Anthropology professor Martha Rees and Sociology Professor Yvonne Newsome listen to Kimberly Reeves’ presentation on he research concerning attitudes toward commuting by foot.
“It’s a Walk in the Park: Determining the Walkability of the Agnes Scott College Campus, Decatur, Georgia,” by Kimberly Reeves. Faculty mentor: Professor Martha Rees
Abstract: “Many factors influence the walkability of a community, including street width, speed limit, bike paths,pollution, and gender. The walkability of a city reduces the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere and the betterment of communities by bringing people together, beautifying cities, and creating safer environments. Through focus groups and surveys, conclusions show what factors influence the walkable or non-walkable community at Agnes Scott College. Safety, weather, and time restraint were the main factors that caused people to refrain from walking further. This paper strives to understand the other main factors that cause people to not walk.”
Comment from James Diedrick: Kimberly Reeves gave an excellent presentation on attitudes toward walking (as opposed to driving) to and from the Agnes Scott campus. Did you know some students drive from the Avery Glen apartments to campus some days? During the Q&A we discussed class, race and gender issues in relation to walking, why certain streets in Decatur have no sidewalks, and the differences between cities like Chicago and Atlanta when it comes to pedestrian-friendly roads and neighborhoods.
I’m sitting in Bullock Science Center 308, a very special room today: All presentations scheduled in this room are from Dr. Martha Rees’ Sociology/Anthropology class.
Cori Bradwell-Coaxum, a senior at ASC, opens the series of presentation with an investigation of public education in Fulton County Georgia. Observing that the education of her own children differed markedly depending on which schools they attended, Bradwell-Coaxum decided to look deeper into the matter.
She reviewed existing literature on inequity in access to education and noticed that the perspectives of parents and teachers were missing. So she developed a set of questions and conducted confidential interviews with a set of parents and teachers. She analyzed the qualitative interviews with a special software and looked for the frequency of words such as “education,” “community,” and “equity,” among others.
Her analysis of the interviews confirmed the data provided by the Georgia Department of Education, which indicates that there is a huge gap between CRCT results from the North side and the South side of the county. White students from the northern side outperformed black students two to one.
But Bradwell-Coaxum cautioned listeners to see it as a race issue only. As she mentioned, class and the allocation of tax dollars play a large role in the eventual learning outcome of Fulton County’s students.