Dr. Jennifer Shea Receives Prestigious University Award

Dr. Jennifer Shea of the Department of Public Administration was just awarded the prestigious President’s Award here at SF State.   Under this award, she will be granted one full semester’s leave, starting in Fall 2012, to work on a project of her choosing.   This award program is intended to help assistant professors complete important research projects so that they can be ready to apply for tenure and promotion.   

This project, titled Community Resilience: A  Methodological Contribution to Measuring Community, makes an important methodological contribution to current scholarly debates about community resilience, a concept currently popular in policy and planning circles.

While most researchers use administrative units like county and municipal jurisdictions to establish the boundaries of communities whose resilience is in question, making the boundaries of community coterminous with city or county borders may mask important community boundaries within those borders, as well as inequities in access to resources, opportunities, and power.  Understanding those inequities can provide important insights about differences in the resilience of various communities, with implications for social justice.

This study proposes to address two related methodological questions:  (1) how can communities of resilience within city or county borders be empirically defined?  and (2) what measures can be used to describe the characteristics of these communities of resilience and assess the relationships within and among them?

To that end, the study will develop a methodology for establishing empirically-informed boundaries of communities of resilience in the City and County of San Francisco and depict how relationships among organizations in and across those communities are patterned.  Once this methodological approach is developed in San Francisco, it can be refined and tested in other cities.

To strengthen her proposal, Dr. Shea built on the experience of a grant she received last year, to spend a week last summer studying a new research methodology, social network analysis;  this technique will be used in her project.


3 Responses

  1. Awesome, CONGRATULATIONS Dr. Shea!! You are so deserving of this award.

  2. Just saw this. Great accomplishment and research, Dr. Shea!

  3. Congratulations!!!

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