Faculty Member Selected as Emerging Scholar

by University Relations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, named Azusa Pacific’s Anupama Jacob, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Social Work, as the next emerging scholar for the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC). The organization recognizes those who produce research on topics relevant to economic self-sufficiency for low-income individuals and families. Jacob’s work in the area of multidimensional poverty measurement garnered her this prestigious recognition.

As this quarter’s featured SSRC scholar, Jacob will present a webinar on multidimensional poverty in America for policymakers and practitioners throughout the country in September. Specifically, Jacob’s research addresses limitations of the federal measurement of poverty. She contends, along with many global scholars, that poverty can more aptly be described as a constellation of deprivations and disadvantages rather than the subsistence measure used by the government since 1963. Primarily, Jacob’s research seeks to advance a more holistic understanding of poverty among vulnerable populations in America today and examine the resulting implications for poverty alleviation strategies. Ultimately, this award gives Jacob a platform from which to educate policymakers about how deprivations and disadvantages vary across population groups and how to best meet the needs of the country’s poor.

Over the past two years, Jacob, along with colleague Rukshan Fernando, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, received $21,500 in funding from the New York Community Trust, the National Association of Social Workers, and the APU Faculty Research Council. Jacob has involved six undergraduate students in her research. As she and her team assess programs and policies that counter the one-size-fits-all approach to this pressing social issue, she calls for a more integrated and coordinated approach to addressing poverty that recognizes the multiple, overlapping facets of the problem.