Collective Urban and Regional Impact

In the fall of 2021, the Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success created the Collective Urban and Regional Impact unit to lead efforts in support of the VCU Strategic Plan, Quest 2025, and its third theme, Collective Urban and Regional Transformation.


  • Mobilize VCU’s human capital and economic resources, collaborating with the community, to address social and health inequities.


  • Support the advancement of the university’s strategic plan goals of collective and regional transformation and national prominence by advancing the impact and elevating the recognition of VCU’s innovation, economic and community engagement work and empowering staff and students with policies and practices, with a specific focus on advancing health and education equity.


  • Strengthen community-engaged relationships and feedback loops among faculty, staff and students and the broader community through the IEP designation process which includes economic and community development,  planning processes,  and equity metrics.

  • Develop and implement a plan to advance health and education equity through strategic initiatives spanning the university and the VCU health system.


Dr. Sharri Garmise, Executive Director for collective urban and regional impact

Shari Garmise, Executive Director

Shari Garmise comes to VCU with more than 20 years of experience serving and transforming the non-profit sector. She most recently served as Vice President for the APLU Office of Urban Initiatives and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities where she led a national urban agenda committed to improving the health of a diverse population, advancing student performance, developing a 21st century workforce, and building smart resilient cities. Prior to joining the APLU, Dr. Garmise was Vice President, Knowledge Management and Development at the International Economic Development Association, following four years as an Assistant Professor at Cleveland State University at the Levin College of Urban Affairs. Dr. Garmise received her Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and her MA at The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at Tufts University.