is finding ways we can invest in our future and partner with our regional business and community leaders to make a positive difference. If you want to learn more about how I can help bring faculty and industry partners together for purposes of research, recruiting, consulting, and speaking opportunities, or if you need help to secure industry letters of support for state and federal grants, please contact me.
Written by Lisa Dankovich, Director of University External Relations, Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship, Miami University. Edited by Donna Boen, Managing Editor, University Communications and Marketing, Miami University.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Dankovich.