The College of SBS is dedicated to studying people’s connections with each other, our pasts, and the world around us in order to provide information that helps communities become healthier and more vibrant. To that end, the College of SBS Outreach program shares research and information to promote life-long learning, support economic and social development, and create pathways for local k-12 students to become engaged with college life, thus supporting the long-term vitality of our state, nation, and world.
In partnership with collaborators and supporters, our programmatic priorities include downtown revitalization, promoting the borderlands’ sense of place, bolstering Tucson’s future prosperity, and developing civic leadership.
Our efforts in support of downtown are varied and robust, intended to make knowledge accessible to a variety of downtown denizens and visitors.
University of Arizona Downtown
The College of SBS is pleased to offer courses in downtown Tucson at the historic Roy Place Building. Downtown programs include a Master’s of Development Practice and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration, with the applied aspects of the Masters of Geographic Information Systems Technology coming to downtown shortly, allowing students to take on projects that will serve public agencies and
non-profits across the state. SBS also houses the National Institute of Civil Discourse, which is based downtown.
Downtown Lecture Series
Every fall, the College of SBS presents the Downtown Lecture Series. The goal of the series is to broadly share research happening at the UA that enhances the human condition, exploring subjects that shapes our daily well-being from different vantage points. In doing so, the series also supports community’s private and public investment in a vibrant city center.
2013’s Lecture featured five University of Arizona faculty members investigating “Happiness” and presenting research from their diverse fields of study to a full house of community members in the Fox Tucson Theatre in downtown Tucson. On the agenda for Fall 2014: Food.
Sustainable City Project
The Sustainable City Project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between UA’s Drachman Institute, College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA), the Institute of the Environment, College of Architecture, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS). It serves as an educational and outreach interface between the university and the larger Tucson community focusing on issues of sustainable urban development and livable cities through education, outreach and research.
Part think tank, part urban design studio, part community forum, the project develops community-based solutions to complex urban challenges, including renewable energy, climate change, economic development, affordable housing, multi-modal transportation, water management, public health, and ecosystem and heritage conservation.
Borderlands and Sense of Place
The College of SBS and the College of Science are teaming up to support “geotourism” as a mechanism for economic growth and development in our region. Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. Working with private, public, and non-profit entities, we are making Tucson an international destination for international tourism by preserving and celebrating our region’s unique culture, heritage, history, geology, and biodiversity.
Our biggest priorities in this effort are to 1) lend our support and expertise to a county bond initiative that would fund a regional orientation center in downtown Tucson, and 2) support the vision of a heritage district downtown that attracts and educates visitors and community members alike on the unique cultural and environmental characteristics which makes our region distinct.
Partnership with Tucson Meet Yourself/Southwest Folklife Alliance
The University of Arizona has had a long partnership with Tucson Meet Yourself (TMY), one of the nation’s premier folklife festivals, which highlights the cultural diversity and heritage of our region. As the festival celebrates its 40th anniversary, the UA and TMY are exploring how to deepen our partnership and expand our efforts to create a Southwest Folklife Alliance to celebrate, preserve and advance the traditions and expressions of everyday life of our region. As part of that effort, TMY is moving into space provided by the College of SBS in the Roy Place Building downtown.
Heritage Field Schools
In partnership with Pima County, and local organizations dedicated to protecting and celebrating our region’s cultural diversity and heritage, the College of SBS is organizing a series of field schools focused on utilizing ethnographic skills of observation, data collection, and analysis to document, preserve, and share traditional ranching and agricultural practices of Southern Arizona and the Borderlands.
Tucson Mayor’s Commission on Poverty
Partnering with Mayor’s Commission on Poverty and local non-profit organizations (including Habitat for Humanity, Primavera Foundation, and Our Family Services) the College of SBS is producing information that will help the commission’s ability to make recommendations on policies, programs, and overall strategies that will alleviate and create conditions in which the most disadvantaged members of our community can prosper.
Engaged Learning Course on Urban Poverty
The College of SBS, in partnership with the School of Sociology, is creating an engaged learning course in which students will research the nuances of Tucson’s poverty by conducting surveys of local households and the ways in which they cope with income disparity. Our goal is to move the community conversation beyond a simple discussion of rates of poverty to a deeper conversation on local quality of life issues.
Civic Leadership and Civil Discourse
National Institute for Civil Discourse
The College of SBS and the School of Government and Public Policy house the National Institute for Civil Discourse, which integrates research and practice to support and enable:
a congress and executive branch capable of working to solve the big issues facing our country.
a public demand for civil discourse and a government that works in the best interests of the country as a whole.
media that informs and engages citizens.
Arizona State Legislative Internship Program
The College of SBS coordinates the Arizona State Legislative Internship Program for the UA. In January, the interns report to the Legislature in Phoenix and spend the Spring Semester working at the State Capitol. The work is demanding and fascinating — writing speeches, summarizing bills, drafting amendments, researching various issues, attending committee meetings and hearings, and working on constituents’ problems. Interns must reside in Phoenix during their term of service.