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Research

The SC Commission for Minority Affairs’ Research Services exists to provide critical data and information for decision-making purposes. Research Services seeks to assists the general public, public officials, the private sector, non-profit, and faith-based organizations with statistical data and analysis.

The goal of Research Services is to both create and maintain a comprehensive database of statistics regarding each of the minority populations in which the Commission serves. In addition, the research staff is involved in conducting simple to complex research, public policy analysis, information dissemination and the development of publications which accurately reflect the current status of the minority populations in South Carolina.

The research conducted by the staff of the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs will provide ongoing statistical data, public policy analysis, and survey-based research. The research and related findings involve the following:

  • To study the causes and effects of socioeconomic poverty and deprivation facing minorities;
  • To provide statistical data and policy recommendations to state agencies and public officials to implement initiatives to alleviate such deprivation;
  • To establish and maintain a database of statistical information for distribution to members of the General Assembly and other entities capable of effecting change;
  • To serve as the State’s clearinghouse for minority statistical information and to publish a Statewide statistical abstract on minority affairs;
  • To provide communities with a single point of contact to obtain raw data and information necessary for local research and planning;
  • To develop and make available on an as-needed basis specialized statistical publications, raw data, analysis and findings in cooperation with state agencies, public officials, and the general public

 

Shelby Ingalls and Kristin McFadden

                                                                                 Shelby Ingalls (left) and Kristin McFadden (right)

                                            Watch Out Clemson and Stanford University!

The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs will say goodbye for now to two phenomenal young ladies, Shelby Ingalls and Kristin McFadden, as they head to graduate school.  

Ingalls and McFadden, who worked as research analysts from January to July, will be leaving the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs to pursue graduate studies. Shelby will be starting a Master’s program in Sociology at Clemson University in August. After the completion of her degree, she also plans to enroll in an Intelligence Analysis Certification program at The Citadel. Kristin will be pursuing her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Stanford University through funding from the Department of Anthropology and the EDGE Fellows program. She is planning to focus her studies in Legal Anthropology.

Before CMA

Prior to coming to the CMA, Shelby graduated from Clemson with a 3.8-grade point average in 3.5 years. She was named to the President’s List three of the seven semesters she attended Clemson and notched Dean’s List honors the other four semesters. Shelby supplemented her academic prowess through her activity in student organizations that included the American Criminal Justice Association, Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  While at Emory University, Kristin made the Oxford College Merit List four semesters and the Dean’s List in Spring 2018. She was also an Oxford College Research Scholar and Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. After graduating from Emory in May 2018, she brought her talents back to South Carolina to serve the South Carolina Democratic Party.

Research

During her time at CMA, Shelby Ingalls focused her research on socioeconomic factors and their relationship with violent crime and property crime in the state. She co-authored a report with Dr. Coddy Carter titled Explanatory Factors for Crime Rates in South Carolina: A Statistical Brief.  This report used linear regression models to analyze South Carolina crime data with Census data to determine what factors had the greatest effect on crime rates at the county level. The findings pointed to poverty as the sole explanatory factor for both violent and property crime rates. She also completed a corresponding Tableau visualization for this report. A follow-up data visualization was recently completed that looked at crime rates and how they varied by region, racial composition, and socioeconomic status of a county. These results were displayed in another Tableau visualization titled Regional, Racial, and Socioeconomic Tests of Crime in South Carolina. 

Kristin McFadden’s research examined the relationship between school district expulsion rates and a variety of explanatory factors such as socioeconomic status, school district racial composition, and interactions between race and poverty. This report utilized a linear regression model to observe which factors had the greatest effect on the number of expulsions. The interaction between race composition and poverty was found to be the single most explanatory factor for school expulsion. School districts with a combination of high minority enrollment and high poverty at greater risk for higher expulsion rates. These research findings were detailed in a report Kristin co-authored with Dr. Coddy Carter titled Explanatory Factors for School District Expulsion Rates: A Statistical Brief. Kristin also completed two tableau data visualizations to accompany this report.

Dr. Carter’s Thoughts on Kristin and Shelby

I knew immediately when they came in to interview back in December that Kristin and Shelby had bright futures. It brings me joy to see young people who combine innate gifts with an immense drive. While they were here, I tried to pour everything I could into aiding their development. It was a joy to see them take information, absorb it, and transform it into something beautiful. I hate to see them go, but I love to see them take hold of opportunities. Keep an eye on Kristin and Shelby. They are impact players, and their talents will one day take them across the world!

From the Executive Director Dr. Delores Dacosta

It has been an honor having Kristin and Shelby as members of my staff.  The value they bring to our team has made a huge difference in how we do business at the Commission. Their work ethic and professionalism have raised the bar for this agency.  Having Kristin going to Stanford to pursue a Ph.D. and Shelby heading back to Clemson for her Master’s is a testament to the quality of talent we seek at the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. Although I will miss them dearly, I can say without any hesitation that their time and work at the Commission will not go unnoticed.  I look forward to hearing great things from Kristin and Shelby. I wish them all the best!