The Appalachian Project, Ohio

About the Project

The Appalachian Project, Ohio (AP) is a mixed-methods, interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students dedicated to understanding the educational routes of young people in the Appalachian counties of Ohio. To date, project members have already collected background research on the region, conducted visits to 15 counties, and accumulated over 500GB of video interviews with community members. We have presented at a conference on poverty at OSU as well as at a roundtable at the 2013 and 2014 annual conferences of the Appalachian Studies Association.

The AP team takes a predominantly narrative approach to data collection, relying on quantitative data for supporting and complicating information. We believe that listening to the personal reflections of the young people and older adults affected by economic and educational challenges in the region will give us a fuller picture of the issues affecting Appalachian Ohio and lead us to new findings to assist recovery. The purpose of the project is to use interdisciplinary approaches to identify the factors affecting Ohio Appalachian students’ decisions and/or readiness to obtain post-secondary education, understand Ohio Appalachian students’ strategies for negotiating their college experiences, produce recommendations for addressing the barriers and challenges that students face, and work toward creating a sustainable educational and economic atmosphere in Appalachian Ohio create a conversation at OSU and beyond about the issues Ohio Appalachian students and the region face.

Appalachian Ohio Learning Community

The Appalachian Ohio Learning Community (AOLC), an initiative of the Appalachian Project, consists of students, staff, faculty, and community members interested in learning about the educational experiences of youth from Appalachian Ohio.

Collaborators

  • Amanda Baker (Education)
  • Dr. Christine Ballangee Morris (Arts Administration, Education and Policy) is a faculty member at Ohio State University and a faculty advisor for the learning community.
  • Calvin Beckley is from McArthur, Oh, in Vinton County. He is an International Studies major and Italian minor. Calvin is interested in being on the team so that he can use his personal experience to contribute to research on Appalachia. Calvin's goal for the future is to find ways to help the people from Appalachian communities that face the same sort of obstacles that he had to face.
  • Jessica Brunney (Communication)
  • Dr. Patricia Cunningham received her Ph.D. from the Education Department (Teaching & Learning) at Ohio State. She is the Director of Social Change at the Office of Student Life.
  • Lynaya Elliott (Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies) is the administrative manager for the Department of Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies.
  • Morgan Hall (Public Health)
  • Professor Dorothy Noyes (Folklore) is one of the PI's of the project and Associate Professor of English, Director of the Center for Folklore Studies, and Research Associate at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.
  • Cassie Patterson is the Assistant Director of the Center for Folklore Studies, Director of the Folklore Archives, and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of English. Cassie's dissertation explores the intersections of Folklore Studies, Appalachian Studies and Literacy Studies to examine the ways in which Ohio State students from Appalachian Ohio position themselves in relation to different concepts of home.
  • Malachi Pulliam (Education)
  • Lucy Ramos (Office of Academic Affairs, Public Health)
  • Dr. Amy Shuman (Folklore) is one of the PI's of the project and Professor in the English department specializing in folklore, narrative, and critical theory.
  • Madeline Stockwell (MA Student, Spanish & Portuguese)
  • Laura Thomas (English as Second Language) is a staff member at Ohio State University and a native of Scioto County, Ohio.

Non-OSU Researchers:

  • Megan Elizabeth Adams is a Ph.D. student studying rhetoric and composition at Bowling Green State University. Prior to pursuing more academic endeavors, Megan was a one-man-reporter at a television station in Lima, Ohio. For dissertation research, Megan is studying the impact of a digital storytelling project in McDowell County, West Virginia. She is eager to lend her hand helping with video production on The Appalachian Project, and to assist members in working to collect and share the stories of Ohio Appalachians. She is from Warren, Ohio in Trumbull County.
  • Jeffrey Gaver is an undergraduate student at Wittenberg University writing his thesis in Sociology. He is collecting the stories of Appalachian faculty members.

Past Researchers:

  • Krista Bryson (PhD Candidate in the Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy Program in OSU's Department of English; NSF Fellow researching the West Virginia Water Crisis)
  • Chanel Ellison (B.S. 2013, Sociology, Ohio State University)
  • Jon Fish (B.S. 2012, Business, Ohio State university; currently attending Brandeis International Business School)
  • Kaylyn Joey (B.A. Psychology and Occupational Therapy, Ohio State University)
  • Raven Lynch (B.A. Psychology and Forensic Science, Ohio State University)
  • Kimberly Moore (Social Work, Ohio State University)
  • Mason Pierce (B.S. 2012, Economics, Ohio State University; currently studying Economics at West Virginia University)
  • Erik Stewart (B.A. 2013, Philosophy, Ohio State University)
  • Brooke Walters (B.A. 2014, International Studies, Political Science, Ohio State University; currently serving with Teach for America in Oklahoma)

Project Documents, Resources, and Links

[pdf] - Some links on this page are to .pdf files. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact patterson.493@osu.edu. PDF files require the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open them. If you do not have Reader, you may use the following link to Adobe to download it for free at: Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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