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University of Wisconsin–Madison Joins Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty

The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) is pleased to welcome its newest member, the University of Wisconsin–Madison. SHECP is a collaboration among 25 colleges and universities that integrates classroom study of poverty with summer internships and co-curricular activities.

UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, a distinguished poverty scholar, remarked, “I have been following the work of the Shepherd Consortium since it started more than 20 years ago.  It’s a wonderful way to engage students in scholarship and community-based learning about issues of poverty, hunger, health care, housing. I’m very pleased that UW–Madison has joined the consortium.”

UW–Madison is already the home to the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), the nation’s sole National Poverty Research Center, which functions as an independent, multidisciplinary center within the College of Letters and Science.

IRP Director Lawrence Berger noted, “As a national leader in nonpartisan poverty research dedicated to producing and disseminating rigorous evidence to inform antipoverty policies and programs, IRP is pleased to join the Shepherd Consortium. Our involvement makes good sense because preparing the next generation of poverty and policy scholars is central to our mission.”

“The University of Wisconsin–Madison is an established leader in the field of poverty studies,” said Dr. Brett Morash, SHECP executive director. “Their addition to the consortium will enhance the breadth of our programming by expanding opportunities to study the meanings, causes, and consequences of poverty across a wide range of disciplines.”

As a consortium member, UW–Madison will offer students the opportunity to participate in the SHECP Summer Internship Program. This eight-week program pairs students with nonprofit organizations that work to strengthen impoverished communities.

Students are matched with agencies that fit their intellectual interests in order to develop professional experience and skills for future civic involvement and employment. This past summer, SHECP interns provided more than 36,120 hours of service to 112 agencies, in 17 different geographic locations.

UW–Madison’s participation in the program will be administered by Lawrence Berger, Ph.D., director of IRP and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor; Marcy Carlson, Ph.D., professor of Sociology and director of the Center for Demography and Ecology; and Joel Clark, Ph.D., director of Professional Development, Political Science, and Sociology.

To learn more about SHECP and how you can support its mission to transform poverty studies, visit

About the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty: The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP), is a consortium of colleges and universities that are committed to the study of poverty as a complex social problem, by expanding and improving educational opportunities for college students in a wide range of disciplines and career trajectories. SHECP institutions support undergraduates toward a lifetime of professional and civil efforts to diminish poverty and enhance human capability. For more information, please visit, or follow us on Twitter at @TheSHECP.


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