Washington University and Lee chosen as academic home for SHECP

University of Washington and LeeWashington and Lee University has been chosen as the new academic home of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty following a competitive application process.

The move marks SHECP’s return to the W&L campus, where the first Shepherd program was established through a 1996 donation from W&L alumnus Tom Shepherd ’52 and his wife Nancy, and where the consortium has been established in 1998 as the Shepherd Poverty Alliance under the direction of Harlan Beckley, Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor Emeritus of Religion at W&L.

SHECP has since grown into a nonprofit association of 23 higher education institutions in the United States, dedicated to preparing students with various specializations, backgrounds, perspectives and career paths for a life of professional and civic engagement that will reduce poverty and will promote human capacities and dignity. In 2021, SHECP offered 155 students summer internships with 111 poverty-focused nonprofits and government organizations. To date, over 1,800 students have participated in its summer internship program.

“We are delighted to welcome SHECP back to W&L,” said William C. Dudley, President of Washington and Lee. “SHECP’s mission to prepare students for a lifetime of professional and civic endeavor to reduce poverty and enhance human capacity mirrors ours of preparing W&L graduates for responsible leadership, service to others, and citizenship engaged in a global and diverse society. W&L’s Shepherd Poverty program directly contributes to our mission, and we are excited about the opportunities that hosting the consortium will create for SHECP and W&L.

As part of the transition, Timothy M. Diette, professor of economics and senior advisor to the president for strategic analysis at W&L, will become the new executive director of SHECP, effective immediately, replacing Jim Langford, who has resigned. of his duties in August. Diette, who has been active in W&L’s Shepherd Program as a Senior Faculty Member since 2006, served as the Acting Program Director during the 2020-2021 academic year.

As Executive Director, Diette will manage SHECP operations; develop new teaching, learning and research opportunities in collaboration with a variety of schools to build new relationships; and strengthen existing connections within the consortium. He will step down as Senior Advisor to the President, but will retain his faculty status at W&L, teaching courses that enhance the offerings of the W&L Shepherd program.

Kristin Harper of Birmingham-Southern College, SHECP Board Chair, expressed the board’s appreciation for Mr Langford and her enthusiasm for the consortium’s return to W&L. “We appreciate Jim Langford for his hard work in guiding us through two very difficult years as Executive Director of SHECP,” said Harper. “Going forward, we are delighted to partner with W&L as a new academic home. In its work with SHECP since the inception of the consortium, W&L has demonstrated a deep commitment to the important work we do to lead the development of undergraduate poverty studies programs across the country. We are delighted to be working with Dr. Tim Diette and his team to expand the consortium and continue our work of preparing students for a lifetime of professional and civic endeavor to reduce poverty. “

Diette joined the office of the president of W&L as the president’s senior advisor for strategic analysis in June 2018. He had previously been associate dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics and acting head of the economics department. . He joined Washington and Lee in 2004 as a visiting professor and became a tenure-track faculty member in 2006. He had previously worked in the financial departments of Bank of America and Wachovia, followed by a stint as as an economist for the Department of North Carolina. Returned.

Diette has lectured on the economics of education and the economics of health. In this new role, he will teach the interdisciplinary introduction to poverty and human capabilities and a new course on race, class and education politics. His research focuses on issues of race, poverty and inequalities in education, health and social policy. Based on his research, he testified before a committee of the Canadian House of Commons on the topic of poverty reduction strategies.

“The W&L Shepherd program has been at the heart of my teaching, student mentorship and research for the past two decades,” said Diette. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve SHECP, a consortium that includes a diverse network of institutions and partners with a rich array of organizations, in this new capacity. Its curricular and extracurricular opportunities have been transformational for a generation of students, and I look forward to collaborating with others to strengthen the bonds between existing member schools, their students, staff and faculty, and our partners. I am also excited about the opportunity to recruit new member institutions to enhance SHECP and continue our mission to transform poverty studies.

SHECP will share space with the Washington and Lee Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capacities, led by Associate Professor of Ethics and Poverty Studies Howard Pickett, ensuring close links and a working with faculty, staff and students in the program while coordinating internships, subsidizing writing and communications, and networking support for member schools.

“I am delighted that Tim is the next executive director of the Shepherd Consortium,” said Pickett. “Collaboration with SHECP member schools and community partners has always been crucial to the success of our own shepherd program at W&L. The possibilities for even more collaboration between our own program and other SHECP member schools – possibilities thanks to Tim’s expertise, the support of W&L and the many collaborators of SHECP – are exciting.

About the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty

The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty is a consortium of colleges and universities engaged in the study of poverty as a complex social problem by expanding and improving educational opportunities for students in a wide range of disciplines and trajectories. professional.

SHECP member schools support undergraduates as they move on to a lifetime of professional and civic endeavor to reduce poverty and enhance human capacity.

For more information visit www.shepherdconsortium.org.

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