Reducing Poverty

For January 16, 2019        
Hi WN@TL Fans,
From the Psalmist to the Beatitudes,  from Charles Dickens to John Steinbeck,  from the Framers to the newborn Congress, the poor have always among us, with us, of us, or just plain us.  
We celebrate as public heroes characters like Ronald Reagan or Horatio Alger who bootstrap themselves up out of poverty.  We reserve a peculiar vintage of vitriol for those so unfortunate—and most likely so lazy—to remain unfortunate, lounging about in their hammocks.  
So it takes scholars of a particular mettle to explore why some people can accumulate and hoard gold, while seemingly hordes of others can barely keep a sliver of silver.
This week (January 16) Hilary Shager of the Institute for Research on Poverty will be here to share IRP’s research to advance the understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality, and to find ways to reduce poverty and advance justice.  
Here’s how Dr. Shager describes her talk, entitled “Reducing Poverty via Researcher, Practitioner, and Community Partnerships.”
For over 50 years, the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at UW-Madison has worked to advance the understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality by producing rigorous research, training scholars, engaging with policymakers and practitioners, and widely disseminating evidence. 
IRP is the sole federally funded National Poverty Research Center in the United States, and also engages policymakers and practitioners through its partnerships with Wisconsin state agencies to build shared research agendas and lead efforts to use integrated administrative data to facilitate evidence-based policymaking and practice. 
IRP also recently embarked on an exciting new initiative connecting UW and the community—DreamUp Wisconsin—an ideation challenge funded by Schmidt Futures with the goal of increasing the income of 10,000 Dane County households by 10% by the year 2020. Through all of these efforts, IRP learns from its partners, and helps bring rigorous scientific evidence to bear on some of society’s thorniest problems.

Hilary Shager is the Associate Director of Programs and Management at the University of Wisconsin (UW) Institute for Research on Poverty, where she oversees day-to-day operations of the Institute, facilitates research and data sharing contracts with Wisconsin state agencies, and is the project manager for the new DreamUp Wisconsin initiative. 
From 2014 to 2018, she served as the Associate Director of the UW La Follette School of Public Affairs, responsible for administrative oversight of the school’s activities; educational programming; and teaching professional development, evidence-based policymaking, and program evaluation. 
While at La Follette, she also directed the Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars and Committee Connect, outreach programs with the Wisconsin State Legislature. Previously, she worked as a research analyst at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, where she designed and conducted evaluations of the state’s early care and education, child welfare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and child support programs. 
She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received her Ph.D. in public policy with a minor in education sciences, and Master of Public Affairs.
I note that the word “luck” in English translates to “fortune” in French, while the word “work” in English translates to “travail” in French.
In high school I took four years of French, and since then French has taken me — to memorable places and to memorable people. It has also let me grasp at appositional ideas. 
For example, Hilary’s research reminds me that the higher aspiration of public higher education is not just to enable a few to lift themselves up out of poverty, but rather to end poverty for all. 
Next week (January 23) ice flows—sometimes til it forms ice floes—and the land remembers in scars and eskers.  Luke Zoet of Geosciences will speak to us of Mysteries of glacial Slip and Landform Development. 
Hope to see you soon at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab.
Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Cooperative Extension