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Javiette Samuel, PhD |

Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of Community Engagement and Outreach

Javiette Samuel is the associate vice chancellor for diversity and engagement, director of community engagement and outreach, and affiliated associate professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies. She is an experienced engaged scholar with a unique combination of educational, interpersonal, and creative skills. She has worked with underrepresented P-20 students, families, faculty, and communities for nearly 25 years. Focusing on engagement, outreach, and evidence-based programs her primary applied research interests have been child development, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), positive youth development, parenting, and family well-being. She is especially passionate about addressing educational disparities, early warning signs of disengagement from school and learning, mentoring, and increasing parental involvement.

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Quannah Washington |


Quannah Washington is the coordinator for community outreach and engagement. She is a UT Alumni with a Bachelor’s in Social Work, Master’s in Educational Psychology, and is currently in the Educational Psychology PhD program.  With an extensive background in working with marginalized populations, education, and community engagement, Quannah has consulted on, hosted, participated in, and actively worked on boards, coalitions, programs, and projects around the city and state that focus on improving and making a positive difference in the lives of people. Quannah believes that education can change the plight of people and that access to education must be equitable for everyone.  She is no stranger to UTK, in that she previously worked with the Families First Program that was housed here and the Haslam College of Business.

In her spare time, Quannah is an avid reader, adventurous traveler, busy mom, and likes spending time with her husband.

Sherley Cruz, JD

OCEO Faculty Fellow

Sherley Cruz began working with the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2019 teaching and supervising students in the Advocacy Clinic. Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Cruz was a practitioner in residence with American University’s Washington College of Law’s Civil Advocacy Clinic and supervised law students on economic justice cases such as wage theft, debt claims, and related housing matters.

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Lazarius Alexander

Graduate Research Assistant