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Meet the Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of Community Engagement and Outreach

Javiette SamuelJaviette Samuel is the associate Vice Chancellor for access and engagement, executive 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.

Samuel cultivates relationships with local, state, regional, and national partners; works with university units and community organizations to connect UT’s knowledge with the community in mutually beneficial ways; identifies and tackles complex issues to help improve the well-being of our state’s citizens; oversees UT’s Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classification; and partners with units across campus on initiatives that ensure access and are designed to address recruitment and retention of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff.

She leads the Division of Access and Engagement’s faculty initiatives related to historically underrepresented and marginalized groups, including but not limited to: providing leadership for all competitive funding, overseeing the Faculty Advisory Board, coordinating the Faculty and Administrative Fellows Program, co-leading the Research Development Academy, and coordinating Academic Diversity Initiatives.

A three-time UT alumna, Samuel earned her bachelor’s degree in 1996, master’s degree in 1999, and doctorate in 2002. She has served as a faculty member and extension administrator at the University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, and Tennessee State University. She is an Intercultural Development Inventory qualifying administrator and has completed Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program.

Samuel is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and a member of the Alpha Pi Omega Foundation. Samuel serves on various boards and is a member of the Leadership Knoxville Class of 2021. She enjoys reading, writing poetry, outdoor adventures, and spending quality time with her beautiful granddaughters.

She can be reached at or (865) 974-4863.