The Office of Partnerships and Outreach hosted the second BTU (Baltimore + Towson University) Roundtable event on Tuesday, April 2. This event brings together faculty, staff, and community partners in small groups to learn about existing partnership and outreach efforts and to explore ways to expand them across campus.

Our team had recently participated in an event with a similar format at a conference and couldn’t wait to bring it back to TU, since it allows for lots of interactions and small group discussions. During the BTU Roundtables, partnership leaders were assigned a table and attendees rotated every 15-minutes between tables, giving them an opportunity to meet with all presenters and, sometimes, learn about a program or partnership that they normally wouldn’t think they have a potential connection to. For example, staff members could be heard saying, “I had no idea how important archaeology is” and another said “this was their favorite event.”

The following five partnership and outreach programs were featured:

Baltimore Archaeology Lab: The Baltimore Community Archaeology Lab works with multiple departments across the university to mitigate and protect the historic resources on TU’s campus and ensure this cultural heritage is protected, documented and made accessible to the campus community.

BLinG-Health: Bling-Health (Black Leadership in Girls’ Health) is a peer-led physical activity program that was piloted at Reginald F. Lewis High School and will become a standard afterschool program.

Fair Chance Higher Education: The Fair Chance Higher Education initiative supports justice-impacted people in their pursuit of higher education from pre-application to completion of their college degree and beyond. This is accomplished through increased awareness, implementation of best practices, targeted recruitment, and comprehensive mentorship.

Leadership Foundations Program: Launched in 2022, this partnership brings cohorts of high school freshman from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School to the StarTUp at the Armory to develop entrepreneurial skills through a hands-on interactive learning experience. Students identify real-life problems faced by their peers and communities and grow into young entrepreneurs, creating and pitching solutions.

TU Human Resources & Humanim Partnership: TU’s Office of Human Resources partners with Humanim to provide workforce training and employment pipeline opportunities to community members. Through this partnership, TU faculty and staff in need of temporary administrative support are able to fill positions quickly while providing critical workplace experience to program participants, with the ultimate goal of moving into full time, steady positions at Towson University and other anchor institutions.