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The Center for Rural Pennsylvania 2018 Research Grant Projects

Analysis of K-12 Teacher Demand and Supply in Pennsylvania
Dr. Ed Fuller of Pennsylvania State University will analyze trends in K-12 teacher supply and demand in rural and urban Pennsylvania public schools. The analysis will also examine the production of teachers by instructional area, such as elementary school generalist and secondary mathematics, and by rural and urban location and Intermediate Unit.

Economic Implications of Pennsylvania's Foreign-Born Population
Dr. Brian Thiede of Pennsylvania State University will examine the contribution of foreign-born residents to economic activity in rural Pennsylvania. The research will estimate the foreign-born share of the workforce in rural Pennsylvania, develop a profile of this population's socioeconomic characteristics, and compare the findings with urban and native-born populations. It will also analyze trends over time and identify policy implications.

Evaluation of Senior Community Centers in Rural and Urban Pennsylvania
Dr. Janet Ann Melnick of Pennsylvania State University - Worthington Scranton will analyze the challenges and opportunities that senior community centers face in providing service to rural and urban constituents. The research will identify innovative and successful models that senior centers are using to provide services to older adults in Pennsylvania as well as identify policy issues.

Oral Health Status of Low-income Children in Pennsylvania: A Rural/Urban Comparison
Lisa Davis of Pennsylvania State University will analyze data to identify potential gaps in oral health care for rural and urban low-income children and evaluate screening, preventive, and restorative services in private practices, schools, and public health settings. The research will identify policy considerations to increase the health status of Pennsylvania children.

Broadband Availability and Access in Rural Pennsylvania
(Take the Broadband Speed Test)
Dr. Sascha D. Meinrath of Pennsylvania State University will conduct an extensive analysis and assessment of Pennsylvania's broadband access. The research will provide a comprehensive array of new data for decision-makers by documenting the current availability of high-speed (25Mbps/3Mbps), fixed broadband services in rural Pennsylvania.

Incidence Rates and Risk Factors for Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in Rural and Urban Counties in Pennsylvania
Dr. Casey Pinto of Pennsylvania State University - Hershey will analyze Pennsylvania Children and Youth Services case management data from 2016-2017 to investigate CSEC in rural and urban settings. The research will provide evidence on the scope of CSEC in Pennsylvania and identify differences in risk factors among rural and urban victims.

Analysis of Obesity Rates for School Children in Pennsylvania
Dr. Shailendra Gajanan of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will tracks childhood obesity rates in the last 10 years, using data from rural and urban school districts in Pennsylvania. The research will identify socioeconomic and school district factors, such as PSSA scores, and free and reduced school lunch rates, that relate to changes in obesity rates within rural and urban districts.

Economic Impact of the Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania
Dr. Jayson Harper of Pennsylvania State University will estimate the economic impact of the spotted lanternfly on Pennsylvania agriculture and forests by analyzing data from a variety of sources, including the Census of Agriculture, to determine the pest’s impact on crops and forests. He will also estimate the cost of managing the spotted lanternfly by commercial growers.

Legislative and Regulatory Efforts to Control Invasive Species
Dr. Sara A. Grove of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania will assess government efforts to control the impact and spread of invasive species. She and her team will identify existing statutes, regulations and funding streams related to the control of invasive species, and will also evaluate the outcomes of the statutory and regulatory practices to control invasive species at the state and federal levels.