Graduating from the Public Affairs-Community Development PhD program at Rutgers University-Camden equipped me with the tools needed to both conduct research pertaining to community development and public policy, while also communicating that research to the communities it affects.
For example, my research mainly focuses on the use of social enterprises (businesses that aim to address social issues) as a community development tool. Throughout my PhD program, I learned about the importance of working with social entrepreneurs and exploring their businesses from quantitative and qualitative perspectives in order to reveal knowledge that informs their work and the public policies influencing their work. I have communicated my research to hundreds of people through keynote speeches and talks, writing op-eds and policy briefs, and through developing relationships with the media in order to better inform every day citizens of community development concerns.
Because of my training, I am prepared and at ease directly working with entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, and residents in order to uncover information that is directly impactful to their work and lives.
Rasheda L. Weaver, Ph.D. 2017 – Assistant Professor of Community Entrepreneurship, University of Vermont