University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations

October 4, 2006
Contact: Joy Washington, USA Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6638

USA Youth Violence Prevention Program Making a Difference in Mobile

The University of South Alabama’s Youth Violence Prevention Program announces new projects that are changing the lives of at-risk youths in Mobile.
USA Helps to Prevent Youth Violence in Mobile---University of South Alabama faculty celebrate after announcing new projects that are making a difference in the lives of at-risk youths in Mobile through its Youth Violence Prevention Program. From left are USA College of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. G. David Johnson, principal investigator of the program; Dr. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling, co-principal investigator and professor in the department of psychology; Program Manager Shannon Shelley-Tremblay; and Youth Violence Scholar Dr. Kenneth Hudson, assistant professor in the department of sociology, anthropology and social work at the University.  

Dean of the USA College of Arts and Sciences Dr. G. David Johnson, who serves as principal investigator of the YVPP, said this program is multidisciplinary, as it supports research conducted by faculty from a number of different fields of study at the University. Disciplines represented include criminal justice, sociology, psychology, political science, dramatic arts, anthropology, and recreation, among others.

An external expert advisory council evaluates the research proposals and makes funding recommendations for programs developed by USA faculty. This group is made up of community representatives, nationally and internationally recognized professionals in academia and local leaders.

“I’m excited about this ambitious program and how the University is helping troubled young people in our community,” Johnson said. “The overall goal is to provide a foundation of meaningful change for those in need.”

According to Johnson, YVPP programs held at locations such as the Strickland Youth Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs helped determine the effectiveness of the community’s efforts to prevent violence. He also said that Camp Martin and the Girls Reaching Our Womanhood Through Healing program, GROWTH, was created to help youths who exhibit violent behavior by motivating them to become positive and productive citizens in the community.

“The Youth Violence Prevention Program provides support for research in the USA College of Arts and Sciences,” Johnson said. “I’m pleased to say there have been YVPP research projects that are helping teenagers who are experiencing relationship violence, and other projects, which have reduced child abuse and improved literacy in our community.”

The YVPP, funded on an annual basis, is working to identify the causes of youth violence while it is enhancing the ability to develop and implement interventions, which have already been proven to reduce violent acts by youths.

“One of the assets of this program has been the opportunity for numerous USA faculty and students to develop ongoing collaborative relationships with a variety of community partners,” said Dr. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling, professor in the department of psychology and co-principal investigator of the YVPP. “Community partners with the YVPP have included the Boys and Girls Clubs, the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office, the Mobile Teen Center, Camp Martin, GROWTH, Wilmer Hall, and many others.”

YVPP Program Manager Shannon Shelley-Tremblay reiterated that USA research projects support the community through mutual efforts. The program is helping to empower youths to live crime-fee lives through these intervention programs.

“This University is a community partner that’s working to make Mobile safer, while reaching out to serve as a support system for the youths and their families,” she said.

The YVPP, formed in 2001, is funded through the U.S. Department of Justice. U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby is a strong supporter of the USA Youth Violence Prevention Program and has been key in securing the funding from the Department of Justice.

University of South Alabama College of Arts & Sciences

As the largest college in the University, the College of Arts and Sciences includes 19 departments and several interdisciplinary programs offering 25 majors, 33 minors and one certificate program.

The college also provides the core liberal arts education for all University students, introducing them to a broad spectrum of knowledge in each of four main areas: the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, and fine and performing arts.

The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences are actively engaged in research, which enables them to integrate recent advances in knowledge into the classroom. They contribute to the growth of knowledge through their research, publications and creative achievements, both in their professions and in the community.

The College of Arts and Sciences currently enrolls 3,741 students. USA has awarded more than 57,000 degrees.

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