Mr. Ben Parks
Assistant Director, College Park Scholars
As assistant director for College Park Scholars, Ben Parks focuses on intentional community building and provides leadership for student affairs, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement. To that end, he serves as chair of the Scholars Launch Team, which includes Service Day, Scholars Convocation and the Block Party. He additionally serves as advisor to Cambridge Community Queers & Allies (CCQA) and the Service Action Committee. In 2013, Parks created the Scholars Cup, a year-long series of community-wide events culminating in the Charity Softball Tournament. As the founding advisor to Scholars Promoting And Revitalizing Care (SPARC), Parks regularly spearheads initiatives to enhance student care, well-being and resilience, and he acts as the primary point person for Scholars students in distress. He is the Scholars liaison to Resident Life—particularly on matters related to assignments, student crisis and conduct, and programmatic collaboration—as well as to Residential Facilities.
Parks serves on several campus-wide committees, including TerpsVote, Fall Welcome, Good Neighbor Day and Campus Fabric. He regularly partners with campus offices and community organizations, including Leadership & Community Service Learning, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Community Engagement, and College Park Youth & Family Services. In addition, he is an experienced facilitator for EDHI 338, the Words of Engagement intergroup dialogue program (race, sexuality, gender, socioeconomic status, religion), and has taught leadership courses on campus. He serves on the Undergraduate Studies Diversity Task Force, facilitates a staff dialogue series, and is a founding member of a new white anti-racist and pro-racial justice collective on campus.
Parks joined the Scholars community in 2010 as coordinator after three years as a residence hall coordinator at the University of Iowa; he was promoted to assistant director in July 2012. He received his master's in college student personnel from Western Illinois University and his bachelor's in history and political science summa cum laude from Wartburg College.