Millsaps recently became a member of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty. Originally established under the leadership of Dr. Harlan Beckley of Washington and Lee University, the intent of this program is to prepare students for lives aimed at diminishing poverty and enhancing human capability through professional and civic efforts. The intent of the Shepherd Consortium fits well with the efforts of the college as a whole, especially in the area of community engagement. More specifically, it will allow us to build on the long legacy of the sociology and anthropology department, and the sociology program in particular, in working to address key social issues and concerns in our surrounding communities.
"Membership in the Shepherd Consortium," says Dr. Julian Murchison, "will offer excellent opportunities for our students to put their training in sociology and anthropology into practice. It will also allow for us to be integral parts of a national attempt to direct attention to the seemingly intractable problems of poverty."
In the Spring of 2013, Dr. Louwanda Evans will teach a gateway, interdisciplinary class on poverty. This class will focus on the multiple dimensions of poverty. This program, in conjunction with the class, is a great opportunity for the department. "Students who participate in the class will participate in a project in the local community," explains Dr. Evans.
Students who take the class will also be eligible to participate in the consortium's national internship program. The internships are awarded through a competitive application process and will partner Millsaps students with students from other schools in the consortium. Dr. Evans asserts, "students who are a part of these unique internships become leaders who make effective changes on the local, national, and even global scale."