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Does Inclusivity Really Matter? The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Farm-Based Internship Programs

Description

Current farming demographics in the United States indicate an aging and overwhelmingly white group of farmers, stimulating the need for engaging a younger and more diverse population. There is an

Current farming demographics in the United States indicate an aging and overwhelmingly white group of farmers, stimulating the need for engaging a younger and more diverse population. There is an opportunity to engage these populations through farm-based internship and apprenticeship programs, which are immersive programs on small-scale, sustainable farms. These programs are unique in providing hands-on training, housing, meals, and a stipend in return for labor, presenting a pathway to social empowerment. The potential outcomes of increasing diversity and inclusion in farm programs are absent from the research on the benefits of diversity and inclusion in other work environments, such as the corporate setting. This paper presents the results of a study aimed at determining levels of diversity and inclusion in United States farm-based internship programs, and the viability of these programs as an effective opportunity to engage marginalized young people in farming. The study of 13 farm owners and managers across the U.S. found that the participants are focused on fostering education and training, environmental benefits, and a sense of community in their respective programs. All participants either want to establish, or believe they currently have, an inclusive workplace on their farm, but also indicated a barrier to inclusivity in the lack of a diverse applicant pool. Future recommendations for removing that barrier and involving more young, diverse interns include increased outreach and access to these programs, the use of inclusive language, and further research.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

Communicating Sustainability Solutions Through Photojournalism

Description

Strategies and interventions have promoted the sustainability of urban communities, but effective communication of these solutions is lacking. Documentation of current solutions tends to be dense and difficult for non-academics

Strategies and interventions have promoted the sustainability of urban communities, but effective communication of these solutions is lacking. Documentation of current solutions tends to be dense and difficult for non-academics to understand. Sustainability scientists and practitioners need ways to meaningfully and intelligibly communicate their experiences to the lay public. This project sought to visually present sustainable community development solutions to address this communication barrier. Members of urban/community gardens in Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, and Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark, were photographed, interviewed. Their feedback was then examined to assess the degree to which photographs can tell a holistic sustainability story.
The photographs focused on aspects of life and behaviors that have contributed to happiness in local communities. A website was created and a gallery event was mounted for public review and discussion. Gallery attendees and website visitors were asked to complete a survey to assess (1) gained knowledge of sustainability solutions, and (2) how effective a tool photography is as a means of sustainability solutions communication.
This visual medium allowed people think about how to incorporate sustainable community solutions into their own lives and may have changed people’s interest in, and thoughts about, overall sustainability and sustainable solutions. The survey results demonstrated that photographs can successfully communicate sustainability ideas. Specifically, viewers gained an increased awareness of how community and urban gardening can increase happiness, well-being, and sense of community. This visual approach can continue to be used to more successfully communicate additional sustainability solutions ideas and methods to the public.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-11-15

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The Impact of Campus Outdoor Spaces on Student Happiness: A Case Study of the ASU Tempe Campus

Description

College and university campuses can play an important role in a student’s life, and campus outdoor spaces have the ability to positively impact various aspects of student health and well-being.

College and university campuses can play an important role in a student’s life, and campus outdoor spaces have the ability to positively impact various aspects of student health and well-being. It has long been understood that natural environments can promote health and well being, and in recent years research has begun to examine the impact of parks and landscapes in urban settings on subjective well-being (SWB). Subjective well-being (aka “happiness”) refers to
one’s self-reported measure of well-being and is thought of as having a high level of positive affect, low level of negative affect, and high degree of life satisfaction (Diener, 1984).

This study was conducted to assess the interrelationships between affective experiences, SWB, and usage of campus outdoor spaces in order to learn how outdoor spaces on the Arizona State University (ASU) Tempe campus can be enhanced to increase SWB and usage. In total, 832 students completed a survey questionnaire 1,140 times for six campus outdoor spaces. The results showed that students experience the greatest amount of happiness in the Secret Garden
and James Turrell ASU Skyspace, relaxation/restoration is the affective experience most strongly related to SWB, and SWB is negatively correlated with frequency of visits but positively link with duration of visits. To improve student happiness and usage of outdoor spaces on campuses, planners and designers should work on increasing the relaxing/restorative qualities of existing
locations, creating new spaces for relaxation/restoration around campus, reducing the perception of crowding and noise in large spaces, increasing fun/excitement by adding stimuli and/or opportunities for activity and entertainment, and adding equipment necessary for students to perform the activities they want. In addition to the ASU Tempe campus, the methodology and
findings of this research could be used to improve outdoor spaces on other college and university campuses and other types of outdoor environments.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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The social construction and reciprocity of resilience: an empirical investigation of an organizational context

Description

This research examines the communicative processes of resilience in the organizational context of public education. The research utilizes one-on-one interviews to elicit descriptions of resilience and well-being and collect stories

This research examines the communicative processes of resilience in the organizational context of public education. The research utilizes one-on-one interviews to elicit descriptions of resilience and well-being and collect stories of success and overcoming challenges. The study purpose is two-fold: (1) to understand the ways in which organizational members construct and enact resilience individually and collectively through their talk and stories, and (2) to extend the communication theory of resilience through an empirical investigation of resilience in an organizational context. An iterative, thematic analysis of interview data revealed that resilience, as lived, is a socially constructed, collective process. Findings show resilience in this context is (1) socially constructed through past and present experiences informing the ways organizational members perceive challenges and opportunities for action, (2) contextual in that most challenges are perceived positively as a way to contribute to individual and organizational goals and as part of a “bigger purpose” to students, (3) interactional in that it is constructed and enacted collaboratively through social processes, (4) reciprocal in that working through challenges leads to experience, confidence, and building a repertoire of opportunities for action that become a shared experience between educators and is further reciprocated with students, and (5) is enacted through positive and growth mindsets. This study offers theoretical contributions by extending the communication theory of resilience and illuminating intersections to sensemaking, flow, and implicit person theory. I offer five primary practical applications, discuss limitations, and present future directions highlighting community development and strengths-based approaches.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Effect of Social Support on Health Empowerment and Perceived Well-Being in Adults Impacted By Cancer: A Program Evaluation

Description

Background: Cancer impacts the lives of millions of patients, families and caregivers annually
leading to chronic stress, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased autonomy. Social support may improve health empowerment

Background: Cancer impacts the lives of millions of patients, families and caregivers annually
leading to chronic stress, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased autonomy. Social support may improve health empowerment and lead to increased perception of well-being.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of social support provided by a cancer support agency on health empowerment and perceived well-being in adults impacted by cancer.

Conceptual Framework: The Health Empowerment Theory maintains that perceived wellbeing is the desired outcome; mediated by health empowerment through social support, personal growth, and purposeful participation in active goal attainment.

Methods: Twelve adults impacted by cancer agreed to complete online questionnaires at
baseline and at 12 weeks after beginning participation in social support programs provided by a cancer support agency.
Instruments included: Patient Empowerment Scale, The Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (SWEMWBS), and The Office of National Statistics (ONS) Subjective Well-Being Questions.

Results: Four participants completed pre and post surveys. An increase was seen in
empowerment scores (pre M = 1.78, SD = 0.35 and post M = 3.05, SD = 0.42). There was no
increase in perceived well-being: SWEMWBS pre (M= 3.71, SD= 0.76), post (M= 3.57, SD=
0.65); ONS pre (M= 7.69, SD= 1.36), post (M= 6.59, SD= 1.52).

Implications: The data showed an increase in health empowerment scores after utilizing social support programs, lending support to the agency’s support strategies. It is recommended that the measures be included in surveys routinely conducted by the agency to continue to assess the impact of programming on health empowerment, and perceived well-being.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05-03