COLLABORATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS
Across the years, the CASR has collaborated with numerous UTC faculty and staff, and has formed external partnerships with community organizations, in pursuit of research and programmatic projects. Below is a sample of some of our intra-university collaborations and external community partnerships on CASR related projects:
One of the CASR’s closest partners is the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies, formerly the Community Research Council, located on the 2nd floor of the 739 McCallie Building. Our research centers work well together, utilizing complimentary skill sets and a wide array of employees with various backgrounds. Over the past few years, the CASR has been assisting the Ochs Center with an ongoing community revitalization research project for various Chattanooga neighborhoods. CASR students have helped with mail-outs, data entry, data management tasks, and qualitative coding assignments on this project. The CASR assisted the Ochs Center with Chattanooga STAND, the world’s largest community visioning project. A team of eight CASR students entered data for over 25,000 surveys and qualitatively coded nearly half a million open-ended responses! Other data collection assignments for the Ochs Center include the Allied Arts, and Chattanooga Race Relations surveys.
Chattanooga Comprehensive Gang Assessment
The Chattanooga Gang Assessment is a comprehensive 5-component community assessment that provides the data-driven basis for a full community approach to gang abatement. It is based on a national model recommended by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The Gang Assessment Project is the City’s response to the growing gang presence and violence in Chattanooga. Mr. Boyd Patterson and Mr. Fred Houser lead this initiative for the City. UTC’s Center for Applied Social Research (CASR) became initially involved with the project in March 2011. A partnership with the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies was developed in February 2012 to conduct the Assessment. The decision to be part of this project was directly tied to UTC’s mission as an engaged metropolitan university, and in this capacity, its responsibility as an institution to be responsive to critical community issues such as this. The Gang Assessment Project was funded by the City of Chattanooga, with additional funding support to UTC from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. UTC’s specific role through the CASR was to conduct the Student and School Component of the Assessment.
Health Disparities Research Team
During 2010, with the support of Provost Oldham, Drs. Medley and Ritz brought together a group of UTC faculty and staff who expressed interested in pursuing health disparities research. In September, select members of the team submitted their first NIH grant application, and plan additional submissions. The initial proposed research would explore the effects of perceived racism and classism in health care interactions on responsiveness to health care information among African-Americans, Latino/ Hispanic Americans, and low-income rural Americans, in the Southeastern United States. Working on this team to date are:
• Dr. Barbara Medley, CASR Director and Associate Professor, Sociology
• Dr. Susan Ritz, CASR Research Coordinator
• Dr. Gregory Heath, Assistant Provost for Research and Engagement and Professor, UT College of Medicine
• Dr. Lisa Cothran, Assistant Professor, Psychology
• Dr. Martina Harris, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Community partners are key to the success of such projects. The CASR is pleased to have the following community partners as part of the NIH Health Disparities Grant Team:
• Ms. Rae Bond, Executive Director, Medical Society of Chattanooga-Hamilton County
• Mr. Glenn Czarnecki, Regional Director, Tennessee Department of Health, Southeast Region
• Ms. Stacy Johnson, Executive Director, La Paz Chattanooga
• Mr. Bill Ulmer, Director of Community Health Services, Hamilton County Health Department
• Representative Tommie Brown, Tennessee State Representative District 28
Faculty/Staff Worklife and Diversity Research Team
In 2008, as part of the UTC Strategic Planning process, a team of six UTC faculty and staff came together with Drs. Medley and Ritz to analyze and present results from the Faculty/Staff Worklife and Diversity Study. The survey explored employee opinions in eight areas: the hiring process, the tenure process, professional activities, satisfaction with the University, University programs and resources, sexual harassment, balancing personal and professional life, and diversity issues on campus. The team members included:
• Dr. Barbara Medley, CASR Director and Department of Sociology
• Dr. Susan Ritz, Center for Applied Social Research
• Dr. Hinsdale Bernard, College of Health, Education and Professional Studies
• Dr. Michael Biderman, Department of Psychology
• Ms. Nicole Brown, Department Human Resources (now with the Office of Equity and Diversity)
• Dr. Lisa Cothran, Department of Psychology
• Dr. Pamela Guess, College of Health, Education and Professional Studies
• Dr. Christopher Horne, Department of Political Science
The CASR is currently in the process of working with the Strategic Planning Office to develop the 2011 follow up faculty and staff survey, and a companion student survey.
U.S. Forestry Study
From 1999-2003, the CASR worked with UTK on the U.S. Forestry Study. The national survey was conducted to obtain data on recreation usage and preferences using a random-calling sample. A total of 50,000 completed surveys were obtained for this study, using a standardized questionnaire developed by the USDA.