STEPHENVILLE — Students in Tarleton State University’s U.S. Public Policy course traveled to Quanah, Texas, on Nov. 29 to present their research on addressing challenges in rural Texas.
The presentations were part of a semester-long project with city and county leaders to identify pressing issues and find policy options to meet them.
Seven of the 15 students in the class made the trip and presented, and they also toured the city, met with coordinators of local programs, and saw firsthand the progress being made in Quanah through public and private initiatives.
In the group were Jerry Addington (History and Corps of Cadets), Clay Botello (Political Science), Tyler Cooper (Agriculture), Michael Cote (Political Science), Lea Hart (History), Alessa King (History) and Elliot Sherrill (History and SGA).
The students worked in teams during the fall semester and, following an initial meeting with the City Council and county judge, focused on tourism, workforce development, public utilities and community services. Their research led to recommendations from federal and state programs, other organizations and foundations.
“The students had the opportunity to learn about public policy and to apply what they learned to a rural Texas community,” said Dr. Eric Morrow, Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, who teaches the course. “They had the opportunity to have an impact on the future and quality of life in this region. They gained experience and skills that will help them contribute to their communities wherever they go.”
County Judge Ronald Ingram hosted the group at the Hardeman County Courthouse. Mayor Kathy Butler accompanied the students throughout the day.
“In addition to giving us ideas and directions on meeting our community needs, the students provided a great example of how to identify and research pressing issues,” she said following the presentations. “It is clear that they will be prepared to be engaged participants in their communities.”
Judge Ingram and Mayor Butler will review the research, and Dean Morrow anticipates continued collaboration between Tarleton and Quanah in the pursuit of federal funding.
The President’s Excellence in Research Scholars funded the research with additional support from the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
For more information on the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, go to www.tarleton.edu/COLFA/index.html. To learn more about Tarleton’s Division of Research, Innovation and Economic Development, visit http://web.tarleton.edu/research/.
U.S. Public Policy students and faculty presenting research in Quanah, Texas, are (from left) Dr. Eric Morrow, Lea Hart, Elliot Sherrill, Alessa King, Jerry Addington, Clay Botello, Tyler Cooper and Michael Cote.