Poole Receives Award to Support Course on Building Community Assets in Appalachia

Posted on 7/12/2012 11:54:49 AM

Amanda Poole, Department of Anthropology, received a grant in the amount of $4,000 from East Tennessee State University for her project, “IUP Appalachian Teaching Project: Sustainable Indiana.”

This award is designed to support a course in which students address the question: “How do we build on community assets to shape a positive future for Appalachia?”

The funds will be used to support the involvement of students in Poole’s Fall Cultural Ecology course (ANTH 420/581) in the annual Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) conference held in Washington, D.C., Nov. 30–Dec. 1, 2012. Students participating in the project will present on work conducted over the course of the Fall semester in which they partner with a community organization, the Coalition for a Healthy County, to address an issue related to regional sustainability.

The community-based assignment will involve students and Indiana County community members in participatory ethnographic research on an envisioning sustainability project, including a needs assessment that identifies community members’ priorities regarding environmental and community sustainability. Students will also work with community members to document cultural and environmental assets that shape place attachment in the region. The outcome of this work will help this community organization to shape its long term goals.

As participants in a community project that supports grassroots mobilization efforts around sustainability issues, students will also explore the usefulness of public and environmental anthropology methods and theories, and explore the significance of grass roots community organizations in shaping understandings of citizenship and stewardship.

The ATP is funded through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission and involves a consortium of 16 colleges and universities in Appalachia that are dedicated to community-based work to improve the quality of life for residents throughout the region.