Meet Our New Director of Social Responsibility, Sylvio Lynch III, Ph.D.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden recently welcomed Sylvio Lynch III, Ph.D. to our team as Director of Social Responsibility. Among the questions he’s often asked is what exactly the job entails. “It’s a relatively new role at public institutions and organizations, and an important one that helps create and maintain relationships between institutions and communities,” Dr. Lynch explains. “Engagement is a big part of it, strengthening relationships with current partners, as well as building new partnerships. It’s reaching out and providing opportunities for citizens to get involved.”
At the Garden, for example, that could mean hosting an event to engage people who may not have visited before or one that helps deepen an existing relationship in an intentional, meaningful way. “It’s meeting folks where they are, then seeing where the opportunities are to improve communication and interactions between the Garden and the public.”
Born and raised in Richmond, Dr. Lynch received his M.A. in American Studies from the University of Alabama and earned his Ph.D. in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University before moving back to his hometown. He has since worked for local institutions like Maymont, where he served as curator on projects including the African American Voices Initiative. “I love this work because it combines so many of my interests, from public history to arts and culture,” says Dr. Lynch, who is also a contemporary realist artist. “I enjoy helping to educate people, interpreting the past and helping others see how it continues to inform and influence what we experience today.”
Dr. Lynch is excited to delve deeper into the Garden’s history, as well as diversify its offerings and expand its reach as we look toward the future. “Ultimately,” he says, “when we collaborate with our community, we all grow.”