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Portrait Gallery: Lisa Campbell, director of the Center for Student Affairs at Discovery Park

Lisa CampbellLisa Campbell, director of the Center for Student Affairs at Discovery Park, works with engineering students who are researching innovative methods in renewable energies and materials. And that inspired her to do her part in taking care of the planet.

Campbell received the Outstanding Staff Member Award from the We Mean Green Awards, which was given by the Office of Sustainability as part of Earth Day activities.

The other winners were Yong Tao, professor of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, Outstanding Faculty; freshman Alyssa Wolverton, Outstanding Student; EcoReps, a student group that encourages sustainability in the residence halls, Outstanding Student Organization; and Automotive Services, Outstanding Department for their fleet emission reduction activities.  

What is your title and department and how long have you been at UNT?

My title is director of the Center for Student Affairs at Discovery Park. I report to the University Union and am a member of the Division of Student Affairs.

What is your educational background and experience?

I have a bachelor’s degree in Theatre and a master’s degree in Student Personnel Services from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I have worked for twenty-five years in higher education and non-profit arts management. I have many years of experience in student activities and student union management but have also worked for two academic deans in the arts. I am very intrigued with academic integration theory.

What was it like to win the We Mean Green Award? Why is sustainability an important issue for you? What activities led you to win the award?

It was an honor to be singled out for the Staff Member Award for the We Mean Green Award. I took an interest in this issue because of the number of engineering students and faculty who not only value sustainability but do active research in renewable energies and materials. Students are very interested in this topic and learning more about LEED certification, wind and solar energy, and the development of new methods of materials that are safer and more efficient for the environment.

As a result, I chose to find ways in creating programs that educate and expose them to other engineers and scientists working on these issues. I have done this through fantastic partnerships with faculty in engineering. As part of Great Global Citizens Month, we now try to bring a researcher/scholar in every other year that does a multi-day visit sharing their work and guest lecturing. My office also produces an EarthFest event at Discovery Park annually as a means to celebrate the earth and teach students the value of things like buying locally, using recyclable materials and purchasing products that are made from renewable processes.

What attracted you to working with students?

My father used to joke that I went to college and never left. I think I am a teacher by nature. I have two passions in life – education and the arts. At this stage of my life, I enjoy their energy, focus and drive.  They keep me young and remind me what it is like to dream.

You assist students at Discovery Park - what’s challenging about being away from the main campus?

The biggest daily challenge is keeping students at Discovery Park connected to the university and making them feel like they are not forgotten. Most students tell me they like the transition of being at Discovery Park because it feels more professional and not like a traditional campus.  But they also frequently complain about lack of service or access to offices. I have done my best to make Discovery Park feel like a small community of a larger community and to do little things to keep them happy.

What do you do away from work? Hobbies? Family?

I am single and share my house with my little dog Ozzie. I am originally from Pennsylvania and moved to Texas five years ago to be near my sister who lives in Granbury and my brother who lives in Oklahoma. I volunteer as a literacy tutor through the Denton Public Library. I also serve as faculty advisor to the UNTWU Catholic Community. When I have time I like to explore the area, travel and take in as much art as I can. I’m a huge fan of theater and think the Kimbell Art Museum is a regional treasure.

Do you have a favorite movie, book, restaurant?

It is hard for me to pick a favorite book – I love so many. I’m currently reading Parker J. Palmer’s The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal.

My favorite movie is White Christmas. I’m a sucker for those old song and dance classics!

I enjoy food a great deal and love to get out and try new things. One of my favorite Denton finds is Green Zatar, a wonderful little Middle Eastern restaurant with delicious homemade food.

It's not possible to know everyone on a big, busy campus. So InHouse periodically publishes Portrait Gallery features to help us learn about our colleagues and their contributions to the university's success. Send suggestions for Portrait Gallery subjects by email to InHouse with "Portrait Gallery" in the subject line.)

 

 

 

Posted on: Wed 26 June 2013

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