Research Up-To-Date

The Newsletter of the Urban Appalachian Council Research Committee

Volume 3, Number 2

Editor:  Roberta M. Campbell

Contributors: Rebecca Bailey, Bonnie Kroeger, Phillip Obermiller

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, send an e-mail to

The Research Committee was created at the founding of the Urban Appalachian Council more than thirty years ago and has always informed the council through active research. To be notified of future research committee meetings, which are open to all, please contact or phone 251-0202.

Please send your article, announcement, or website link to Roberta Campbell at Also, feel free to forward this newsletter to interested parties.

UAC Kinship Award Goes to Craig Maier

Craig Maier, President and CEO of Frisch’s Restaurants, Inc., received the Urban Appalachian Council’s Kinship Award at the annual award dinner May 18, 2009, at the Freedom Center of Cincinnati.

Each year, UAC gives the award to an individual who possesses the values that urban Appalachians hold dear, such as “self-reliance, independent, love of family, and social equality”, according to Maureen Sullivan, UAC Executive Director.  Maureen also noted that Frisch’s had employed thousands of urban Appalachians over the years. 

Maier is a graduate of Trinity College and has a Master’s in Business Administration from Columbia University.  A US army veteran, Maier lives with his wife, Ann, and their three children in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Updates on UAC Research

By Phillip J. Obermiller

Thomas Wagner and Phillip Obermiller recently submitted "A Double-Edged Sword: Social Control in Appalachian Company Towns" as an invited chapter for Engineering Earth, a volume being edited by Professor Stan Brunn at the University of Kentucky.

Katie Brown, Donna Jones, Michael Maloney, Thomas Wagner and Phillip Obermiller recently submitted "Identity Matters: Building an Urban Appalachian Movement in Cincinnati" as an invited chapter for Transforming Places: Social Movements in Appalachia, a volume being edited by Professors Steve Fisher (Emory and Henry University) and Barbara Ellen Smith (Virginia Polytechnic Institute).
Michael Maloney and Phil Obermiller recently submitted "The Affrilachian Connection" (a newspaper article about black Appalachians) to The Cincinnati Herald, edited by Dan Yount.

Phyllis Shelton and Phil Obermiller are conducting a demographic and service analysis of jurisdictions in the greater Cincinnati area to determine the areas in which the Urban Appalachian Council can most effectively deploy its staff and programs.

Dropout Summit June 25 at Cincy State

By Bonnie Kroeger

Cincinnati State Technical and Community is hosting a Dropout Summit on June 25th The purpose of the summit is to develop some action plans to recover those who have dropped out of school and re-engage them in education as well as to prevent future dropouts. 

The featured speaker is Robert Balfanz, PhD, a research scientist at Johns Hopkins University and co-director of the Everyone Graduates Center. Dr. Balfanz co-authored a 2004 study, "Locating the Dropout Crisis,'' which concluded that 15 percent of the nation's public high schools account for more than half of all dropouts. Dr. Balfanz is co-director of a project working with more than 100 high-poverty schools to develop, implement and evaluate whole school reforms, and is co-operator of the Baltimore Talent Development High School (in partnership with the Baltimore City Public School System).

Please join us to discuss this critical issue.  A box lunch and parking are provided. To register: call Arlene Brown, 513-569-4993 or visit

From the Appalnet Listserv by Chad Berry:

The Common Good Forecaster was released today by the American Human Development Project of the Social Science Research Council.  It explores the impact of education on communities .  Choose your state and county to see current levels of education and the impact on health, financial stability, and other life conditions.

Bailey to offer Appalachian History in Fall at NKU

Research committee member Dr. Rebecca Bailey has created an new course entitled Appalachian History Since 1877 for Northern Kentucky University.  It will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday.  Dr. Bailey can be contacted at for more information.

Research Notes fyi
(From the Research Committee:  Robert Ludke, Chair)

Minutes of April 17, 2009:

Progress on Action Steps:

Ann McCracken wants to meet with staff to look at data on Teen births:  Ann had a data map of Cincinnati as a whole.  Neighborhoods were not available.  Michael Maloney noted that the 04 zip code is meaningful for Urban Appalachian residents.  The sections of other neighborhoods that are included are useful.  Ann said that crime data is available to pinpoint every place where a drug arrest has been made.  Mike sent Phyllis Shelton homicide data but it doesn’t distinguish Appalachians.  He told her how access the data from the city website. (Ann noted that she had learned how to access data from a workshop (see newsletter, Vol. 3, Issue 1)). 

Mike can probably provide a tutorial on dropout situation. Somebody ought to do research.  John Bryant noted that schools in CPS are schools of choice and so some of the drop out rates by school has some problems as to where urban Appalachian students are.  But we can get some kind of data – related to some of the elementary schools. Bob asked if it would it be helpful to have data in a documented form.  Mike noted that Phyllis needed something immediate and in her hand.  John noted that “Gear Up” might have records. 

There might be some funds for program building regarding substance abuse.  Ann noted that there would be a two day workshop on law enforcement and substance abuse that staff people might attend. 

Ann suggested that staff to prioritize the information that it wants.  The Community Health Status survey will be done soon.  They are doing focus groups to figure out what is needed.  Someone from the research committee should be in those groups.


Roberta Campbell received an email from Louise Spiegel based on the research needs listed in the latest newsletter.  Louise suggested that several community groups ought to be contacted regarding UAC’s and the research committee’s concerns.  She offered to be a liaison.  Roberta will draft an answer and vet it to the committee before sending it on to Louise.  We need to know what kind of objective such presentations might have and this could be a way to improve community awareness and create funding opportunities. 

Ryan Shadle asked for tips for his urban Appalachian-themed composition class at Cincinnati State.   He is also developing an oral history project and wants to make it a community participation project.  Becky Bailey can do the training.  Mike informed the committee that former member Rhoda Halperin had died recently.  Maureen D is now on the board of the Cincinnati Human Relations

Ryan will be the future editor of the Appalachian Connection.  Phil Obermiller has a full set of the Appalachian Connection and will have them put in the Berea archives.   We still need someone to take on additional research-related editing and distribution or the UAC. Phil and Mike have written an article on Carter Woodson to submit to the Cincinnati Herald.

Minutes of May 22, 2009:

The committee discussed education of urban Appalachians and Ann McCracken showed some maps that she had drawn up using Healthquest. This kind of visual data could be useful for funding proposals.  She also brought information on the Urban League’s attempt to create reliable measures of outcomes.  She noted that we need to keep abreast of health care reform. 

The committee asked Maureen to have the staff prioritize their previous list of data needs.  Bonnie suggested that the community, including the youth, should be involved in determining data needs.


Cincinnati State is hosting a summit June 25 on retention.  It is free and open to the public.  Roberta announced that Lee Sanders is stepping down as Academic Dean of Miami University Hamilton.  She will be the Director of Appalachian Studies at MUH and Roberta will help her build the program.  The book on Appalachian health that Bob and Phil are working on is coming along.  Kay noted that Lindsey-Wilson is also doing a text on Mental and Physical Health Services in Appalachia. 

Becky Lee was named the 2009 Raymond Walters College Distinguished Alumni.  She also delivered two keynote addresses during Nurse’s Week – one to Raymond Walters College nursing faculty and students and another to the Cincinnati Health Department Public Health Nurses.

The UAC got an expansion grant for Americorps members.  Larry Redden is recruiting.

The next research committee meeting will be July 17 at 10 am at UAC headquarters.

Additional Links:

Center for the Study of Gender and Ethnicity in Appalachia

The Appalachian Connection (newspaper)

Appalachian Studies Association

Social Areas Report of Cincinnati

Appalachian Women’s Alliance

Appalachian Studies at Miami University-Hamilton

Oral History of Appalachia Program, Marshall University

Appalachian Regional Commission

Highlander Research and Education Center

Appalachian Centers:

East Tennessee State University Center for Appalachian Studies and Services

The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center

Berea College Appalachian Center

Appalachian State University, The Center for Appalachian Studies
Eastern Kentucky University Center for Appalachian Studies

The Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education

Radford University Appalachian Regional Studies Center

Emory and Henry College Appalachian Center for Community Service

Morehead State University Institute for Regional Analysis and Public Policy

North Georgia College and State University Appalachian Studies Center

Sinclair Community College Appalachian Outreach and Studies program

Southeast Community College Appalachian Center

Western Carolina University Mountain Heritage Center

West Virginia University Regional Research Institute


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