‘Face to Face’: Public Learning

Head of Public Scholarship and Engagement Discusses Interaction With Community

Michael Rios, in blue suit, stands for portrait outside Mrak Hall.
Michael Rios, vice provost for Public Scholarship and Engagement, is this month’s guest on “Face to Face With Chancellor May.” (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Appearing on Face to Face With Chancellor May this month, Michael Rios, vice provost of Public Scholarship and Engagement, discusses the work his office does to promote community-engaged learning.

Purple graphic with text "Face to Face with Chancellor May"

“This is an approach that really provides opportunities for our students to learn beyond the classroom, to then also be exposed to societal issues to gain skills that relate to collaborative and civic leadership, creative problem solving, as well as intercultural engagement,” said Rios, who has led Public Scholarship and Engagement since it was established in 2018.

As an example, he and Chancellor May discussed the Sacramento Valley consortium of the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps, which will place 1,000 students from UC Davis, Sacramento State University, Sacramento City College and Woodland Community College in local internships supporting kindergarten-through-12th-grade education, climate action and food insecurity.

“While we are providing benefits to our students, we have to ask ourselves, ‘How are we positively impacting the region? How are we building the capacity of organizations?’” Rios said.

He called his work motivating and inspiring.

“I think it's about serving communities and the relationships that take place that create a collective impact that is greater than any one individual could do,” said Rios, professor of urban design in the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design program in the Department of Human Ecology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The pair also discussed their shared interest in equity in research and student success, as well as the people who inspire Rios and the music he’s listening to now. When Rios had a chance to turn the tables and ask the chancellor a couple questions, Chancellor May described the way Rios’ work could help people be less skeptical of public universities.

Their full conversation is available in the video above.

Michael Rios and Chancellor Gary S. May speak in recording studio.
Michael Rios, vice provost for Public Scholarship and Engagement, and Chancellor Gary S. May record this month’s edition of “Face to Face With Chancellor May.” (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

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Cody Kitaura is a News and Media Relations Specialist in the Office of Strategic Communications, and can be reached by email or at 530-752-1932.

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