The Rural Outreach Center (ROC) in East Aurora, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting, empowering and elevating the impoverished rural population in southern Erie County and surrounding areas, has named Sarah H. Smith, PhD, director of programs.
A native of rural Western New York, Dr. Smith approaches her work through the lens of an applied sociologist. She brings experience in qualitative research, teaching, program direction, grant writing, restorative practices and restorative justice, victim/survivor advocacy and community organizing.
Dr. Smith fell in love with community-based, purpose-driven work during an internship at Buffalo State College. Inspired by a drop-in community center operated by the City of Buffalo, she quickly developed a deep passion for service-oriented work, applying principles she was studying in sociology. Her own experience growing up in rural poverty bolstered her resolve to do this work and stuck with her through grad school, leading her to a PhD in sociology from the University at Buffalo.
“I am happy spending my days in Western New York appreciating the beauty of living in rural southern Erie County and working to make the entire Greater Buffalo Niagara Region an equitable and even more amazing place to live,” Dr. Smith said.
For more information on the Rural Outreach Center, located at 730 Olean Road in East Aurora, please call 240-2220. You can also follow the organization on Facebook for frequent updates.