Prof pushes collaboration with locals

Norwood Together is a program attempting to achieve community agreement

By Ethan Nichols, World News Editor

Norwood Together, a local non-profit, aims to grow economic development in Norwood as well as build community. 

Founded in 2017 by a small group of Norwood residents, the group partnered with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Greater Cincinnati to complete a Quality of Life Assessment and create a 10-year vision called the Norwood Community Agreement. 

Norwood Together came together to work towards achieving the goals created in the community agreement and improving the city in the long-run.

“Together, we have big dreams and big goals — and big tasks in front of us to accomplish those dreams and visions,” Mary C. Miller, President of Norwood Together, said. 

Mak Krivka, a sophomore Philosophy, Politics and the Public major, has spent the past semester as an intern for Norwood Together. Krivka spoke about the impact the program has on the community.

“Obviously, Norwood is a small city. So when we do an event, people show up and we can see the individual impact we have on them,” Krivka said. “The work we do at Norwood Together coincides with service opportunities on campus, so we are sometimes legitimately working side by side with students at Xavier. If we are able to bridge that gap and get more students over here helping us with events, that would be a massive boost for us, and hopefully for the school as well,” he continued.

In addition to student interns, Xavier has partnered with Norwood Together in other ways.

Photo courtesy of Mary C. Miller/Norwood Together

Locals of Norwood, seen here at their annual parade in 2022, are a part of the Norwood Together Initiative.

Dr. Marcie Lensges, an assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, has her students complete a team project for a local non-profit in her MGMT 385 course. 

For the past few years, Norwood Together has been one of the organizations her students partner with. 

Ryan Petrunia, a senior business management major, is currently enrolled in the course. 

Currently, Petrunia’s group is working on a project for Norwood Together. 

“We are currently working on a proposal for Norwood Together to find them an office space on Montgomery Road. This proposal will include options on the office space, such as either renting or buying and renovating a property, and a three year budget timeline so that Norwood Together will be prepared to move into an office space in three years time,” Petrunia said.

Angela Gray-Girton, Director of the Eigel Center for Community Engaged Learning, emphasized the importance of the partnership Norwood Together has with Xavier.

“Norwood Together is working to make Norwood a more walkable community and has supported and helped to lead work on Wasson Way, a huge asset to the Xavier campus community and surrounding area.  Norwood Together is also a great community partner to Xavier — hosting classes like Dr. Lensges’ project management class, Dr. Ronis-Tobin’s population health class, and also supervises projects for other courses,” Gray-Girton said.

Both Krivka and Petrunia emphasized the importance of getting out and involved in the surrounding community. 

“I would try to either volunteer with Xavier or other organizations that help out the city of Norwood or just visit small businesses around Norwood. There are a couple hidden gems you can find around Norwood that can get you engaged with the community,” Petrunia said.

“Norwood Together hopes to help build and strengthen community in Norwood, to support neighbors in creating a sense of connection and belonging, to activate communities and community spaces such that we all experience positive impact as a result,“ Gray-Girton said.

Students looking to become involved can visit