Rural sociology grad students win honors for M.S. theses

By Maggie Smith / Aug 31, 2018 2:33:58 PM

Auburn rural sociology graduate students Lindy Olive and James Patterson III claimed two of the three master’s thesis awards the Rural Sociological Society presented during its recent annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. As winners, the two received $2,000 cash awards.

In her thesis, “Better than Blue Apron: Creating a community-based meal kit program,” Olive determined that Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program users would be interested in purchasing meal kits containing pre-chopped and pre-apportioned SNAP-approved ingredients if such kits were available in their local grocery stores. Olive will graduate with her master’s degree in December.

Patterson, who was awarded his M.S. in August, focused his research on heir property in the South by conducting a case study of Wilcox County’s Gees Bend community. Heir property is created when a landowner dies without a will and the property is passed from one generation to the next, with no one having clear title. Specifically, Patterson focused on obstacles African-American heir property owners there encounter in accessing government programs, getting mortgages or using the land as collateral to start a business.

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