Next semester, Denison will welcome Gina Dow as the new director of the John W. Alford Center. Current director Lyn Robertson ’70, associate professor of education and women’s studies, will retire from Denison this spring.

Dow has been part of the Denison faculty since 1993, and she is currently an associate professor in the psychology department. Her courses include introductory psychology, child development and adolescence.

The purpose of the Alford Center is to engage students in donating some of their time to helping the surrounding communities in four areas: the Denison Community Association (DCA), America Reads, Curricular Service Learning, and Denison Service Orientation (DSO).

Robertson believes that Dow will be an effective leader of the service center. Robertson says, “she [will] bring good experience in doing service learning courses. She does extensive service herself in the community, she knows many community partners already, and she’ll bring good ideas, energy, and care to this important work.”

During Robertson’s three years of tenure, the service center has grown tremendously. Denison volunteers have spent more time out in the community and developed new community partnerships, among other things.

Robertson firmly believes that the service center will continue to grow under the tenure of Dow. It is her hopes that “the Alford Center will continue to find new and exciting ways to further the vision of intellectual service learning, by which I mean service built upon knowledge and performed as a way of learning about the world.”

As director of the service center, Robertson shares she has seen many different service-related successes the Denison community has achieved. This year, Denison has made the national honor of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the third consecutive year, establishing Denisonians for Social Change, and reporting to the Honor Roll that Denison students completed over 34,000 hours in the 2011-2012 school year.

She has most loved seeing students succeed and become active members of their community. She recalled the memorable moments of seeing Denison vehicles drive through the streets of Newark to go volunteer, seeing the positive effects volunteering has had on both the students and the community and working closely with people in the Division of Student Development.

As Gina Dow prepares to become the new director of the John W. Alford Center, Robertson believes “Dr. Dow will be an able leader, and [she] looks forward to seeing the development of all kinds of new initiatives.”