Winona State University CLASP lecture series will host professors Ruth Charles and Charissa Eaton of the social work department for the presentation “Civic Action in the 2012 Election in Minnesota” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Stark Auditorium.
Social work is committed to influencing policy that specifically affects the lives of those who have experienced discrimination and oppression. Last fall, Charles and Eaton brought the Minnesota election to their classrooms. Charles examined the legislative aspect of the proposed Marriage Amendment in her Policy Analysis course and had students determine the impact of the legislation on the people of Minnesota. Eaton encouraged the same group of students to impact the election by utilizing the skills of community organizing. This presentation will examine the experience of the students though the process.
Charles received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Social Science from Syracuse University, and has taught social work at WSU since 1996 with a focus on social welfare policy analysis. She received the Influencing State Policy Faculty Award in 2000, and has worked as an election judge since the 2004 election. An Election Assistance Commission grant was awarded to her practice to support 90 WSU students to work in the polls for the 2008 election.
Eaton has a Ph.D. in social work from University of Minnesota and has been a WSU faculty member in the Social Work Department since 2010. She attempts to facilitate real world experiences for her students on both the micro and macro levels when teaching social work practice courses.