Community Research

In addition to giving talks to local organizations about my published work, my skills as a social researcher have been put to good use in several community-based projects that would fall under the heading of applied or public sociology – not peer-reviewed by academics, but rigorous, vetted by community partners, and immediately useful to local constituencies such as schools, coalitions, and agencies. I assist organizations with strategic planning, assessment, and data design and analysis. My role as a public sociologist has also been illustrated by my work as an expert witness in a high profile court case (not local, not listed due to confidentiality agreement). Below are some representative examples of these kinds of projects.

  • Walla Walla Public Schools Teaching and Learning Department and Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition (2014-2017): I facilitated the kindergarten readiness health and developmental report.
  • Walla Walla’s Meals on Wheels and Whitman’s Adopt-a-Grandparent (2017): I consulted on a grant enhancing college-community intergenerational relations.
  • Walla Walla Camp Fire (2013-14): I led the Board of Directors’ efforts to revise the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Walla Walla Public Schools (2013-2017): I have assisted with school district data collection and analysis efforts on topics such as sexual education and facilities planning.
  • Children’s Home Society Early Head Start (2013): I was a guest speaker on childhood across cultures for a day-long staff retreat.
  • Children’s Forum (2013): I contributed several pages of data analysis and text for the Children’s Forum Data Book, and co-facilitated the day-long event in April. The theme for the forum, which happens every five years in the Valley, was the prevention of child abuse.
  • Early Learning Coalition (2008-2017): I conducted their large needs assessment, and developed their ongoing data modeling project. My work with the ELC includes survey design and analysis, report writing, website development, group facilitation, and data mapping exercises.
  • Walla Walla Head Start/ECEAP (2011-2014): I conducted three annual community needs assessments for Head Start, which they have used to guide their programming and goal-setting.
  • Community Council (2008-2009): I facilitated a 16-week exercise with local stakeholders on identifying key indicators (or “capitals”) for vitality in the community. The program was called “Creating a Value-Added Community.”   This included a report that was used to create a web-based dashboard. I also helped the CC conduct a study on adolescent sexual health.
  • Columbia County Regional Economic Development (2010): I facilitated a day-long strategic planning retreat for this organization.
  • Walla Walla Helpline (2009): I facilitated a day-long strategic planning retreat for this organization.

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