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Virginia Military Institute Grant Supports 2015 SHECP Symposium

24 June 2015 – Lexington, VA – Virginia Military Institute has made a grant to the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) for the 2015 SHECP Symposium and Frueauff Closing Conference. “Food, Nutrition, and Children’s Health,” is the theme of the 2015 symposium which will be held on Sunday, August 2 at VMI’s Marshall Hall, home to the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics. In addition to its generous grant, VMI provides access to this marvelous facility for lectures and a Sunday evening banquet in the Hall of Valor.

SHECP Member, Virginia Military Institute, supports and co-host the 2015 Symposium.

SHECP Member, Virginia Military Institute, supports and co-hosts the 2015 Symposium.


“We are thrilled and grateful,” says SHECP Executive Director, Harlan Beckley. This will be the third year that VMI will co-host the meeting with Washington and Lee University. “VMI’s financial support helps the Consortium offer two days of poverty studies education.”

“VMI is delighted to partner with our sister institution, W&L, and with all our SHECP colleagues to help enhance our mission. The grant funding and offering the use of our facilities for the closing conference is but a small token of our enthusiastic commitment to service-related student-focused issues,” said Colonel James E. Turner PHD ’65, Read ’41 Institute Professor in Arts and Sciences and Biology Department Head. Col. Turner also serves as chair of the VMI Service Committee and on the board of directors of SHECP.

Three experts on the increasing nutrition gap between children from the privileged and children from less well-supported classes will be featured at the symposium. Sandra Hassink, MD, President of the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP); Elaine Waxman, Ph.D., Urban Institute; and Victoria Kumpuris Brown, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will address topics including food insecurity, obesity, and public policy.

Nearly 100 SHECP interns and 40 faculty and staff from institutions committed to poverty studies will attend the conference.   The Frueauff Closing Conference on Monday, 3 August, will feature reports from all 2015 interns who will be fresh from their eight-week internships in more than 20 locations across the country. It will take place at the Washington and Lee Science Center.

The event is open to the public for little to no cost, however, registration is requested.

VMI is a member of SHECP, since 2011, along with 20 other colleges and universities including Notre Dame University, Morgan State University, and Berea College.

In addition to Col Turner’s participation in SHECP, three other VMI faculty play important roles in SHECP. Duncan J. Richter, Ph. D. is the Institute’s SHECP Academic Director. He teaches the Institute’s gateway course on poverty in addition to courses on ethics, the history of philosophy, and religion. Major Dorothy Hayden, M. Ed., Assistant Director of VMI’s Office of Career Services, serves as VMI’s SHECP Internship Director. LTC Megan Herald, Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics and member of the VMI Service Committee, has provided important support to the programs of the opening and closing conferences.

SHECP Chairman, James Calvin Davis, Ph.D., says, “Institutional support of the kind that VMI and Washington and Lee provide are indispensable for successful collaboration in poverty studies for higher education. I speak for all of SHECP’s member schools in thanking the VMI administration, faculty, and staff for their multi-dimensional generosity.” Davis is a professor of religion at Middlebury College, where he serves as the Academic Director of the Privilege & Poverty Initiative.

For information about SHECP and the symposium and closing conference, please visit the SHECP web site, www.shepherdconsortium.org. SHECP welcomes donations from those who wish to support these events and others advancing poverty studies education. ###

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