The UNT Dallas Urban SERCH Institute is dedicated to providing service, education, and research projects with the purpose of improving the social, economic, and community well-being of Dallas’ southern sector. Utilizing the university’s intellectual capital and academic expertise, SERCH aims to provide objective data to policy makers and community leaders, while also building the capacity of individuals and organizations in the region.

UNT Dallas faculty, staff, and students play a vital role in SERCH initiatives, with several professors and students already participating in SERCH projects. Going forward, the institute will serve as a key strategic component in fulfilling the university’s mission to be a catalyst in the community’s transformation. The institute also plays a significant role in the City of Dallas’ GrowSouth initiative.

Some of the current and proposed SERCH initiatives include:

* AmeriCorps VISTA adoption (partnering with the City of Dallas and Ryan Behring with GrowSouth AmeriCorps Vista) * Mill City Community Garden including a Community-Based Fresh Produce Bus (led by Dr. Kelly Varga) * YMCA (Moorland, Oak Cliff, Lake West): Strategic Community Assessment with Keith Vinson, Moorland YMCA VP of Operations (M.S. Public Leadership student project)

* OMNI Hotel/Jubiliee Park Community Skills Assessment (led by Dr. Elizabeth Muniz and the Society of Human Resources Management student chapter)

* Second Chance Community Improvement Program Court (SCCIP) data collection (led by Dr. Aaron Bartula, Dr. Julie Siddique, and the College of Law)

For more information on the Urban SERCH Institute, contact Dr. James Agbodzakey at James.Agbodzakey@untdallas.edu or call 972-338-1590.