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Poverty Group Director Visits Ohio University

Athens, OH, Tuesday, 4 November 2014Harlan Beckley, executive director, Shepherd Higher Consortium on Poverty (SHECP), visited Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, November 3rd and 4th.

Beckley spoke on, “Poverty Studies in Higher Education: The Case for Need and Collaboration.” He also met with faculty, staff, administrators, and students to discuss the possibility of Ohio University joining the Consortium in the future.

Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, a 22-member non-profit organization devoted to promoting a sustained interdisciplinary education for undergraduates and professional students in all majors to prepare them to address poverty as part of their professional, civic and political lives.

“I am especially gratified to talk with the faculty, staff, students, and administrators at this public university that provides vital undergraduate and professional education to so many first-generation college students in Ohio and beyond,” said Dr. Beckley.

Stephen J. Scanlan, Ph. D., Eric A. Wagner Professor of Sociology at Ohio University, is leading an initiative across campus to entertain Ohio University membership in the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty.

“I am very excited about the potential for Ohio University to be a part of the important mission of the Shepherd Consortium and know that colleagues across campus share this enthusiasm” said Dr. Scanlan.  He further adds “I believe that OU has much to offer SHECP, and it in turn will help us enrich our students, faculty, and community in our understanding of poverty.”

A four-year public institution with 17,000 undergraduates on its main campus, Ohio University is located in Athens where 89% of first-year students receive financial aid and 23% are the first-generation college.  The University offers more than 250 undergraduate programs, including a Wealth and Poverty Theme which aims to address economic growth, wealth distribution, poverty, inequality, and empowerment issues in both domestic and international settings.

The University opened in 1804 with one building, three students, and one professor. Situated in the fringe of the Rust Belt and in the Appalachian region, Ohio University is well-positioned to engage these students in a meaningful way that they could relate to real-world problems involving inequalities. The knowledge, analytical skills and practical experiences gained in this curricular theme will help students become well-informed, active and critical global citizens.

In addition to serving as SHECP executive director, Dr. Beckley is the co-founder of SHECP and serves as the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion Emeritus and Emeritus Adjunct Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University.



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