The Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences held its inaugural Big Ideas Summit, a TED Talks-inspired series of 5-minute presentations by Norton School faculty, on Friday, Feb. 27 at McClelland Park.
The event featured transformational ideas designed to have major impact on the community, state, and world. More than 100 people attended the event, both in person and via live stream, and rated the 11 presentations.
Dr. Darin Knapp, Assistant Professor of Practice in Family Studies and Human Development, gave the winning presentation. His idea focused on establishing a Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) master’s degree program and a training clinic. Making the MFT program truly distinctive and aligned with the UArizona strategic plan, Dr. Knapp proposed two truly innovative features of the MFT program.
First, in line with UArizona’s Hispanic Serving Institution status, we will hire bilingual faculty who could provide supervised training for students in Spanish. Students in the MFT program would be able to work in the MFT clinic, providing low cost therapy to Latinx members of the Tucson community in Spanish.
Second, in partnership with our Personal & Family Financial Planning degree program, all students enrolled in the MFT program will take classes in financial planning to better understand the financial challenges facing families.
“At the Norton School, our mission is to create a world in which Every Family Thrives,” Norton School Director Dr. Laura Scaramella said. “Dr. Knapp’s proposal provides such an obvious solution to improving the quality of families’ lives in the Tucson area and the world. Currently, our graduates have to travel out of state to attend an accredited MFT program. Once students leave, they’re unlikely to return. In Arizona, we have a tremendous need for trained therapists. This need is even more pronounced among Spanish-speaking and Latinx families. We seek to train the next generation of therapists who are equipped to serve the needs of all Arizonans.”