13:02 PM

Interact to Innovate Series Deliberating Healthy Communities


By Cynthia Gonzales

Students working at round tableSince January, the UHD Center for Public Deliberation and the Center for Urban Agriculture & Sustainability have been hosting a semester-long series of interactive deliberations and innovative action sessions to help create healthy communities.

The series, “Interact-to-Innovate to Build a Healthier Community, What We Can Do to Make and Keep Our Community Healthy, Strong, and Vibrant?” takes place from 1 to 2:15 p.m. every Tuesday.

The goal is to have faculty, students and members of the community analyze and discuss a problem from various perspectives and then move to action, said Dr. Windy Lawrence, associate professor of communication studies.

"We are pioneering a high-impact curriculum that is focused on working across all of the disciplines in the University to foster active civic agents," said Lawrence.

Topics that will be covered this semester include: engery, agriculture and food security, biodiversity, poverty, and sustainable cities and the role of inclusion, acccording Dr. Lisa Morano, director of CUAS and associate professor of biology and microbiology. Both professors are collaborating on the series this semester.

UHD benefits from higher retention rates when students form relationships with staff, administrators, other faculty, and community members outside of their courses.

UHD Senior Ashley Carrera, who is new to sunstanabilty this semester, has found the experience very rewarding.

"It's actually been incredibly encouraging and wanting to hurry up and find ways to incorporate susstainability into people's everyday lives," Carrera said.

Anyone can be a part of helping create healthier communities while simultaneously creating unforgettable relationships and experiences.

If you know of individuals or entities external to UHD who may be interested, contact
Dr. Windy Lawrence.


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second-largest university in Houston—has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.

As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 60,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.