St. Louis Confluence Collaborative search committee convenes

Deepening and strengthening Washington University’s partnerships and impact in the St. Louis region is a top institutional priority, as evidenced during Chancellor Andrew D. Martin’s inauguration in 2019 and in the “Here and Next” strategic plan. The new St. Louis Confluence Collaborative for Community-Engaged Research, Teaching and Practice is part of the plan in action.

Housed within the Office of the Provost, the collaborative will serve as an organizing platform and convening unit for community-engaged research, teaching and practice across WashU, with St. Louis needs at the forefront.

“We’re focused on impact,” Provost Beverly Wendland said. “We want to make WashU the leading model for how a university can partner with local communities to solve pressing problems. Through intentional, sustainable partnerships, we believe WashU can contribute to an equitable, vibrant future for our region.

“The new Confluence Collaborative is foundational to these aspirations. We also understand our local efforts aren’t at the expense of our global portfolio. Initiatives we advance abroad can enhance our work at home, and our international reputation can grow by what we accomplish as WashU in and for St. Louis.”

A committee comprised of WashU faculty and staff, along with key community partners, is now working to identify the collaborative’s inaugural faculty executive director. The committee’s inclusion of members from outside campus reflects the collaborative’s goal of ensuring an equitable partner-based model of community engagement in and for St. Louis.

We’re focused on impact. We want to make WashU the leading model for how a university can partner with local communities to solve pressing problems.

Provost Beverly Wendland

“As an intermediary advancing health equity for communities who have been historically excluded, the St. Louis Integrated Health Network is excited to partner with other community members and WashU in selection of the St. Louis Confluence Collaborative’s inaugural executive director,” said Andwele Jolly, president and CEO of St. Louis Integrated Health Network and co-chair of the committee. “To foster meaningful and mutually beneficial community engagement, our goal is to identify a candidate who exemplifies what it means to honor community voice in research, teaching and practice. The selection process is the first step in modeling how the Confluence Collaborative will engage in, for and with the St. Louis community.”   

The collaborative also administrates the William H. Danforth St. Louis Confluence Award (STLCA), designed to elevate WashU’s investment in the St. Louis region by encouraging and rewarding faculty research that enhances the university’s impact in St. Louis. The 2024 application round just concluded; the winner of the STLCA $50,000 cash prize will be announced in the spring.

 “At WashU, there is an incredible amount of teaching, research and learning engaged with our local community,” said Mary McKay, vice provost of interdisciplinary initiatives. “We look forward to welcoming a new leader for the collaborative who can identify ways to better coordinate, elevate and accelerate this work in a way that is both supportive of and in partnership with people and organizations across the St. Louis region.”

Nominate a faculty member for the post here.

Committee members include:

  • Andwele Jolly, co-chair, president and CEO, Integrated Health Network
  • Vetta Sanders Thompson, co-chair, E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity, associate dean of equity, diversity and inclusion, Brown School   
  • Sean Armstrong, dean, School of Continuing & Professional Studies
  • Rebeccah Bennett, principal director and Root Teacher, InPower Institute
  • Angela Brown, CEO, Regional Health Commission
  • Angela Brown, co-director, WashU Center for Community Health Partnership and Research, professor of medicine, School of Medicine
  • Maxine Clark, university trustee
  • Susan Colangelo, president and executive director, St. Louis Story Stitchers
  • Kanika Cunningham, public health director, St. Louis County
  • Sharon James, professor of practice in strategy and entrepreneurship, Olin Business School
  • Bruce Lindsey, E. Desmond Lee Professor for Community Collaboration, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
  • Sandra Moore, managing director, Advantage Capital, AB ’76, JD ’79
  • Cynthia Rogers, Blanche F. Ittleson Professor of Psychiatry, director, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, School of Medicine
  • Larry Thomas, university trustee
  • Lisa Weingarth, senior advisor for St. Louis initiatives, Office of the Chancellor