How Rebuilding Our Cities Can Teach Us How to Win Wars: Applying Community Economic Development Frameworks in Overseas Stability Operations

David Foster, President of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership in Camden, NJ, will give a talk on campus on December 6th from 4:00 – 5:30pm in the faculty lounge on the 3rd floor of Armitage Hall hosted by the Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs. Dave will be talking about his experience in Afghanistan helping to lead a task force that dealt with community development, social capital, public private partnerships, etc. and the applicability of lessons from the US & Camden applied in Afghanistan.  On his six-month tour in Afghanistan he was a member of CJIATF–Shafafiyat, the coalition’s counter-corruption and organized crime task force.  Dave’s work focused on developing key sectors of the economy and he wants to share what he learned and how it can be applied to Camden.

To view the event flyer please click here

Dr. Jargowsky’s Recent Research Presentations

Dr. PAUL JARGOWSKY (professor, CFAS-public policy and director, Center for Urban Research) presented a paper, “The Effect of Texas’s Targeted Pre-Kindergarten Program on Academic Achievement,” at the conference “Improving Education Through Accountability and Evaluation: Lessons from Around the World” that was held in Rome and organized by the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management, and the Istituto nazionale per la valutazione del sistema educativo di istruzione e di formazione.  His presentation was on Oct. 4.  He also participated in a panel discussion, at the conference “The Truly Disadvantaged after 25 Years,” (Conference Agenda) which was held at Harvard University on Sept. 14.

Affiliated CURE scholar Joan Maya Mazelis, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Sociology) received RU FAIR ADVANCE Mini-Grant of $7,500 to support research assistance for her forthcoming book

Congratulations to Professor Joan Maya Mazelis for receiving the RU FAIR mini-grant to support work on her forthcoming book: Our Strength Is in Our Unity: The Limits of Human Capital and the Rewards of Social Capital for the Poor. Her work explores the tradeoff between mobility and survival strategies among the poor by considering two groups of poor people with whom she conducted in-depth ethnographic interviews: some she met through the Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU), an organization in Philadelphia providing day-to-day support for poor people and dedicating itself to structural change to end poverty, and some she met through social service agencies. A notable difference between the two groups is that KWRU members invested in social capital as a survival strategy and respondents she found through social service agencies invested in human capital by engaging in education or job training, or gaining work experience.
    It is generally difficult for poor people to invest heavily in both social capital and human capital, compounding their struggles. People who invest in social capital have no choice but to embrace this survival strategy, but they have to abandon mobility strategies. People able to focus on human capital and mobility see little return on their efforts. Mazelis’s book proposes that poor people would benefit from policies and agencies designed to promote the development of both.

Center for Urban Research and Education (Cure) and Office of Civic Engagement Joint Seminars on Urban Issues

Patricia Ciorici
Doctoral Candidate in Public Affairs

“Determinants of Neighborhood Satisfaction: Evidence from the North Camden Resident Satisfaction Survey.”

 Friday, September 21, 12:20pm
Armitage Faculty Lounge, Third Floor
Lunch will be provided

Patricia Ciorici will present the results of her research on neighborhood satisfaction among residents in North Camden. The study focused on neighborhood-level attributes to identify the determinants of neighborhood satisfaction. Specifically, the study analyzed the relationships between neighborhood satisfaction, on one hand, and resident perceptions of social and physical neighborhood characteristics, including perceptions of safety, neighborhood physical conditions, quality of social interactions, access to transportation, and quality of public services in the neighborhood, on the other. The extent of social networks served as an additional measure of neighborhood social interactions. The study used the data from the North Camden Resident Satisfaction Survey conducted in 2011 and employed a binary logistic regression model for analysis.    

Read more about new Associate Director, Natasha Tursi

Natasha TursiFrom the “We R Rutger-Camden” web site:

Natasha O. Tursi’s life is a study in synergy. The (former) Assistant Dean of University College recently earned her Ph.D. in housing with a minor in community development from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Her research interests center on poverty and social inequality. Working in Camden, whose challenges have been well-documented, has allowed her to collect anecdotal data. The former senior counselor for the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program, who worked with disadvantaged students, says, “The students gave me the real stories, and informed and shaped my research interests.” 

Natasha first became interested in the implications of housing policy, poverty, and social injustice on the well-being of society when she came to the United States from Germany at age twenty-two. Her positive experiences of public housing and public schools in a city setting in Germany differed from what she saw here in the United States, and it sparked her interest. While enrolled at Rutgers-Camden as an undergraduate student, she took classes in methods of urban planning, power and decision-making in urban communities, community welfare planning, and so on, and that set her on the path that she’s on today. “I received an excellent education at Rutgers-Camden,” she says. “Camden is a lovely training ground for anyone in public policy, urban studies, and political science.”

Currently, Natasha is focused on turning her dissertation, Poverty Deconcentration, Housing Mobility, and the Construction of Recent U.S. Housing Policy: A Discourse Analysis of the Policy-Making Process, into a full-length book. In addition, she and a colleague in New Brunswick plan on analyzing data later this year from the 2011 American Housing Survey (AHS), the largest, regular national housing sample survey in the U.S., which provides information on a variety of housing indicators, as well as income, housing, and neighborhood quality. Natasha and her collaborator plan on writing an article based on their findings. Natasha will also be back in the classroom this fall; she will teach a colloquium on housing policy to graduate students in the Department of Public Policy and Administration. She also was offered to teach a course in policy analysis in the Department of Political Science next spring. Natasha is not daunted by the task. “I’m excited to be back in the classroom,” she says. “I thrive in intellectual stimulation.” She hopes to motivate her students to engage in research, and would like to link her students and their research to the new Center for Urban Research Education (CURE), headed by Dr. Paul Jargowsky, Professor of Public Policy and Administration. “It is exciting to have the center (CURE) serving as a conduit for urban research for our faculty and students with the potential for getting the students’ research published,” Natasha says.