Partnership Council

Partnership Council

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Becky Hruza
Administrative Assistant

Jessica Anderson
Civic Engagement Coordinator

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Mission   |    About   |    Meetings   |    FAQ   |    Council Members

Many thanks to our community partners for the myriad of ways you enrich student learning both inside and outside the classroom!

Partnership Council Mission

The mission of the partnership Council is to promote effective campus/community collaborations between Texas Lutheran University and the greater Seguin community. The council explicitly embodies and models values of shared voice, reciprocity, open communication, and active engagement. The council provides and solicits feedback on proposals originating within the Seguin community as well as within the TLU community, particularly projects involving ongoing volunteerism, service, and civic engagement.

The Council supports individuals and groups in:

  • Brainstorming potential partners and collaborators
  • Connecting people, assets, and resources within the TLU and Seguin communities
  • Understanding local traditions and history (ways of getting things done)
  • Receiving vital, broad feedback before undertaking a new project

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About the Partnership Council

Based on a group by the same name created by Gustavus Adolphus College and the city of St. Peters, Minnesota, the Partnership Council is an integrated body of diverse TLU and Seguin community members who are recruited on the basis of the "uniqueness" that each member's own community connections bring to the council as a whole. In Malcolm Gladwell's typology from The Tipping Point, each member of the Partnership council is a connector, someone who "link[s] us up with the world… people with a special gift for bringing the world together." Concerned with maximizing and enhancing the quality and potential behind local collaborations, council members deliberate in a spirit of reciprocal consultation to help creative and motivated people find each other in the community!

The Partnership Council…

  • Identifies assets of the community, as well as areas for growth;
  • Provides comprehensive feedback and suggestions for placements and partnerships on proposals for ongoing volunteerism, service and civic engagement between Seguin and TLU;
  • Continues to support proposals and placements as necessary;
  • Provides assistance with project negotiation and problem-solving as necessary;
  • Promotes additional outreach, research and education to TLU and Seguin communities in order to support effective campus/community relationships and collaborations.

The Partnership Council does not…

  • Authorize or approve/negate proposals, projects, or programs;
  • Directly manage projects or programs;
  • Advise one-time volunteer opportunities.

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Convening Dates

The council meets once a month, typically on second Mondays at 12 p.m. at the TLU Center for Servant Leadership. If you would like to attend a future meeting, contact Tim Barr at or 830-372-8162.

Submitting a Proposal

Proposals can be submitted online or through the mail.

Student proposals
Faculty proposals
Community proposals

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Q. What is the Partnership Council?
A. The Partnership Council is an integrated body of well-connected and diverse TLU and Seguin community members who meet once a month and whose function is to connect people, assets and resources within the TLU and Seguin communities.

Q. What does the council do?
A. The council supports individuals and groups in brainstorming potential and collaborators; connecting people, assets, and resources within the TLU and Seguin communities; understanding local traditions and history (ways of getting things done); and receiving vital, broad feedback before undertaking a new project.

Q. How does the council help me locate or find a community placement or partner?
A. Based on the information you provide (description of a community need and your solutions, course goals and objectives, the nature of the service activity you're interested in, etc.), they provide you with a list of suggestions as to where, and with whom, your proposed activity would be best matched in the TLU or local community.

Q. What kind of feedback can I expect to get back from the council?
A. Sites, placements, professors and/or student groups that most compliment your project, interest or inquiry; Brief explanations as to why the Council is making these suggestions to you; Initial inquiries (when appropriate and feasible) with the sites, placements, professors, and/or student groups themselves to verify that they are interested and potential partners per your interests.

Q. What do I have to do with the feedback and suggestions that the council provides?
A. Whatever you want. There is NO obligation or mandate to follow up on the council's suggestions and feedback. While we ask that you acknowledge and respect the time and effort the council will put into providing you with quality feedback and suggestions, you are by no means obligated to follow them or explore them further. If you feel the council's suggestions do not match what you're particularly interested in, you can explore other alternatives with the TLU Center for Servant Leadership.

Q. If I get a good suggestion from the Partnership Council and want to pursue it further, how would I do that?
A. Directly with Tim Barr, Director of the Center for Servant Leadership. We can set up an appointment to talk through your interests; set up the appointment with a potential community partner, placement or TLU professor; help you negotiate interests; talk through your project or course design; and cover many other aspects of project planning.

Q. How long does the process take?
A. The Partnership Council convenes the first Monday of every month. The proposals are kept and reviewed over a month's time. The monthly convening lasts up to 90 minutes.

Q. What types of proposals/questions are appropriate for the Partnership Council and what types are not?
A. The only thing the Partnership Council does NOT concern itself with is one-time volunteer opportunities. Those can and should be explored directly through the TLU online database. However, any type of on-going service or partnership over a semester, year, or indefinitely is appropriate for the council.

Q. As a faculty member, I already do community service and/or service-learning and have a partner that I like. Do I need to go through the Partnership Council?
A. No. If you currently work with a partner and are happy with that arrangement, great! The council serves those that are exploring new interests, or who want to expand or reassess current ones.

Q. How much time does it take to submit a proposal?
A. About 10 minutes to fill out the online forms and press SEND. If you are a faculty member, your course syllabus does not have to be complete, but you do need to be able to articulate your course goals and objectives as the relate to the local civic engagement you are interested in.

Q. Does the Partnership Council support proposals for projects outside of Seguin?
A. The council focuses its efforts on Seguin and TLU. However, we are open to offering feedback for proposals that involve surrounding communities.

Q. What do I have to lose?
A. Nothing! For the short amount of time it takes to fill out a proposal form and for the amount of time it takes to attend a Council meeting, you get an organized body of community members and TLU faculty and students willing to explore the best possible matches for your interests and needs. They will work, explore and deliberate on your behalf!

Q. How do I fill out and submit a proposal?
A. Fill out the appropriate form (community member, student group, faculty) found above.

Q. Where do I direct additional questions about the Partnership Council?
A. Contact Tim Barr, Director of the Center for Servant Leadership: 830-371-8162, or email at

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Meet the Partnership Council

Dr. Eliza Thomason
Assistant Professor of Music, TLU
Dr. Eliza Thomason is the director of strings and assistant professor at Texas Lutheran University, holding the Anita Windecker Endowed Chair. A sought after performer, Dr. Thomason is an active recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral violist.

Jessica Anderson
Civic Engagement Coordinator, TLU
Orginally hailing from Bentonville, Arkansas, Jessica came to TLU to study education and theatre. She served for one year as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) with the TLU Partnership for a Better Seguin, and since August 2012, she has been the TLU Civic Engagement Coordinator.

Laura Torres
Student, TLU
Torres is a recipient of the TLU Presidential Award for Leadership and Service and actively involved in the TLU Mexican-American Student Association. She grew up in Seguin.

Lauren Simmons
Student, TLU
Simmons is a recipient of the TLU Presidential Award for Leadership and Service. She grew up in the Houston area.

Silvia Christy
Assistant Library Director, Seguin-Guadalupe Public Library
Among many other responsibilities, Christy facilitates computer literacy sessions at the Seguin public library.

Vickie De La Rosa
Executive Director, Teatro de Artes de Juan Seguin
Retired, Assistant Superintendent for Technology: Seguin ISD

During De La Rosa's time with Seguin ISD, she was a math and computer science teacher, math department chair, assistant principal, the first Even Start director, the district's director of technology and finally the assistant superintendent of technology. She has two bachelor's degrees and two master's degrees in both math and computer science. She is proud to have helped blaze a path for computer literacy in schools, becoming one of the first educators in Texas to teach computer literacy. She is also proud of the accomplishments of Teatro de Artes de Juan Seguin, which has instilled pride in Mexican culture for more than 30 years.

Pastor Juan Cantu
Pastor, La Trinidad Methodist Church, Seguin
Juan Cantu is the Pastor of La Trinidad United Methodist Church in Seguin and a recent student at TLU.

Dr. Sam Hijazi
Associate Professor of Computer Science, TLU
Dr. Sam Hijazi is a full-time associate professor at Texas Lutheran University. Joining the university in 2008, he teaches many topics including courses in database design, networking, web programming, information systems, and programming classes. He is highly involved in community computer and information literacy. He is also an advocate to help reduce the digital gap within our community and the surrounding area.

Professor Juan Rodríguez
Retired Associate Professor, TLU
Prof. Rodríguez, retired associate professor of English and Spanish, has devoted his personal and professional life to social change in the interest of all.

Melissa Sadler-Nitu
Program Director, Seguin ISD Adult Education Cooperative
Sadler-Nitu directs the delivery of GED preparation and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to adult students throughout Guadalupe, Comal and Kendall counties. Due to the success of the program, she has been asked to provide professional development for programs in Texas and on a national level.
Outside of work, Sadler-Nitu serves on the board for Association of Adult Education Professional Development (AALPD). In this position, she makes recommendations Nationally for best practices in professional development as it pertains to adult education. This year, Sadler-Nitu is proud to serve as Secretary of the Seguin Noon Rotary, along with service for the Partnership Council at Texas Lutheran University.

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History and Traditions