Missouri State University
CHPA Dean's Blog
College of Humanities and Public Affairs Blog

Patrick Scott Takes Public Affairs on Vacation

Dr. Patrick Scott, Professor of Political Science and MPA Program Director, spent a portion of his summer vacation in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee. During the second week of June he traveled to Johnson City, Tennessee to volunteer with a nonprofit organization, the Appalachian Service Project (ASP). Their work involved putting in a new floor in a home for an elderly man who was stricken with polio from a young age.


Founded in 1969, ASP deploys over 17,000 volunteers annually to repair the homes of more than 650 low-income families across five states in Central Appalachia. The mission of ASP is to see substandard housing in Central Appalachia eradicated by providing volunteer service opportunities to make homes warmer, safer and drier for families in need. ASP operates year-round service centers in four states—Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia—that help provide safe, affordable housing for low-income residents.

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Student researches impact of Springfield social programs

B9317846651Z.1_20150712193451_000_GG1B80DI6.1-0Kristy Coffin, junior psychology and sociology student at Missouri State University, is part of the sociology research assistant (SOC RA) program. The program allows Coffin to take part in two different research projects for the Center for Social Science and the Public Policy Research Center.

The first project is a study of religious congregations and their civic engagement in the community. Coffin will also help research the motivations behind the congregations’ community engagement.

“For the second research project I will be evaluating an after-school learning center which gives at-risk youth a place to receive tutoring,” said Coffin. “I will analyze and write a report about the overall effectiveness of the program.”

Coffin also volunteers with Convoy of Hope, Ozarks Food Harvest, Street Cleans and Friends Against Hunger. It started out as a requirement for her scholarship, but it turned into something she loved.

“I don’t know where I will end up in my future, but I know that all of these experiences have provided a strong foundation to build upon and many valuable skills,” said Coffin. “It’s skills like communication, critical thinking, writing and understanding and respecting diversity that are important to many employers and I have developed them through my experiences.”

For the complete article see: http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/education/2015/07/12/msu-student-researches-impact-springfield-social-programs/30062017/




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Religious Studies Department Head Returns from Conferences in Europe

King's College building
King’s College building

Dr. Steve Berkwitz has recently returned from attending and speaking at two conferences in Europe.

The first was a two-day conference at King’s College in London that continued a collaborative project dedicated to rethinking the tradition of Theravada Buddhism. This conference was sandwiched by two other one day events of related symposia on Burma and Cambodia.

The second conference was a smaller gathering at Ruhr-Universität Bochum on “Textual and Visual Dialogues Between Religions in South Asia.”

Ruhr Bochum
Ruhr Bochum
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Michele Breshears accepted into USA Program

11209720_1126083437407319_3080613601059308668_n[1]Michele Breshears, Administrative Assistant II in Sociology and Anthropology, has been chosen to participate as a member of the 2015-2016 University Staff Ambassador.  The program is designed to give staff members better insight into the workings of the university.  It is a great opportunity to mix with other staff members from many different areas across campus while learning about the different divisions and colleges within the university.  Congratulations Michele!

Posted in Awards, Faculty and Staff, Sociology and Anthropology, Training | Leave a comment

Top reasons why area youths are homeless revealed in report

Professor Tim Knapp
Professor Tim Knapp

The Springfield News Leader front page article on homeless youth is based on research conducted by Tim Knapp and Adam Bryson from Sociology.

The report showed the number one reason youths are becoming homeless in the Ozarks is because they are kicked out of the family home. This was the number three reason two years ago. Other reasons in the top five included lots of arguments at home, verbal abuse, feeling unsafe at home and physical abuse.

To read the complete article go to: www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2015/06/15/top-reasons-area-youths-homeless-revealed-report/28781485/ 

The research was conducted by the Center for Social Science and Public Policy Research at Missouri State University in collaboration with The Homeless Youth Subcommittee of the Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ Christian, Greene, and Webster Counties Continuum of Care.

Questionnaires were given to youth at 14 not-for-profit and government agency sites in Springfield. The organizations serve youth who are in need of assistance and, therefore, may have experienced homelessness or may be at risk of becoming homeless.

The full report can be viewed at www.commpartnership.org/homelessyouth.

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