Aubrey Swett was named director of the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
With 1,600 students enrolled in its programs, the center coordinates volunteer and community service activities of students and consults with faculty on service learning programs. CLS is also a member of the North Carolina Campus Compact, a 26-university program that promotes civic engagement.
Swett was formerly an administrator with UNCP’s Health Careers Opportunity Program, and before that he worked in youth outreach in a joint program of UNCP and the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association.
He reports to Dr. Diane Jones, vice chancellor for Student Affairs.
“Aubrey Swett brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to the Center for Leadership and Service,” Dr. Jones said. “Prior to joining us in a full-time capacity, Aubrey served as a graduate assistant at the center and provided great leadership and educational programming opportunities for our students to become socially, politically, and economically aware and engaged with local and global communities and issues. He knows the campus and University well and will be an effective administrator in helping us to meet our goals to provide service and leadership for our students in the community.”
For 2007, the Center for Leadership and Service has new leadership, a new name (formerly the Leadership and Service Opportunity Program or LSOP), a new office in the Multicultural Center in Old Main and a new Web site (www.uncp.edu/cls/).
“There is no question we are in transition, and there are some great opportunities for us,” Swett said. “LSOP was a successful program with branded identity on campus that we will have to re-establish.”
Reaching out to students is first on Swett’s agenda.
“We will develop a series of one-time events to attract students to stimulate interest in our programs,” he said. “I won’t be spending a lot of time in my office.”
Swett would blur lines between campus and community.
“Students learn best when they follow their passion, and I want to put them in the places where it will happen for them,” he said. “My approach is to place students with civic leaders and non-profit organizations to make things happen.”
The new director would like to see students out in the community and across the state.
“The North Carolina Campus Compact is a great resource for us to strengthen our involvement across the state,” Swett said. “They are emphasizing collaboration among the 26 colleges and universities that are members, and I would like to see our students engaged with other students and programs statewide.”
Swett spent 21 years in the U.S. Marine Corps before retiring in 1999 with his family and returning to Pembroke, N.C. He earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 2001 and a Master of Arts in Service Agency Counseling in December 2006.
He serves as pastor of the Shannon Missionary Baptist Church. He was also student ministry coordinator for the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association and youth minister for the Pembroke First Baptist Church. He is working toward a Bachelor of Theology degree with Andersonville Baptist Seminary.
Swett is a member of UNCP’s Staff Council and was its chair in 2005-06. He is chair of the Board of Directors of the Robeson Family Counseling Center of Pembroke, N.C., and he was a past member of the advisory councils of Pembroke Elementary School and Purnell Swett High School.