Notes from the Field: UNLV Office of Community Engagement & School of Social Work

WHO: Sue DiBella, executive director of the UNLV Office of Community Engagement, and Carlton Craig, director of the UNLV School of Social Work

WHAT: As part of UNLV’s Top Tier Initiative, the university’s Office of Community Engagement and School of Social Work are addressing the goal of helping to solve community problems. To help frame their efforts, they are guided by the “12 Grand Challenges of Social Work,” which encourage practitioners and researchers to work toward positive community impact in 12 areas of significant social challenge. Sue partnered with Carlton in early 2017 to focus on the challenge area associated with homelessness. Joined by graduate student Natasha Samoloya, they have invited input from an inter-disciplinary team of faculty and community members to explore ways to improve the lives of UNLV students that may be homeless or near-homeless. They are also exploring ways to bring UNLV expertise to the larger issue of homelessness in Southern Nevada.

WHY: Because SNS is an inter-sector and multi-agency regional collaboration, staff have a unique perspective on partners, stakeholders and leaders to help build collaborative teams. SNS staff consulted with Sue and Carlton and offered suggestions for potential stakeholders, resources, potential partners to explore to enhance their efforts.

NEXT: SNS staff will continue to support this partnership as it focuses on improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable college students. As part of the working group, SNS staff can continue to connect the group to community leaders that can assist with the work or that could benefit from the research being offered by the university.


“Notes From the Field” is a real-time blog written by our SNS manager that shares notes from meetings with community partners and stakeholders on how they contribute to the progress of the plan. This is an opportunity to follow along on the valley’s progress and receive relevant news on housing, transportation, healthcare, and employment projects