USC Columbia Internship Forum 2017

A Community of Connection

Ethical Responsibility in Weighing Social Media: Staying Informed as the Media Explodes

A Community of Connection

Jennie Ann Cole (PhD Student)

Making Change Happen

Jennie Ann Cole is passionate about working for and with the chronically homeless population. She first became interested in this group while working as a development director for the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte, NC. “As a development director, I always enjoyed talking with people and learning what their needs really are,” Cole said. “Engaging with people and learning about their struggles is what inspires me.” 

As a PhD student, Cole hopes to conduct community-engaged research that creates change for those who have been otherwise overlooked by society. Cole envisions narrative and storytelling as a means to empowerment, and so as part of her dissertation, she hopes to create an oral history class at the Urban Ministry Center. But she also thinks change comes with the concrete provision of housing. Thus, she wants to conduct research regarding “housing first” initiatives. These initiatives view housing as the first step toward stability for the chronically homeless and therefore provide housing without stipulations of employment, sobriety, and so on. “I would hope that by the end of my lifetime, I would’ve helped people tell their stories and live a life in housing, not fearing for their lives every night,” she said. 

Research Interests

Jennie Ann Cole’s current research interests are around housing first initiatives for chronically homeless populations. She is also interested in qualitative research methods, specifically narrative analysis and Photovoice. 

Publications and Presentations

  • Savage, T, Cole, J.A. & Smith, C. (2012, March). Social Work, Social Work History & The Occupy Movement. Presented at the NASW-SC Spring Symposium. Columbia, South Carolina. 
  • Workman L.M., Freedman D.A., Pitner R., Smallwood S., Cole J.A., Hunter J., Webb K. (2012, March). Cultivating a Vision for an Urban Community Garden. Poster session presented at the annual symposium of the University of South Carolina's Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, Columbia, SC.  
  • Savage, T, Cole, J.A. & Smith, C. (2012, April). Social Work, Social Work History & The Occupy Movement. Presented to the Faculty and Students at the College of Social Work by invitation, Columbia, South Carolina.

Other Activities or Awards

  • Conducted an Assessment of the impact of Hope VI on the lives of the Residents in the Piedmont Courts Housing Development for the Charlotte Housing Authority
  • Conducted a needs assessment of Gaston, Lincoln, and Cleveland Counties for the area mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse authority through the Center for Applied Research in Charlotte, NC.
  • Conducted an assessment of the Mecklenburg County’s ability to read, write and speak English at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society for the Center for Applied Research in Charlotte, NC.
  • Conducted ethnographic study on the homeless population served at the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte, NC

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