FACULTY-IN-THE-NEWS ROUNDUP, Fall 2012

Faculty in the News

This semester, a number of the School of Social Work faculty have been tapped by mainstream media for their ideas and opinions:

Jane Waldfogel, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor of Social Work for the Prevention of Children's and Youth Problems, was quoted in the 14 November 2012 Wall Street Journal about the U.S. Census Bureau's new approach to measuring poverty. She said that the strength of the "supplemental" poverty measure is its transparency: “You can see exactly what the effect of the different antipoverty programs is.”

Professor Waldfogel was also quoted in a 12 September 2012 Washington Post article reporting on the U.S. Census findings that the American middle class is shrinking to an all-time low. In the height of the recession, the decades-long growth in income inequality essentially stalled as “everybody took a hit,”she said.“What’s disconcerting is that inequality is going up post-recession, and it’s happening because the top is starting to pull away again."

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In a 22 September 2012 article for the Daily Beast, Jamie M. Zimmerman of the New America Foundation cited Associate Professor Fred Ssewamala's work in helping AIDS orphans in Uganda with their asset-building behavior via matched-savings accounts, as an example of why global poverty needs to be on President Obama's agenda in his second term of office. According to Zimmerman, Professor Ssewamala’s study demonstrates, for example, that vulnerable youth are less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior when they have even small amounts of savings, along plans to use those savings towards goals such as higher education or a small business. Savings represent opportunity, which has a powerful psychosocial effect on a person’s hopes and future outlook, he writes.

An event that Professor Sewamala held in Uganda received coverage from several major Ugandan press outlets: Daily Monitor (1,000 Masaka pupils open bank accounts in campaign to promote saving culture, 1 October 2012); The Observer ("Masaka orphans to benefit from US project," 30 September 2012); and New Vision ("A brighter future for 1000 orphaned children," 27 September 2012).

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In a 12 September 2012 CNN Opinion, "Give Immigrant Kids a Fair Shake," Charles García, a graduate of Columbia Law School and former White House Fellow, references Associate Professor Neeraj Kaushal's study of the effect of in-state tuition on enrollment rates at universities in California, New York, Texas and Utah, as compared to 46 other states. Kaushal concluded that favorable in-state tuition policies resulted in a 31% increase in college enrollment rates. Also, graduates of state colleges tend to remain in the Florida workforce, where they earn more, pay higher taxes, promote the educational attainment of their own children, vote more, depend less on welfare, and live healthier lives:

Florida college graduates will typically earn 66% more than high school graduates over their working lives. These higher earnings mean higher tax payments at the local, state and federal levels. A college graduate will likely pay up to 80% more in taxes each year than someone with no college degree. Even during periods of high unemployment, those with college degrees re-enter the labor market sooner. Florida clearly benefits from providing an affordable post-secondary education to all its own high school graduates, regardless of their parents' immigration status.