Architecture is often referred to as a social art, or as Harries explains above. a major driver in the creation of a communal or common identity — at many levels simultaneously — be it a neighborhood, city, or national one. The academic architect has the role of undertaking activities like building programs to strengthen communities or disciplines of many types. All the various areas (research/service/teaching) comprising my activities at the University of Colorado Denver, and more specifically at the College of Architecture and Planning are interconnected. It is these connections, especially in the area of service, that help to define my personal research/teaching “ethos” as well as the common “ethos” of the college, university, and greater Denver community. It is important for a faculty member and administrator to contribute to the common good of the institution in a multitude of ways. A reciprocal relationship striking the proper balance produces a situation where members of the university community — students, staff, and faculty — benefit from the atmosphere of learning created when individuals readily participate in the health of an organization. If the university community is vibrant, there are ample opportunities for contribution and collaboration with the greater community outside of the university proper. In short, I believe that service to the university and to the greater community is key to a strong academic community and feel strongly that my service record illustrates this belief with endeavors at every level in the university as well as activities within the professional community.
This coincides with my research/teaching on globalization and its intrinsic call for cross-disciplinary educational and research models manifesting in new forms of community outreach. In the present context—the age of rapid globalization—the worlds of politics, business, and communications have radically transformed within the last several decades to become more fully intertwined and integrated. Many disciplines/professions that have existed for centuries are in danger of obsolescence amidst the turbulent forces of globalization. Innovation is no longer a rare occurrence, but is now the prevalent expectation. Crossing disciplinary lines is commonplace as technological advances outpace our professional abilities to re-define the ethics, practices, and traditions of our conventional fields of expertise at such a breakneck pace. Academia no longer has the luxury of operating with an “ivory tower” mentality, — because like most institutions— its mission and funding are constantly changing. This makes makes integration into the greater community even more imperative than in the past.
Service to both the University and greater community allows further avenues of assessment in the strength of this interdisciplinary teaching/research agenda. My teaching and research efforts seek to define an interdisciplinary methodology of education and prepare individuals to contribute to their chosen community through design thinking and its inherent problem-solving abilities. My service record reflects career strategy of researching the theories of globalization as well as the modes of successful operations for an inter/cross disciplinary agenda.