The 2020 Power of ITGA
Fourth in a series on the value of ITGA and its world-class leadership
By Joan Dickinson, MA, Stony Brook University
Joining the International Town & Gown Association is like being welcomed into a whole new family. I was overwhelmed with the support and encouragement I received at my first conference which was held at George Washington University in 2015.
I took the position of Community Relations Director at Stony Brook University (SBU) in January, 2013, after serving as campus marketing and licensing director for 15 years. SBU is a public research university situated in a quiet, private home community on the north shore of Long Island, New York.
Within two months of taking the job, student off-campus housing became a lightning rod for the community. Single-family homes were becoming student rentals. I spent my entire first year on the job managing calls from angry homeowners who demanded that the University fix this problem. I searched for help knowing that we couldn't be the only school trying to manage challenging campus and community relations, and found the ITGA. I met so many people who were eager to share their experiences and offer support. Their response assured me that I was in the right place. In my first encounter with Beth Bagwell, she treated me like we knew each other for years. I was introduced to other members who could help me, and I quickly saw the resources that were now at my fingertips. Based on that input, our office was able to successfully craft a strategy for improving the housing conversation for our neighboring communities.
Joan Dickinson is Director of Community Relations at Stony Brook University. Do you have your own "power of ITGA" story to tell in 250 words or less? Send it to
Upcoming ITGA Webinar - ITGA: Get Out The Vote!
With the 2020 election underway in the United States and elevated conversations about student civic engagement and voting worldwide, the International Town & Gown Association will host a webinar on the theme of Getting Out the Vote. The 90-minute webinar will explore research collected via the 2019 ITGA Data Digest and will also feature ITGA members who are using novel and creative approaches to encourage civic engagement and student voting in their town-gown relationships.
If your town-gown partnerships is taking on new or creative approaches to encourage student voting, and you are interested in presenting as part of the webinar, please complete this brief survey.
ITGA Feb. 24 Webinar and New Affinity Group
College towns, declining enrollments: Challenges and Opportunities
The ITGA's second webinar was a data-rich overflow of the looming enrollment crisis facing many colleges and universities and by extension, their home communities. Presentations from a Chronicle of Higher Education reporter, a small city/college town mayor, an urban business director, and a university president, provided context on both challenges and opportunities in these challenging times. To access the link, click here.
If you are interested in participating in a new affinity group with the mission of building and growing effective mutually beneficial partnerships between/among small institutions with their host and neighboring communities, contact ITGA member and Town Manager Larry DiRe, Town of Federalsburg, MD. To learn more about the Small College and Small Town Affinity Group, click here.
Nominate the Best for 2020
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
ITGA: Meet an Intern
Eben LeBerthon, senior, Agribusiness Management and Economics
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
As the local government policy Intern in the Government and Community Relations Office here at the University of Arizona, I am learning about the importance of an institution's involvement with its community. As a part of this internship, I am working on mapping the engagement of the University of Arizona with its local Tucson community, so that in the future we may look at opportunities to further strengthen these bonds with our community. Working with the ITGA helps me not only put into perspective how important the relationships between town and gown are, but also affords the opportunity to collaborate with other institutions around the world in an exchange of ideas and practices to further community relations between colleges and their communities as a whole. Would you like your community or campus intern to engage with ITGA? Email
ITGA Student Engagement
Fourteenth in a series of representative collaborations
"MSU Awards Recognize University-Community Collaborations." MSU Today. "America Reads: ISU students are gladly tutoring the community." ISU News. 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!

Optional 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. Learn more.

Questions about the conference?
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 .