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Administrator Aims To Strengthen WestConn's Ties To Danbury Community

Paul Steinmetz is director of university and community relations at Western Connecticut State University.
Paul Steinmetz is director of university and community relations at Western Connecticut State University. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris

DANBURY, Conn. -- For nearly a decade, one administrator at Western Connecticut State University has carved out a mission of cultivating the relationship between the college and its hometown of Danbury.

“Any time Western can offer support or expertise to community organizations for events or strategy, it strengthens our ties to residents and other organizations. We want to be part of the community, not just an institution in town,” said Paul Steinmetz, who has been part of the Western community since 2006.

Over the years he has “held a few titles,” but Steinmetz now serves as director of university and community relations. In that role, he is responsible for the office that conveys the “university’s good work to the community,” Steinmetz says.

He also writes and edits press releases and articles and he represents the university at events with other organizations. This year, he took on the role of traveling to the state Capitol in Hartford to talk to legislators about Western and the many ways it contributes to the state.

Saying it is important to give back to the community, Steinmetz serves on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury, the Executive Committee of the Latino Scholarship Fund, and the Board of Directors of CityCenter Danbury.

“I also work with the Tribuna newspaper as an editor of some of their articles. I think it’s important for representatives of the university to be involved in community activities,” Steinmetz says.

When dealing with the community, Steinmetz keeps his involvement not just with Western but also with the Chamber of Commerce in Danbury to interact with companies in the area.

In addition to his WestConn job, he has his own consulting business on writing.

Steinmetz made his remarks recently as he spoke at an editing and copyediting class at Western taught by professor Valerie Roth, a colleague from earlier in his career.

Before joining the staff at WestConn, Steinmetz was a reporter for 24 years with the Danbury News-Times and was an editor there as well. He has also worked with Roth while at the News-Times. “He is one of the best people I have worked with,” Roth says.

He spoke to students about what it is like to be a good writer and how as a writer, “you care about language and that is what separates us from the world.”

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