UW–Madison joins Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty

September 13, 2018

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has joined the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, a nationwide collaboration among 25 colleges and universities that integrates classroom study of poverty with summer internships and co-curricular activities.

Photo: Rebecca Blank

Rebecca Blank

“I have been following the work of the Shepherd Consortium since it started more than 20 years ago,” says UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, herself a distinguished poverty scholar. “It’s a wonderful way to engage students in scholarship and community-based learning about issues of poverty, hunger, health care, housing. I’m very pleased that UW–Madison has joined the consortium.”

UW-Madison is already the home to the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), the nation’s sole National Poverty Research Center, which functions as an independent, multidisciplinary center within the College of Letters and Science.


Lawrence Berger

“As a national leader in nonpartisan poverty research dedicated to producing and disseminating rigorous evidence to inform antipoverty policies and programs, IRP is pleased to join the Shepherd Consortium,” says IRP Director Lawrence Berger. “Our involvement makes good sense because preparing the next generation of poverty and policy scholars is central to our mission.”

As a consortium member, UW–Madison will offer students the opportunity to participate in the SHECP Summer Internship Program. This eight-week program pairs students with nonprofit organizations that work to strengthen impoverished communities.

Students are matched with agencies that fit their intellectual interests in order to develop professional experience and skills for future civic involvement and employment. This past summer, SHECP interns provided more than 36,120 hours of service to 112 agencies, in 17 different geographic locations.

“The University of Wisconsin–Madison is an established leader in the field of poverty studies,” says Dr. Brett Morash, SHECP executive director. “Their addition to the consortium will enhance the breadth of our programming by expanding opportunities to study the meanings, causes, and consequences of poverty across a wide range of disciplines.”

UW-Madison’s participation in the program will be administered by Lawrence Berger, Ph.D., director of IRP and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor; Marcy Carlson, Ph.D., professor of Sociology and director of the Center for Demography and Ecology; and Joel F. Clark, Ph.D., director of Professional Development, Political Science, and Sociology.