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The Community Engagement Center in Homewood has a new director

Stewart in a blazer with her arms crossed

The University of Pittsburgh’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) in Homewood may have a new leader, but she’s certainly not new to the community.

Michelle Stewart, who was born and raised in Homewood, said her ties with the neighborhood will help her accurately recognize the community’s needs and find opportunities for growth.

“My experiences in this community allow me to take an authentic approach to the work in this position,” Stewart said. “When I'm reaching out to people in the community and building relationships, I can authentically speak to what the community’s needs are and what residents have experienced or gone through”

Stewart joins the CEC after her predecessor, Darren Ellerbee, was named the inaugural director of Pitt’s new University Academic Outreach Center in January.

The CECs are a part of the University’s Neighborhood Commitments, Pitt’s long-term, place-based partnerships with local communities, in which all 17 schools and a variety of academic centers and business units are involved.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Michelle to the team,” said Lina Dostilio, vice chancellor of engagement and community affairs. “Her passion and firsthand knowledge of Homewood make her just the right person to continue the University’s mission to foster win-win collaborations between community and University partners.”

Stewart most recently worked as an administrator in education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in community ministry from Geneva College and her master’s degree in education from Carlow University. She also earned her PA Instructional Certification and K-12 PA Administrative Certification through the Principal Preparation Program at Robert Morris University.


— Donovan Harrell