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Gavin Luter leveraging teaching, research, and service to improve communities.

Gavin Luter

Managing Director
UniverCity Alliance

Photo Credit: Kenneth Casper, @kfcasper on flickr

Favorite Place

Walkability and bike friendliness are the things I love most about my community. It is pretty easy for me to get from downtown to Picnic Point, my favorite place in my community.

How did you first learn about EPIC-N?

In my previous job as Director of Wisconsin Campus Compact, I learned about EPIC-N and got a chance to be on the board of the UniverCity Alliance at UW-Madison

What are some of the top priorities you are working on this year?

  • Expanding UniverCity Year across the state
  • Working with additional universities to increase scale of the UniverCity Year program
  • Raising money to advance UniverCity Year
  • Improved public communications about the program

In what ways are you looking to engage, or work with others, either from within the EPIC-Network, or in general?

I am looking to continue to learn from other colleagues in the network. The #2020EPICN professional development webinar series is also something I’m looking forward to this year! 

Why do you think the EPIC-Network is important?

Having the network is so important because I know that I’m not out there on my own. People within the EPIC-Network are very accessible and willing to help any time when a question or issue arise. 

What is your favorite part of the EPIC-Network

I really enjoy being able to reach out on the member listserv and ask a question. I always get different perspectives very quickly!  

What do you want a community, or university, to know about the EPIC-Network?

People are always willing to help and share practical materials that help manage programs. 

What led you to participate within the EPIC-Network in your current capacity?

Given that I manage a program, the network is really there to support me.

What are you hoping attendees will take with them after attending your presentation?

For the “Scoping Projects with Design Thinking and Root Cause Analysis to Inform Problem-Framing” session I am leading, the content is meant to showcase a practical tool UW-Madison developed in collaboration with campus partners that takes local governments through a process of narrowing the scope of their projects. It makes it easier to match the project with a course on campus. Participants will have an opportunity to practice scoping problems using this process and offer feedback to improve the process.


Gavin Luter is the Managing Director of the UniverCity Alliance, a network of leaders at University of Wisconsin-Madison serving as the front door for local governments who want to leverage teaching, research, and service to improve their communities. Gavin’s expertise is in developing and growing university/community partnerships and has created models and frameworks about how to achieve sustainable, equitable, and democratic partnerships. He carries a special interest in K-12 education partnerships, by virtue of him receiving his doctoral degree in Education Administration from University at Buffalo where he ran a university/community/community partnership in the Fruit Belt and Commodore Perry Neighborhoods. He also spent time as the Education Projects Coordinator at United Way of Greater Knoxville after working at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Howard Baker Center for Public Policy as Student Civic Engagement Coordinator.

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