New director named for the Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning at Xavier

Sean Rhiney, a 1991 alumnus, comes from the University of Cincinnati College of Law | July 27, 2011

Sean Rhiney, public service coordinator and counselor in the Center for Professional Development at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, is the new director for the Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning. The position was held previously by Byron White, who was the founding executive director of the center but resigned to become vice chancellor for economic advancement with the Ohio Board of Regents.

Rhiney, who graduated from Xavier in 1991, started his new duties on July 1, replacing interim director Christine Anderson, professor of history, who filled the position temporarily.

"We are very pleased to have Sean, a 1991 graduate, head the Eigel Center,” said Roger Fortin, academic vice president and provost. “His rich public service experiences and passion for community-engaged learning blend well with Xavier's mission and academic vision."

A respected writer who has contributed to regional and national publications, Rhiney was for two years managing editor of Soapbox Cincinnati of the Issue Media Group of publications. Originally from Louisville, he earned a BA from Xavier and his JD from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University.

Rhiney serves as vice president of the Over-the-Rhine Foundation board of trustees and on the board of the Emery Theatre. He is a past recipient of the OTR Chamber of Commerce's Star Award, Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau Spirit of Cincinnati and Greater Cincinnati Foundation's Jacob E. Davis Leadership Award. He lives in Mt. Auburn in the Prospect Hill historic district.

"Xavier University and the Eigel Center are actively engaged in our community and city,” Rhiney said. “I'm passionate about neighborhoods and honored to have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with our talented students, faculty and neighborhood partners.”

The Eigel Center serves as a catalyst for the efforts of Xavier faculty, students, staff and administrators to partner with the broader community to promote student learning and community well-being. It answers the call in the University's strategic plan for a "community-engaged learning network" as the network’s hub. And it builds on Xavier's strong tradition of service by encouraging students to dig deeply and discover the mutual benefits of community engagement.