March 20, 2018 at 10:22 am

Welser Gets Award for Study of Rural Young Professionals and ‘Belongingness’

Howard (Ted) Welser outside with tree and bushes behind him

Dr. Howard (Ted) Welser

Dr. Howard “Ted” Welser, Associate Professor of Sociology at Ohio University, recently received the Stanley L. Saxton Applied Research Award for research he conducted with Anna Weiderhold Wolfe of Texas A&M and Laura Black of Ohio University Scripps College School of Communication.

Their work is on “Living and Working in a ‘Hipster Rockwell’ Town: Examining Discourse of Belongingness among Rural Young Professionals.”

Wolfe, Black and Welser’s research examined rural young professionals’ sense of connection to their places of work and residence. They found that people who report low levels of emotional connection and membership in either their workplace or their community of residence are 11 times more likely than their more connected neighbors to express intention to leave within the next five years.

They also examine the dynamics underlying these results and outline practical implications for community leaders hoping to combat local manifestations of “brain drain.”

The Carl Couch Center issues an annual call for papers to be considered for Stanley L. Saxton Applied Research Award. The Couch Center welcomes papers that focus on how theory, research, and/or practice contribute to addressing real, pragmatic, social problems. Papers may be theoretical, methodological, or empirical in nature. Papers are evaluated by a Review Committee. Both single and co-authored works are accepted. Works that are published or accepted for publication are not eligible for award consideration. The top paper receives the Saxton Award.

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