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Sociology Majors Beyond Graduation: Allison Breed
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The Department of Sociology at Samford University is committed to instruction and active involvement in research, scholarly work and community service. Students are encouraged to participate in these activities with faculty as opportunities for learning. Notable examples of this involvement are the Alabama Poverty Project (APP), class based projects in public health focusing on sanitation practices among the poor in rural Alabama, participation in Habitat for Humanity, civic education for Alabama youth and literacy training for youth and adults.

Students are prepared to enter careers with critical analytic skills giving them insight and competence. They have entered fields such as Geriatrics, Social Work, Social Policy Analysis, Industrial Relations, and Law Enforcement as well as Sociology. Graduates have been admitted to post graduate programs in numerous regional state universities including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, as well as such private and public universities such as University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, and the University of California at Los Angeles.


Poverty Simulation Set for Sept. 15

Samford's Department of Sociology and Department of Human Development and Family Life Education will host a poverty simulation event Sept. 15 in the Bashinsky Field House. The poverty simulation experience is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a low-income family trying to survive from month to month. It is a simulation, not a game. The object is to sensitize participants to the realities faced by low-income people. Dr. Theresa Davidson is taking the lead in organizing and planning what promises to be a rewarding and thought provoking evening.poverty

In the simulation, participants assume the roles of up to 26 different families facing poverty. Some families are newly unemployed, some are recently deserted by the “breadwinner,” some are homeless, and others are recipients of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). Still others are senior citizens receiving Disability or Retirement or grandparents raising their grandchildren. The task of the “families” is to provide for basic necessities and shelter during the course of four 15-minute “weeks.”

The simulation is conducted in a large room with the “families” seated in groups in the center. Around the perimeter are tables representing community resources and services for the families. These services include a bank, super center, Community Action Agency, employer, utility company, pawn broker, grocery, social service agency, faith-based agency, payday and title loan facility, mortgage company, school, and child care center.

The simulation includes an introduction and briefing, the actual simulation exercise, and a debriefing period in which participants and volunteer staffers share their feelings and experiences and talk about what they have learned about the lives of people in poverty.

Students interested in participating should contact Dr. Davidson in the Department of Sociology (