View of Campus with Las Vegas Strip in the background

Community Resilience Initiative

Resilient cities are built upon shared values, inclusiveness, diversity, creativity, communication, and collaboration. These attributes help cities proactively mitigate and respond to challenges, shocks, and stresses when they arise. With a degree from the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, students obtain the knowledge to find innovative solutions to help sustain and improve urban communities.

Our Mission and Contributions to Community Resilience

Resilience is an ongoing process. A community’s relationships with state, local, and federal government leaders, the nonprofit sector, and various stakeholders are key to providing resources and support during crises that range from social disruptions and economic distress to natural disasters and security concerns.

Resilience is central to the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs’ mission. The Las Vegas City Council approved a resolution at its April 3, 2019 meeting to establish a community resiliency initiative with the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs. The local government-higher education partnership gives the city of Las Vegas and UNLV an opportunity to determine and address the issues that could impact the entire community and the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow.

We contribute to community resilience by:

  • Offering academic programs that ensure that students understand relationships matter and are important in advancing causes. For example, GSC 300: Urban Adventure is one of our courses that gives students the opportunity to learn how to develop solutions to urban problems.
  • Fostering collaboration between faculty, students, and community partners in sectors ranging from government and hospitality to law enforcement and social justice.
  • Developing relationships with the City of Las Vegas, local leaders, businesses, law enforcement, and policymakers to advance economic and workforce development for the state of Nevada.
  • Conducting valuable research and data for community leaders, which in turn helps them make informed decisions and refine strategies to address factors that impact communities and the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems.

Community Partnerships

We foster community collaborations to transform lives and view challenges as opportunities. We prepare undergraduate and graduate students to lead, collaborate, and innovate through research, a cutting-edge curriculum, and public-private partnerships.

Examples of our partnerships include:

  • An over-ten-year collaboration between the UNLV School of Social Work 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.

If you’re interested in forming a partnership with the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, email Dean Robert Ulmer at

Centers, Institutes, and Labs

Our college has several centers and labs which give current students practical experience. Students learn valuable collaborative leadership skills to enhance their understanding of resiliency and how they are an integral part of making an impact in their communities.

The UNLV Tourist Safety Institute will work with faculty across UNLV and local, state, and federal authorities and community stakeholders to develop community resilience solutions and policies. These efforts will enhance the safety and well-being of Nevada’s tourists, citizens, and the tourism industry.

The Center for Crime and Justice Policy is a research center that examines criminal justice topics including police tactics and technologies, school violence, community crime prevention, community corrections, and prisoner re-entry.

The MGM Resorts Public Policy Institute at UNLV pursues case-based research, brings together expert viewpoints, curates compelling content, and spotlights promising projects that are addressing fundamental questions about the future of work.

The Public Communication Initiative provides workshops and consultations to help faculty, staff, and students develop skills in adapting messages and information to various audiences in oral, visual, and mediated channels. The initiative conducts and collaborates on original research regarding public communication, communication strategies, and topics of interest to the local community.

The Communication Lab is a partnership between the Department of Communication Studies and the Academic Success Center. The lab supports students in cultivating their communication skills to create and deliver any public speech or presentation.

KUNV 91.5 is a non-profit public radio station located within the UNLV Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies. Operating since 1981, they have been an integral part of the Southern Nevada community with a mission to teach, inspire, and connect. Their radio station include diverse musical programming of national and local artists, community talk shows, and special live on-air events.

UNLV-TV is a full-service media production facility housed with the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies. UNLV TV supports the educational mission of the school by providing hands-on production experiences for UNLV students.

Law Enforcement Resilience Training Program

The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and the Tourist Safety Institute at UNLV are bringing resilience training to law enforcement officers. The Police Officer Resilience Training program is designed to give officers tools to do their job better and increase their safety, with additional benefits of greater job and life satisfaction.

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