Education

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

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

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 great schooling. That dedication has resonated with Hayes since he was a baby, and he’s carried it with him by a number of levels as a first-generation pupil, in addition to numerous schooling management roles.

Most lately, it’s what introduced Hayes again to UCF — this time as dean of the School 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.

School 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 school and in numerous management roles right here, together with interim dean, government affiliate dean, assistant dean, and division chair within the former School of Schooling and Human Efficiency.

Hayes left to grow to be dean of the School 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 stored up with what’s occurring round UCF since he left, his curiosity was piqued when he was contacted concerning the School of Neighborhood Innovation and Schooling’s seek for a brand new dean.

“The factor that basically sparked my curiosity was the individuality of the school and the way the packages had been positioned, in addition to the mission of constructing stronger communities and neighborhood engagement,” he says. “I additionally see the potential of our mission, and it’s one thing that I instantly linked with. I did a whole lot of work relating to neighborhood engagement in Greenville at ECU as a result of that was a giant a part of the college’s mission, too. I believed it might be a beautiful alternative to proceed to work with a diversified program portfolio.”

The faculty’s mission of training and empowering leaders to serve by revolutionary instruction, sturdy partnerships and transformative scholarship particularly resonates with Hayes, who sees it as the important thing to neighborhood impression.

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

“It’s a chance to harness the mental capital that we’ve right here on the college to unravel complicated or difficult issues of society,” he says. “Simply have a look at the impression that we are able to 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 important 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 stupendous facility. It’s unimaginable when pupil affairs and the best way issues are located to the place college students can simply journey down the elevator from their dorm rooms and get tutoring or advising proper there with out leaving the constructing. Once you additionally take into consideration the potential for partnerships and networking, it’s great to have the ability to create these kind of accessible alternatives for college kids.”

A part of Hayes’ preliminary focus for the School of Neighborhood Innovation and Schooling is making a relationship-rich tradition throughout the faculty by which everybody feels extra unified. A method to do this, he says, is offering alternatives for packages to find out about one another, the kind of analysis by which they’re engaged, and the way they interact and impression college students.

“I believe individuals will notice that they’ve extra in frequent than not,” he says. “After I have a look at three areas of focus, I believe it’s most likely centered on college students, analysis excellence and partnerships, and constructing a relationship-rich neighborhood and tradition.”

“After I have a look at three areas of focus, I believe it’s most likely centered on college students, analysis excellence and partnerships, and constructing a relationship-rich neighborhood and tradition.”

Being again in a metropolis like Orlando additionally presents loads of artistic shops and alternatives — one thing Hayes by no means strayed removed from — outdoors the office. A classically educated singer, music additionally has been a giant a part of his life. In actual fact, when he isn’t attending to varsity issues, you would possibly catch him again on stage performing with the Bach Pageant Choir of Winter Park or perhaps a native theater. After a 30-year hiatus, he took up performing once more with a neighborhood theater in Greenville, South Carolina. Most 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 house and be a part of formulating the trajectory by which the School of Neighborhood Innovation and Schooling is headed is likely one of the issues Hayes is most wanting ahead to.

“I believe the good issues which are going to return out of this faculty will likely be superb not just for the school and the college, however for all of the communities that we serve,” he says. “Once you depart an establishment for an additional alternative, you actually don’t assume you’re going to return again. In some ways, I really feel like I’m coming house. There’s such a powerful sense of consolation, and it simply feels proper.”

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