Research in Anthropology: Carolina Across 100

Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld (Anthropology) and Elizabeth Frankenberg (Sociology)

Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld

Dr. Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld is an anthropologist with thirty years’ experience working with Quichua communities in the Ecuadorian Andes. His research focuses on grassroots economic organization, agrarian transformations, artisans, consumer cultures and local food systems. In North Carolina, he has researched local food hubs and the integration of small, sustainable farms with conventional food distributors and supermarkets.

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Elizabeth Frankenberg

Dr. Elizabeth Frankenberg is a sociologist who focuses on how individuals and families respond to unexpected changes and how government programs and policies can help them adapt. Much of her research is about Indonesia before and after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She is also the Principal Investigator for the project “Dynamics of Extreme Events, People, and Places” (DEEPP).  The DEEPP Project brings together social and environmental scientists and engineers to understand the environmental, economic, social, and psychological impacts of hurricanes and flooding in eastern Carolina communities.

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Experiential Learning

This experiential learning course began during the fall 2022 semester, with nearly 30 students signing up to work with the “Our State, Our Work” program and the selected community collaborative teams. Continued interest prompted a spring 2023 course, allowing students to continue engaging with teams.

Throughout the semester, students assisted program managers as they developed projects supporting “Opportunity Youth” at 13 sites across North Carolina. This is a population of young adults ages 16 to 24 who are not enrolled in school and not working full or part-time.

In practical terms, course participants provided assistance to the collaborative teams in such areas as fact-finding efforts, connecting county projects to UNC’s on-campus knowledge and resources, and facilitating cross-project information sharing.

Academically, the course provided a way to learn more about the issues of youth employment, young adult aspirations, and post-covid cultures of work, learning and careers and to put various research skills to use. Guided by faculty experienced in engaged research, students learned how to adapt social science methods to align with community purposes. In addition, the course provided opportunities for students to reflect on their work and offer strategies to students for translating their skills and experience for their next career steps.

Susanna has been absolutely a joy to work with. Her organizational skills and attention to detail have really helped spur us on in planning for outreach in our community. She developed planning guides and spreadsheets that helped us focus on needs, resources, participation, and invitees.  

–  Rivers East Youth Alliance (Team 13)

They [Emma and Hazel] have hit the target and fulfilled our mission. They have successfully produced a newsletter, working on 2-3 templates prepared in advance to make it sustainable and training our social media team on how to produce these documents on our own…leaving us confident that we can easily continue the work that they have launched into production for our organization.

– Communities Connected 4 Success (Team 9)

I am heartsick that our time with Jalen and Miranda is ending. They have been knocking the ball so far out of the park and scoring in a huge way with Team 10… presented ideas for marketing our work in our 9-county region… the best ways for us to use social media in our outreach efforts. On behalf of Team 10, a deep heartfelt thank you for partnering with us to touch thousands of lives in eastern North Carolina!

  – Our Future ENC – Youth Opportunities (Team 10)

Jordan and Lilia helped Team 1 create asset maps of support services available to Opportunity Youth in each of our 7-county region and shared those maps with partners. They also created video content for social media, capturing the stories of team members serving young people on the ground. Their contribution added so much value to our vision and goals!

  – Achieve HIGHTS! (Team 1)

Kendal and Jordan have been wonderful to work with. Providing a perspective and experience that we haven’t had in our collaborative, as they assisted us in both tactical and strategic ways. By providing research into our community, they have expanded our reach into our area’s schools and provided us with structure around our social media plan. We hope to stay in touch and keep them involved on some level in the future!

  – Collaboration Over Competition (Team 5)

Learning Priorities

More to Come

Stay connected with Carolina Across 100 to learn about future courses and other student engagement opportunities.