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Monday, October 9 • 10:15am - 11:45am
Wholes and Parts: Harmonizing Focused Community-Engaged Research Studies for Comprehensive Urban Understanding (90 mins)

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Cities are complicated places with overlapping issues and problems. Studies and reports help us to glimpse their particular traits, but they do not always help illustrate the interrelationship of issues. Understanding the layers and interactions between them is important because urbanites do not separate their lives into neat boxes as easily as academics when studying them.

For example, millions of urban American children bring to school issues emanating from homes, families, and neighborhoods that have clear impact on their academic achievement. Studies of school performance, however, often stop at the edge of school buildings. Yet, doing research that explores what happens at home and in school, in neighborhoods and on busses, in families and with friends, leads to more textured understanding of urban complexities. Urban universities, particularly public institutions, are well-poised to do this sort of research which will, in turn, yield better and more nuanced decision-making in various urban institutions.

Through a dialogic approach including audience members, this panel looks at inter-related issues in a mid-sized urban area -- Worcester, MA, New England’s second largest city -- and how its public university and area community organizations seek to integrate multiple single-issue studies into a more comprehensive whole for use by policy-makers, researchers, and institutions. Specific research areas include adverse childhood experiences, refugee-related issues, the opiate epidemic, and impact of cultural differences, and the settings in which they collide including schools, hospitals, and City Hall. Panelists will spark fruitful discussion about using community-engaged scholarship for municipal and citizen benefit.


Alex Briesacher

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Worcester State University
I am a quantitative sociologist with a focus on race and ethnicity, and social psychology. The current research team that I am working with involves analyzing disciplinary data within the public school systems in Massachusetts in order to develop a more trauma informed approach to... Read More →

Thomas Conroy

Chair and Professor of Urban Studies, Worcester State University

Linda Larrivee

Dean of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences, Worcester State University

Timothy Murphy

Assistant Professor, Worcester State University

Kirby Wycoff

Assistant Professor, Worcester State University

Monday October 9, 2017 10:15am - 11:45am MDT
Colorado I