The 2020 Power of ITGA
Third in a series on the value of ITGA and its world-class leadership
By Larissa M. Ennis, PhD, University of Oregon
My first exposure to ITGA was serving on the 2017 conference planning committee as University of Oregon and the City of Eugene prepared to host our colleagues from around the world. I was working in continuing education at the time, and had never even heard the phrase "town-gown" before. Boy, did I have a lot to learn!
After changing careers to join the UO Government and Community Relations team in 2018, I felt way in over my head. After a decade in academic affairs, I was thrust into community affairs where the focus, the concerns, and even the lingo were radically different. Instead of thinking about student outcomes, I was hearing about student impacts; where I had been partnering with faculty, now I was collaborating with nonprofits and municipal agencies. Simply mapping the public agency ecosystem where I had lived for 15 years was its own civics lesson-and one I'm still learning!
I attended my first ITGA conference that spring hungry to connect with colleagues in this new world, and I was hooked: I had found my people. Not only were these practitioners experienced in navigating the waters I had just plunged into, they cared about the same things I did: sustaining and enriching communities on and around campuses, furthering the public good, and celebrating the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the town-gown nexus. I am so glad to have the resources of an ITGA membership-and its members! - available to me.
Larissa Ennis is Associate Director of Community Relations at the University of Oregon and Co-chair of the Emerging Professionals Committee. Do you have your own "power of ITGA" story to tell in 250 words or less? Send it to
ITGA Membership: We Want You!
Your ITGA is starting a new membership committee, and we would appreciate your help. This needed initiative will further ITGA's steady growth, and experience with recruitment engagement, and development strategies is essential and welcome. In this mix, too, will be soliciting feedback from current members to ensure ITGA is meeting their needs. If you'd like to help get the ITGA Membership Committee up and running, contact board president-elect or 970.491.5453. Thanks!
A Good Deed by BGSU's President Going Viral
Bowling Green State University
"A tweet showing Bowling Green State University's president taking the time to help change a flat time is going viral. President Rodney Rogers said he was walking out of a meeting Wednesday night and started a conversation with two BGSU students. During the conversation, Junior Ashley Dealey told him they were waiting for tire service to help change a flat tire. President Rogers said he didn't think twice and immediately insisted on helping since it was cold outside. "It's part of what we do here at Bowling Green..." said Rogers. WTOL
Call for Nominations for 2020 ITGA Awards
April 3 is submission deadline for top recognition awards
Each year, ITGA recognizes members who work toward improving the quality of life in campus communities. This is an opportunity for town-gown professionals to receive recognition for their work at the annual ITGA City & University Relations Conference. Last year's recipients of the ITGA Presidential Excellence Award were Dr. Roger Kemp and Grinnell Education Partnership. Miami University and Oxford, Ohio received the 2019 Larry Abernathy award for their vision to be the Healthiest College Town in America. Call for nominations for the 2020 ITGA awards are open. Submit nominations on or before April 3. For questions, contact
State College Places in Ranking of Best Car-free Places
State College was named one of the best car-free places to live in the U.S. in a study conducted by CityLab, with the town ranking number two behind Ithaca, New York. The car-free metro index was based on variables such as the share of households that don't have access to their own vehicle, the share of commuters who take transit to work, the share of commuters who bike to work and the share of commuters who walk to work. The ranking acknowledges that the majority of the car-free leaders are college towns, including Ann Arbor, Michigan at 7 and Eugene, Oregon at 11. Daily Collegian
ITGA Student Engagement
Thirteenth in a series of representative collaborations
"University of Illinois students not taxed at all in helping less fortunate through program." The News-Gazette. "University of Rochester earns first Community Engagement Classification from Carnegie Foundation." University of Rochester. Would you like student engagement from your community of campus highlighted in this space? Email
ITGA News & Announcements
Conference Registration: Register for the ITGA City & University Relations Conference, hosted by the City of Boulder and the University of Colorado Boulder, June 1-3. Learn more.

Professional Development Opportunities

Optional Professional Networking Event: Join us at the Rayback Collective May 31, 5:30-7:30. To register, click here. Space is limited so register today!

Post-conference Event: Colorado State University and the City of Fort Collins invite you to participate in a town-gown experience on Thursday, June 4, 8:00-5:00pm. Learn more.

Questions about the conference? Contact
Join us on Social Media
A growing and impressive group of professionals from campus communities continue to network and share strategies for improving town-gown relations. Join us on  Twitter LinkedIn  and  Instagram .