Michelle Samura, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Student and Community Engagement
Dr. Samura primarily teaches in the undergraduate Integrated Educational Studies (IES) and Educator Development programs and challenges students to think boldly and broadly about what it means to be an “educator” in today’s society. Dr. Samura works at the intersection of space, race, and education. She is particularly interested in how a spatial approach offers an effective lens and language to examine and talk about issues such as “belonging,” “community,” and social identities.
Paul Kang, Ph.D.
Director of Program Assessment and Improvement
Collaborate currently has three flagship projects, each of which reimagines what learning in, through, and beyond higher education can look like. Each project makes meaningful connections between academic approaches and real world issues and facilitates strategic collaborations among students, faculty, educational institutions, businesses, and community-based organizations.
Please see below for brief project descriptions. We invite you to contact project leads if you are interested in possible collaborations and/or supporting the project.
Architecture of Belonging
Project Lead: Dr. Michelle Samura
Drawing upon theories and methods from critical geography, visual sociology, architecture, and design, the Architecture of Belonging project involves a multi-site case study that examines the role of space in the development of belonging and community on in higher education settings. This work has a wide range of theoretical and practical implications, such as offering an unconventional, student-informed approach to examine and address campus climate issues in higher education as well as K-12 settings: re-conceptualizing campus and classroom designs; and developing more informed and mutually beneficial university-school-community partnerships.
Engaged Learning Project
Project Lead: Dr. Michelle Samura
The Engaged Learning Project aims to re-conceptualize meanings of higher education by helping students make meaningful connections among college education, their lives, and society. This is accomplished through undergraduate students actively engaging in sustained student-led and student-centered internship research projects that contribute to students’ personal, academic, professional, and civic development. The primary goals are to: strengthen community and institutional collaboration; increase relevant linkages between undergraduate coursework and career; develop empirical evidence that can transform the way universities measure and catalyze learning; and, generate more engaged, prepared, and proactive professionals and citizens.
Working Through Conflict
Project Lead: Dr. Paul Kang
The purpose of Working Through Conflict is to provide fundamental knowledge about workplace conflict and effective conflict management strategies to organizations. This is accomplished through research in a variety work place settings and interactive workshops offered to organizations and businesses. Through the workshops, organizational members acquire a transformed perspective on how to approach, process, and work through conflict. Collaborate Initiative also offers supplementary resources and tailored consulting services for additional organizational needs.
Stay tuned for more project updates.
For information about how to support or partner with COLLABORATE, please contact:
Dr. Michelle Samura
Phone: (714) 744-7942
For general inquiries about COLLABORATE, please contact:
Dr. Paul Kang
Phone: (714) 516-7156
College of Educational Studies
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866