BU faculty and students involved in Columbia County Needs Assessment

For immediate release: May 11, 2007

BLOOMSBURG — Community members can learn about Columbia County's strengths and needs at a public meeting to present the findings of the Columbia County Needs Assessment on Wednesday, May 16. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania faculty members and students have been involved in conducting the assessment and producing the final report.

The Columbia County Needs Assessment is a three-year examination commissioned by the Columbia County Human Service Coalition. The conclusions are based on interviews with community leaders and services providers, as well as a survey completed by 1,094 county residents. The assessment covers the strengths and weaknesses of Columbia County in a variety of fields, including employment, drug and alcohol problems, crime, transportation, income, teens, senior citizens, children, health and disabilities, domestic violence and geographic location.

The Columbia County Human Service Coalition will host its monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 16, from 8 to 9 a.m. at Portabella’s in Lightstreet. The cost of the breakfast is $5. The public meeting will begin at 9 a.m. with a presentation on the needs assessment. Both events are open to the public; however, anyone interested in attending must contact Jennifer Dunkelberger at Columbia County Human Services, at (570) 387-6501.

Bloomsburg University has been actively involved in the assessment, through funding as well as faculty and student research contributions. BU faculty contributors include primary researcher Dr. Heather Feldhaus, assistant professor of sociology, social work and criminal justice; research consultant Pamela Donovan, assistant professor of sociology, social work and criminal justice; and research consultant Megumi Omori, assistant professor of sociology, social work and criminal justice.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.