• A woman speaking with a student in front of a presentation board
  • Two men in suits walking on campus
  • A class of students working on laptops.
  • A view of the Las Vegas strip with the Luxor building lighting up the sky.

We foster community collaborations to transform lives and view challenges as opportunities.

The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs develops solutions for progressive and resilient cities. Resilient communities are prepared for their challenges. They value productive urban governments that create effective public policy. Progressive cities embrace social equity and diversity. Finally, the citizens of effective cities exhibit a willingness and desire to work together and to have strong productive inclusive engagement about important community issues. The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, then, is a 21st-century academic interdisciplinary college designed to develop unique solutions for today’s complex, dynamic, and exciting urban environment.

Civic Engagement

The UNLV Debate Team

The UNLV Debate Team, housed in the Department of Communication Studies, sponsors and hosts an annual middle and high school summer debate camp, teaching local students the art and science of competitive debate. The team also founded the “Las Vegas Debate League” (LVDL), partnering with the Clark County School District. The UNLV Debate Team is dedicated to increasing opportunities for local students to participate in competitive policy debate.

Nonprofit, Community, Leadership

The Nonprofit, Community, Leadership Initiative located in Downtown Las Vegas works to help local nonprofits and government agencies fulfill their missions. Housed in the School of Public Policy and Leadership, NCLI faculty, staff and graduate students help nonprofits tackle issues like fundraising, grant writing, and employee retention. Graduate students also assist nonprofits, such as The Rogers Foundation, in reviewing grant proposals for funding purposes.

Criminal Justice Mock Trial Team

Mentored by practicing legal professionals, undergraduate students in the Criminal Justice Mock Trial team are already learning what it takes to become a trial lawyer.

Civic Engagement Stories

Nov. 13, 2018
Thanks to a new online bachelor's degree in urban studies, Miranda Barrie has been able to work, travel, campaign, and study on her own terms.
Katheryn "K.C." Brekken, Assistant Research Professor for the School of Public Policy and Leadership and MGM Resorts International Institute at UNLV poses in front of the Las Vegas Strip.
Nov. 5, 2018
Ask this researcher about how citizens can be part of policy solutions.
woman presenting at podium
Sep. 18, 2018
Communication Studies Professor Jennifer Guthrie provides strategies on how to resolve problems in the workplace.
two women and a man in breezeway
Jul. 17, 2018
Community graduate research assistant program connects students to the nonprofit community.
woman standing with street behind her
Jun. 6, 2018
Ivet Aldaba-Valera was the first in her family to graduate from college and now she’s helping other first-generation students get to the finish line, too.
Campus skyline
Mar. 27, 2018
Awards recognize those on campus who demonstrate a commitment to community partnership
UNLV debate team members
Mar. 6, 2018
UNLV’s young debate team is ranked fifth in the nation and poised to make a deep run in March’s National Debate Tournament.
man in front of Las Vegas City Hall
Nov. 1, 2017
With partisan gridlock at the higher levels, cities like Las Vegas will be the new leaders in innovative government.
Oct. 9, 2017
Students, faculty, and graduates quickly gather unique accounts of the Las Vegas Strip shooting.
Three students pore over notes at a mock trial.
Sep. 22, 2017
Mentored by practicing legal professionals, undergraduate students in the mock trial team are already learning what it takes to become a trial lawyer.
John Wagner in his office at the Fifth Street School
Jun. 7, 2017
Nonprofit, Community, and Leadership Initiative works to bolster and improve collaboration between groups
Greenspun Hall
Mar. 1, 2017
Senator Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner to co-chair institute within UNLV’s School of Public Policy and Leadership.

Behavioral and Mental Health Support

School of Social Work

Faculty, staff, and students provided counseling services and resources to MGM Resorts International employees impacted by the Oct. 1. Las Vegas shooting. Social work staff was among the several UNLV counselors who provided emotional support around the Las Vegas Valley.

Nevada Partnership for Training

For more than 10 years, the UNLV School of Social Work has collaborated in the Nevada Partnership for Training, a statewide consortium of family service agencies. In Southern Nevada, UNLV partners with Clark County Department of Family Services to deliver skill-based programs for professionals who work with children and families.

Faculty Research

An interdisciplinary team of urban affairs faculty produced a white paper on the state of youth homelessness in Southern Nevada. Faculty presented their findings at a summit sponsored by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Sands and Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth Nov. 2, 2017. The college is partnering with community groups to help the homeless youth.

Behavioral and Mental Health Support Stories

backpack and sleeping bag next to wall with "Nevada: Highest Rate of Homeless Youth in the Nation" spray painted on it
Nov. 28, 2018
Clark County is second in the nation in under-25 homelessness. Researchers at UNLV have come up with recommendations to help stem the tide.
two women standing next to empty road
Sep. 20, 2018
Researchers work with underage sex trafficking victims to identify new ways to assist exploited children and prevent others from entering the abuse cycle.
Allison Slaughter seated at a desk.
Feb. 8, 2018
UNLV practicum helps social work students find the right fit and connect to future jobs.
hands holding cardboard cutout of house
Nov. 9, 2017
College of Urban Affairs partners with community groups to stop Southern Nevada crisis.
woman holding sign saying "grief counselor"
Oct. 9, 2017
University counseling experts step up to offer emotional support after the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Michael Easter
Feb. 16, 2017
Michael Easter, former editor of Men’s Health, is the host of a new healthy living show on KUNV radio.
Margie Toves
May. 11, 2016
Margie Toves is among the first graduates from a program to produce social workers specializing in children’s mental health.
Judy Tudor
Oct. 22, 2015
For the last 10 years, the UNLV School of Social Work has played an important role in workforce development of child welfare system employees.

Safe and Resilient Communities

At this time, in Las Vegas, we need solutions to create safe and resilient cities that welcome and keep residents and tourists safe. We need to be prepared for terrorism and the realities of the 21st century. We need to be able to be able to work with law enforcement, public and private organizations, and the entire community to become more resilient. We need solutions for the media to inform citizens and to create shared meaning throughout Las Vegas. Our students and faculty are creating unique solutions in each of these areas.

Safe and Resilient Communities Stories

woman presenting at conference
Oct. 15, 2018
Criminal justice professor Gillian Pinchevsky on how you can empower yourself to empower survivors of interpersonal violence.
two people with clipboard talking a man
Sep. 26, 2018
Criminal justice students gather public opinion on law enforcement use of drones and body-worn cameras before and after the Oct. 1 shooting.
boy holding hand up in stop sign
Sep. 21, 2018
When toxic masculinity is part of a culture, male survivors of childhood abuse may turn to crime as a way to reclaim their masculinity.
portrait of woman
Apr. 18, 2018
Alexis Kennedy wins 2018 Community-Based Research Award for a study that includes the views of survivors.
Melissa Rorie at a gaming table.
Feb. 26, 2018
Criminal justice professor Melissa Rorie digs into the relationship between Nevada's casinos and its gaming regulators.
Tamara Madensen outside T-Mobile Arena.
Dec. 21, 2017
UNLV professor uses crime science to head off chaos in public spaces.
Body camera on police officer.
Nov. 27, 2017
Study conducted for U.S. Dept. of Justice by UNLV Center for Crime and Justice Policy, non-profit research organization CNA, and Las Vegas Metro Police.
Group of police officers
Aug. 17, 2017
Students in UNLV's crisis and emergency management program focus on preparedness for potential disasters
Jennifer Guthrie with two sets of hands on her shoulders
Apr. 27, 2017
Study highlights the importance of effective communication between survivors of domestic violence and the shelter staff who help them.
Hands rest hanging ourside of jail bars
Aug. 30, 2016
Criminal justice professor Emily J. Salisbury studies how the treatment of inmates affects all of us.
Illustration of a drone with a human eye
Nov. 18, 2015
Drone regulation may come down to better defining reasonable expectations of privacy.
Emily Salisbury
Jun. 9, 2015
As “Orange is the New Black” returns for a third season, UNLV criminologist Emily Salisbury talks about women in prison and what they need to succeed afterwards.