The aim of the Le Moyne College Center for Urban and Regional Applied Research is to provide an infrastructure for collaborative research that serves the needs of the Central New York Community. CURAR's strategy involves fostering dialogue and supporting research endeavors that bring together the various capacities, energies, visions and experience of faculty members, students and local community and government leaders. CURAR promotes an interdisciplinary and active approach to citizenship that includes a diverse variety of community members as well as faculty associates from across the spectrum of academic fields. Guided by the Jesuit mission of economic and social justice, CURAR's ultimate mission is to foster an economic, educational, social, political, and environmental infrastructure for a more just society.
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Urban and regional studies is an interdisciplinary field that analyzes cities and the regions surrounding them as cultural, social, historical and ecological systems. To understand these systems, urban and regional studies draws upon theories and methodologies from the social sciences (anthropology, criminology, demography, economics, political science, psychology and sociology), the humanities (philosophy, art, literature, cultural studies and history), the natural sciences (ecology and environmental studies), urban architecture and design and public policy & planning.
CURRENT RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP ACTIVITIES
Arts Covenant: CURAR Interim Director Caroline Tauxe is working with a coalition of arts organizations to develop and Implement an innovative marketing and community building strategy to support broad-based arts consumption in Syracuse,NY. Faculty Affiliate Frank Ridzi will work with his students to assess the project over two years. These efforts are funded by a Kauffman Enitiative grant. (www.artscovenant.com)
All Saints Welcome: a Study of Urban Parish Restructuring: Applied Research Fellow and Faculty Affiliate Matthew Loveland (Sociology) is working with students on an applied research project on how parish mergers affect the lives of parishioners in cooperating and newly formed religious communities. By engaging in participant observation and conducting interviews at a local Catholic parish confronted by reconfiguration, Prof. Loveland and his students will develop findings to help Catholic leaders and laity in the Syracuse diocese to handle a frequently contentious situation.
Imagination Library: CURAR Faculty Affiliates Sunita Singh (Education), Monica Sylvia (Psychology) and Frank Ridzi (Sociology) worked with the CNY Community Foundation and members of the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County to develop and evaluate this large-scale initiative aimed at improving the school readiness of children entering kindergarten in the Syracuse School District. With support from the Dolly Parton Foundation, children from birth to five years old in 2 Northside zip codes began receiving one free book per month mailed to their residence. The program was launched in May 2010. Parents and other caregivers will receive supports to promote their reading to the children. CURAR will coordinate two aspects of the project, including management of the database of participants and collection of returned books from the post office. In addition, Le Moyne scholars will conduct research on the effectiveness of the program in stimulating early childhood literacy.
View CURAR working Paper: Imagination Library: Do More Books in Hand Mean More Shared Book Reading? By Ridzi, Sylvia and Singh Summer 2011. Download: Executive Summary Full Length Paper
Save the Kids: CURAR Faculty Affiliate anthony Nocella organized this nonproft entity dedicated to reintegrating youth from incarceration to their community in New York State. It is a fully volunteer organization housed at the Hillbrook Youth Detention Center, with collaborative partners including the American Friends Service Committee, GEARup, Le Moyne College, Onondaga Community College, SUNY Cortland, and Syracuse University. The organization invites participation from volunteers and scholars. (www.savethekidsgroup.org)
PAST RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP ACTIVITIES