Dr. Wagner Receives Grant for Fall 2013 Appalachian Teaching Project
Dr. Melinda Wagner has been successful in being approved for a grant to participate in the Appalachian Teaching Project for Fall 2013. Radford University is one of only 16 universities approved by the Appalachian Regional Commission to participate in this important project. "The Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) engages students and regional citizens in posing answers to the question, 'How can we build a sustainable future for Appalachian communities?'" (Appalachian Teaching Project). The ATP will be embedded in the Scholar-Citizen Initiative (SCI) designated courses, APST 495 Research in Appalachia and SOCY 482 Qualitative Research Methods, taught by Dr. Wagner. The Appalachian Regional Commission's goals dovetail with those of RU's SCI, Appalachian Regional and Rural Studies Center (ARRSC) and Center for Social & Cultural Research, requiring that students actively engage with a community to meets its needs. For RU's Project, "Sustaining the Community Mind for Long-term Resiliency: Appalachian Values Assessment in Floyd County, Virginia," students will use the qualitative research methods they are learning to assess Appalachian values and current trends that affect traditional values. The course also prepares students to be mentors for a youth resiliency intervention, the intergenerational Place-Based Education Oral History Project in Floyd County High School, in the Spring 2014 Scholar-Citizen SOCY 493 Practicum in Sociology course. This on-going project provides Floyd County's youth with roots and wings -- a strong appreciation for the wisdom of their county's elders, and technological skills to carry into the future. The Floyd Story Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, will be the major community partner for both the Fall and Spring projects. The ATP approval includes a grant to fund student research and travel to participate in professional conferences, including a December conference sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C.