Students present research on poverty

Thia Wolf
Thia Wolf, director of the First-Year Experience Program, said the course allows students to examine the poverty through more than one disciplinary lens. Photo courtesy of Chico State.

Chico State students presented their findings on poverty in northern California’s 12 counties during a showcase Wednesday, according to a media release.

The Poverty Mapping Showcase featured a display of students’ data, which was gathered using geographic information systems and by conducting interviews with government officials and members of the community.

Students also analyzed four of the poorest counties from which Chico State draws its students.

The students are part of an introductory course that professors Analia Martinez, Kristen Mahlis, April Kelly and Stephanie Hamel created.

The professors merged together a multicultural and gender studies class with a required course in small-group communication. The combined courses focus on the ongoing theme of considering poverty.

“This event is meant especially to serve faculty who are working with social work professor Susan Roll, recreation professor Laurie Browne and civic engagement director Ellie Ertle to develop an ‘impact lab’ focused on poverty,” said Thia Wolf, director of the First-Year Experience Program.

Chico State serves counties in which up to 25 percent of residents live in poverty.

For the past few months, faculty from the departments have been working together to incorporate the issue of local poverty into coursework, Wolf said.

“The idea is that faculty from across several disciplines will explore a shared theme of public concern in multiple courses, allowing students to examine the issue through more than one disciplinary lens and codesign with communities ways to address public problems meaningfully,” she said.

Madison Holmes can be reached at [email protected] or @madisonholmes95 on Twitter.