Director of Outreach Programs and Events
Sarah Smith leads a portfolio of outreach programs and events that connect campus and community, enhance the community’s social and economic vitality, and showcase Grinnell as a thriving, vibrant community. Smith leads cross-functional teams to plan, promote, execute and refine large, public-outreach events for meaningful impact, i.e. Summerfest and Ignite. Smith leads campus and community teams to create, plan, promote and execute original events showcasing the value and relevance of the humanities in the public sphere, i.e. Smithsonian programming, Mellon grant-funded programming, and the Community Common Read. Smith leads teams of campus and community partners to develop and execute meaningful materials and programming to excite newcomers and guests about the resources, opportunities, and quality of life in Grinnell, i.e. New Student, New Employee, and New Faculty Orientations, Prospect and VIP tours, NSO and Relocation Videos. Smith also serves as ambassador to showcase community enhancement and engagement work and Grinnell College’s role in community vitality.
Prior to joining Grinnell College in the winter of 2015, Smith served as the Executive Director at Imagine Grinnell. In that capacity, she directed the organization in securing over $1 million in funding for the organization and projects including a Natural Playscape at Summer Street Park, Grinnell Area Recreational Trail Underpass project, Grinnell Giving Garden, Little Bear Creek Clean Up, Monarch Waystations, Seed Saving Library, Grinnell Community Garden, and the Imagine Grinnell Solar Program.
Smith holds a B.A. in Psychobiology from Luther College. She is also active in community service by serving on various boards including UnityPoint Health-Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation, Swimming and Diving Advisory Board for Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, and coaches high school girls swimming and Grinnell Tigershark swim club. Smith appreciates the joys and benefits of living in Grinnell with her spouse and two children.