Honors Theses

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Albert Nylander

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

This thesis is an examination of how community-campus partnerships support community engagement efforts in the Mississippi Delta. Since Ernest Boyer's clarion call in the 1990s for institutions of higher education to reconsider their commitment to community engagement, many institutions have initiated centers of engagement and service to connect their scholarly efforts to underserved populations. By mutually sharing in social, intellectual, and economic resources with communities, both campus and community prosper (Boyer 1990). The Mississippi Delta, an hour's drive from the University of Mississippi campus, is one of the most impoverished regions in the United States. According to the US Census (2016), those with the most severe poverty are found in historically poor areas of the Southeast, particularly the Mississippi Delta. Through tourism, however, opportunities are underway to bring needed jobs and resources to this impoverished region. This ethnographic study shows how communities and universities are partnering through community engaged programs to support community and economic development. From 2014-2016 I served as a member of the University's Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) initiative through the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement. Throughout the thesis I will share stories and present findings from the 30-member CEED team's work. Through personal research, interviews, survey data, and my own experiences, findings indicate that community-campus partnerships are beneficial in supporting local community betterment. An abbreviated version of this work will be presented to the community partners where I served my internship with in the Delta in hopes that it will be of added benefit for innovation and progress through university and community partnerships.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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