Founding Director, Public Scholarship and Engagement
Michael Rios was appointed Director of the Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement in October 2018. As Director, Michael is leading university-wide efforts to reward and recognize public scholarship in research, teaching, and creative practice.
With over 20 years of community-based research, teaching, and practice, he has collaborated with numerous public agencies, municipalities, and community groups. Michael has been recognized for these efforts, including the Association for Community Design Service Award (2005), the Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (2003), and the University of California Chancellor's Award for Community Partnerships (2000).
A faculty member since 2007, Michael is Professor in the Department of Human Ecology and served as Chair of the Community Development Graduate Group (2011-2015). Prior to coming to Davis, Michael was Director of the Hamer Center for Community Design at The Pennsylvania State University (1999-2007), which focused on faculty and student involvement in community-based research and learning. As Director, he oversaw the creation of a dozen partnerships with public, private, and non-profit organizations.
Michael’s research has focused on institutional capacity-building, community engagement, and cross-cultural planning and design. He has authored or co-authored over twenty journal articles and book chapters, and has co-edited several books including Diálogos: Placemaking in Latino Communities (2013) and Community Development and Democratic Practice (2017). Michael has also served as a PI and Co-PI on numerous grants and contracts including a USDA Higher Education Challenge Grant to assess the current state of community development education in the U.S. (2018-Present), leading the development and implementation of a curriculum on fair housing and social inclusion for the CA Dept. of Housing and Community Development (2016-17), and a USDE Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education Grant to facilitate an international community-based student learning exchange program between several US and Brazilian universities (2002-2005).
Michael was born in Brooklyn, New York. He holds a B.A. degree in Architecture and Urban Studies from Lehigh University, Master of Architecture and Master of City Planning degrees from UC Berkeley, and a Ph.D. degree in political geography from The Pennsylvania State University.