Community Engagement

Department of Sociology

The Center for Community Research and Evaluation, run by Dr. Wes James, Professor of Sociology, brings together the expertise of an interdisciplinary team of social scientists to leverage the full power of data and scientific methodology to support important community projects. The Center can help community and campus partners with all aspects of the research process including proposal development, data strategy, collection, analysis, visualization, and reporting.

Learn more about the Center for Community Research and Evaluation at: https://www.memphis.edu/ccre/

University-School Partnership 

SUAPP is facilitating a partnership between school leaders at Geeter K-8 (Shelby County Schools) and a team of faculty from SUAPP-affiliated departments and other colleges and schools. The partnership formed in the fall of 2019, and its objectives are a) to increase UM student internship placements at the school; and b) to conduct research conduct research on various aspects of the psycho-social and behavioral factors related to adverse childhood responses and school-based trauma informed interventions, as well as assess the effectiveness of the school’s current trauma Informed interventions, on student well-being, academic progress, and teacher effectiveness. Now in its second year, the Geeter-UofM Partnership brings together school leaders at Geeter K-8 and an interdisciplinary network of faculty from across the University to explore the intersections of trauma, schooling and academic performance. The faculty partners include Dr. Todd Zoblotsky and Dr. Carolyn Kaldron (Center for Research in Educational Policy), Dr. Chris Mueller (Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research), Dr. Lilya Jiang (Temple University), Dr. Sohye Lee (Lowenberg College of Nursing), Dr. Minhae Cho (Social Work), Dr. Shameka Plamer, Dr. Michelle Brasfield (Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research), Dr. Susan Elswick (School of Social Work), and Dr. Tim McCuddy (Criminology and Criminal Justice). 

Washington Leads South City Digital Inclusion Project

Phase 2 funding will increase tech access for those with the highest rate of dysconnectivity

Dr. Gregory Washington, director of the Center for Advancement and Youth Development (CAYD) and professor in the School of Social Work, has been awarded a research contract by the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis. Washington will be the lead principal Investigator.  

The award funds Phase 2 of the Digital Inclusion in South City project, which seeks to provide financial, technological, and educational support to ensure students' achievement isn't limited by their technology access. The South City Digital Inclusion (SCDI) project, as a solution, is focused on youth and their families in communities who suffer from the highest rates of internet dysconnectivity. At its core SCDI about getting more households online with the right skills for success.  

The $250,757 award is for one year and the project aims to reach 500 homes in South City and the surrounding 38126 and 38106 zip codes.

For more information on this award or the project, contact Washington at gwshngt1@memphis.edu or visit the Research Innovation website.

South City Digital Literacy 

Dr. Charlie Santo, associate director of SUAPP and associate professor of City and Regional Planning, is coordinating an effort to bridge the digital divide in Memphis’ most vulnerable neighborhoods. In partnership with the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development (HCD), Start Co., Knowledge Quest, Code Crew and Urban Strategies, the project includes provision of broadband internet and “digital literacy” training to selected households and advanced “digital education” training for selected youth participants. Using a social envelop approach that links digital inclusion efforts to existing case management work and employing “Digital Mentors” enables households that receive broadband service to use the technology to its fullest capacity. Dr. Greg Washington (School of Social Work) is leading a team of 12 Social Work student interns who serve as Digital Mentors after receiving training from Everyone On, a national expert in internet expansion efforts. By mid-summer 2021, 75 students had participated in Code Crew’s digital education and 100 households had begun working toward earning their “digital passports.”