Center for Community Engagement
Kent Koth is the founding director of the Seattle University Center for Community Engagement. In this role Kent has overseen a rapid expansion of campus-community partnerships that have received national recognition including the 2012 President’s National Community Service Higher Education Award. Since 2009, he has also led the Seattle University Youth Initiative, a long-term commitment by Seattle University faculty, staff and students from all disciplines to join with parents, the Seattle School District, the City of Seattle, foundations, and more than 30 community organizations to provide a pathway of support for the children living in neighborhoods adjacent to the Seattle University campus.
Kent has taught courses at Seattle University and Stanford University focusing on leadership and community engagement. He has also written, consulted and presented extensively on topics of spirituality and service-learning, place-based community engagement, and racial equity in university-community partnerships.
Kent and Erica Yamamura recently co-authored the book Place-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education (Stylus 2018) that explores the potential for institutions of higher education to form deeper and more strategic partnerships with their local communities. With support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kent is currently leading an effort to create the Place-Based Justice Network, a national coalition of universities pursuing place-based community engagement.
Kent’s career has included community engagement positions at Stanford University, Willamette University and the non-profit organization Youth Community Service. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College and M.A. from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Kent lives with his spouse and two children in Seattle and is currently enjoying coaching his children’s Ultimate Frisbee teams.