Dr. Beth Merenstein is the Interim Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Experiential Learning, as well the Executive Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Social Research (CCESR).
Community engagement is a key component of CCSU’s Strategic Plan, and Dr Merenstein’s role recognizes the important connections and collaborations that exist between our students and surrounding community.
CCESR is a Connecticut Higher Education Center of Excellence providing a wide range of informational resources, training, research, surveys, needs assessments, program evaluations and consulting services to communities, municipal and state government, and nonprofit organizations. The Governor William A. O'Neill Endowed Chair in Public Policy & Practical Politics is also housed within CCESR.
Dr Merenstein earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in Aesthetics and Critical Theory from Clark University. She later received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Connecticut.
She joined the faculty at CCSU in 2004 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor and Professor. She has served as Acting Chair of the Sociology department, University Curriculum Chair, Assistant to the Dean, Associate Dean, and Presidential Fellow.
Dr. Merenstein is active in curriculum development with a particular emphasis on equity in education and was instrumental in the creation of the Equity, Justice, and Inclusion addition to the University’s general education curriculum.
She has published numerous evaluation reports for local community organizations, articles in peer-reviewed journals, and a book on Immigration and Race (2008).