Michael Luria is assistant dean of corporate and community engagement for the University of Arizona College of Science. His charge is to increase awareness, engagement, and partnerships for the college and its outreach units – Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab and the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. Additionally, he oversees Marketing & Communications for the College of Science as well as the Career Center. Launched in 2021, the Career Center provides resources and support to address the unique needs and changing opportunities for all students within the College of Science.
Luria joined the College of Science in July 2019 after serving as the executive director of the Children’s Museum Tucson for 10 years. Under his leadership, the Museum opened a successful satellite location in Oro Valley, grew attendance more than 125%, doubled its operating budget, focused on ensuring access for all through free and reduced-admission events, and earned national recognition with two finalist selections for the National Medal from the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
Prior to the children’s museum, Luria was a founder of the well-known restaurant Café Terra Cotta. Operating for 23 years, Terra Cotta earned national acclaim and was Tucson’s largest independent restaurant with over 350 seats in 13,000 square feet. Luria is also the co-founder of the Bald Beauties Project, a nonprofit that benefits children and young adults in Tucson and Southern Arizona with pediatric cancer, focusing on Beauty & Self Confidence, Kindness and Research.