Community-University Public Inquiry
CUPI is a collaborative research project at NAU that brings together small groups of undergraduate students from different disciplines, two Sustainable Communities graduate students, a faculty advisor, and a community partner. We aim to give undergraduate students experience and leadership skills through applied community inquiry, while focusing on addressing a community partner’s identified research need. Undergraduate students receive independent research credits that can be applied toward their major. Graduate students gain valuable mentoring experience, which some link to their thesis or final project.
- Build leadership, collaboration, and research skills
- Work with a small interdisciplinary “pod” of upper-level undergraduate students, two graduate students and a faculty advisor
- Select the project you want to work on
- Receive independent research credits
- Increase undergraduate applied and interdisciplinary research at NAU.
- Engage students in issues relevant to Northern Arizona communities, while also increasing partnerships between the University and communities in Northern Arizona.
- Build up students’ inquiry skills, research ethics, and experience to help them in the job market or graduate school.
- Give students opportunities to collaborate, communicate, and work across disciplinary lines.
- Enable students to recognize and understand complex systems using interdisciplinary approaches.
- Foster and develop strong interpersonal, listening, and leadership skills.
- Jabulani School Simulation: This pod works with the College of Education to help create an interactive, online diversity interface. Future teachers will use these profiles to become highly prepared to work with diverse students in the future. CUPI participants will apply theoretical frameworks to understand the perspectives of teachers and parents in the Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) and use this information to compile educational student profiles.
- Flagstaff Foodlink: This pod aims at understanding local farmers’ needs and where they need support in order to create a thriving local food economy in Northern Arizona. This research asks: how can Northern Arizona have a resilient, accessible local food economy?
- Northern Arizona Interfaith Council (NAIC): This pod is interested in supporting NAIC’s work around issues that local immigrant students face: what are the academic resources offered to immigrant students in high school, and how could they be better supported in order to attend college? NAIC also aims to identify universities and school districts that are addressing the needs of immigrant students. Students will work in collaboration with NAIC members.
- Grand Canyon Trust: This pod researches perspectives related to water in Northern Arizona. This project will include opportunities for students to go into the field to gather data and conduct research.
- Dark Sky Aerial: This CUPI pod is a collaboration between local aerial artists and NAU students. Students in this pod will push the boundaries of research, exploring the transformative power that art has on people’s lives, specifically performance art. For the spring semester, students will specifically research the impact of aerial arts participation on participants.
- Repeal Coalition & Chip Thomas: Junior and senior undergraduate students will work with on art-based community building to address broad issues impacting Flagstaff. The Repeal Coalition’s focus on working as partners with local immigrant and Latinx communities has led to actions centering on affordable housing, displacement, wage theft, gentrification and more. Learning from the community, students will work with Repeal and Chip Thomas, who has worked on the Dine’ (Navajo) Nation and with Repeal.
If you are interested in CUPI, please fill out this short application.