Catalyst Interview Series: Elizabeth Emmanuel

What initially got you interested in KCCI?

It was actually the type and quality of the projects that got me interested. The Frenchtown market, Cascades, and Gaines Street are some of my favorite places in town, and I realized they were linked to KCCI. And I have known several people who were involved with it, who spoke highly of the program.


Can you give us a brief summary of the University-Community Connectivity project thus far? 

Our aim is to encourage university students to get to know the community, to plant roots and to establish meaningful relationships. We want them to see Tallahassee as a viable destination after graduation and make the most of their time here.


What are you enjoying most about working on the project? 

The diversity of the team assembled is the most enjoyable part, not to mention the creativity in coming up with a way to make this project sustainable and successful. In such a short time, we’ve already developed our goals, objectives and partnerships. It’s wild to watch it come together so quickly.


What is the biggest challenge of the project?

There is so much possibility in looking at how we, as a community, can embrace the students and faculty at the universities. There are so many options for how they can be an engaged part of our community. Tallahassee has three preeminent higher-ed institutions, and all three of them have nationally-ranked trails, festivals, and opportunities all around them.  


What are some of your favorite places in Tallahassee?

The physical places in Tallahassee are great, but my favorite things are the experiences you can have here. I love Frenchtown market, Downtown Market, and Word of South. Experience Asia is great too–any time you go downtown in the spring or fall on a Saturday you’ll, find this community conglomeration of people celebrating something fun.


Who should apply to be a KCCI Community Catalyst?

Driven individuals who want to develop Tallahassee’s sense of place. We have a good thing going right now where everyone is enthusiastic, and we need people to keep it going- to keep making our city more inclusive and more open.

When I returned from college, I came back to a very different Tallahassee. That was one of the most encouraging things about coming back: how it’s changed so quickly. Every time you look there’s a new restaurant or bar or cultural development. I’d love to see that continue.