As filed – without edits – for yesterday’s edition of the Philadelphia Business Journal.
WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE are students in the supermarkets.
That’s a healthy level of community involvement Rae Scott-Jones might tell you.
Scott-Jones, who was named assistant vice president for government and community relations at St. Joseph’s University, has lived in the school’s Wynnefield neighborhood for nearly a quarter century.
“I want more students in the community. I think that’s important because we all live here. The more we interact the more we are likely to get along and develop some understanding. We are less likely to antagonize individuals than groups,” she said. “We live and work here. It’s critical that we live and work here together.”
So Scott-Jones left her position as executive vice president and general counsel for the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority.
“It seemed like a good time because I have a vested interest in what goes on here,” she said. “My background and perspective help me to help grow with St. Joseph’s.”
The native of West Philadelphia has grown a lot with this city’s largest universities.
Prior to her work with the Convention Center, Scott-Jones led a nonprofit, community revitalization group in West Philly that partnered with the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. Her community work had her counseling with Temple University, from which she got her law degree.
“It’s really about communication. People want to know what’s going on, want to be involved. That’s on both sides,” she said. “There’s a give and take that I hope to improve upon here at St. Joseph’s.”
She started in late March.
“I have been busy since,” she said.
The school hosted South African Cleric and 1984 Nobel Peace Prize honoree Archbishop Desmond Tutu and is in the midst of developing its 54th Street corridor with new retail space, something she’d like to see continue.
“There’s so many good things going on at St. Joseph’s,” she said. “We are educating young people to go out into the world. This is where young people are learning to care.”
She has the unique perspective of working at the university in the day and living in the community at night.
“I can walk to work now… I’m talking to my friends in the neighborhood about challenges,” she said. “I want to see the community and the school grow with each other.”