Education: MS, University of Kentucky; PhD, University of Georgia
No other region of our nation has experienced the kind of deep and persistent poverty that exists in Louisiana, the Delta region, and the American South. Today, researchers understand the root causes of poverty. They have also evaluated and identified successful programs that decrease its effects. Despite all this work, it is still unclear why poverty has become so deeply entrenched in the American South.
At LSU and in the LSU School of Social Work, I am privileged to collaborate with scholars doing leading research that examines poverty, poverty reduction, and anti-poverty policy efforts. Our determination to this end is already transforming the way we do research in this area at LSU. We have been designated as an important component of the Multidisciplinary Hiring Initiative of LSU's Office of Research and Economic Development. In my role as project director of the Louisiana Poverty Center Initiative, I continue to work closely with my colleagues to keep transforming research, programming, and policy directed at poverty reduction in Louisiana and the South.
The long-term economic development and health of our region will only happen when we lift our people out of poverty. We believe that an important aspect of sustainable wealth results from empowering individuals, families, and communities. Through our research and thoughtful engagement we want to identify those strategies that help our people and transform our region.
Our commitment to this end as educators will result in initiatives that promote economic development by taking into consideration the value we hold for our sense of place and the importance of our unique culture and the resilience of our people. This focused perspective to tackle this devastating problem has an awareness that our history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art will give us the grounding to thrive in the new global community.
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