ISC Newsletter February 2014

ISC out and about

ISC Team members Diane Gavarkavich, Ashley Williams, and Selena Skorman volunteered with the Homeless Services Network to conduct the annual Point in Time Count, which seeks to count the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless in Mecklenburg County on a given night in January.

Click here to read more

ASIP logo

ISC presented alongside Dennis Culhane at a Preconference session at the Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) National Conference in Washington, D.C., in November. ISC presented on developing new integrated data systems.

New data deposits

  • Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services
    • Economic Services Division
    • Services for Adults Division
    • Community Resources Division
  • Historical Homeless Management Information Systems data from 1999-2013
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools data through the 2012-2013 school year

ISC codebook

ISC launches a new secure website where properly credentialed researchers can search an online version of our database codebook. This codebook will be important in helping researchers and community partners understand the potential uses for the ISC database as well as how to request data. The website and codebook are constantly being updated, so please check back frequently.

Click here to access the codebook.

Meet our new staff

Data and Research Specialist, Diane Gavarkavich

Diane joined the Institute for Social Capital in September after completing her Masters of Public Health in Health Behavior and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from UNC Chapel Hill.

She has five-plus years of applied research experience focusing on public health and education issues. As Social Research Specialist, Diane is the project coordinator for several projects, primarily program evaluations for area nonprofits.

Originally from New Jersey, Diane has been a southerner for the past nine years. She holds her MPH from UNC Chapel Hill and her BS from Vanderbilt University. Before attending graduate school, Diane was a CMS teacher, teaching Algebra I at Phillip O. Berry as a Teach For America corps member.

IDS research spotlight

Housed within the Office of Research and Statistics and led by David Patterson, South Carolina’s integrated data system stores vast amounts of data related to legal services, social services, claims systems, health, and education.

Combining hospital, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Medicaid data, South Carolina's integrated data system located geographic pockets of uninsured children in order to better strategies for increasing the amount of children with health insurance. Additionally, the researchers linked Medicaid datasets with Free and Reduced Lunch datasets to target specific schools for use of intervention strategies. Read more.

Data in the news:

Ongoing projects using ISC community database:

Title: Describing Pathways to Disengagement and to Success: Black Male Graduates from CMS to UNC Charlotte

Research Team: : Dr. Amy Hawn Nelson, director, Institute for Social Capital; Dr. Roslyn Mickelson, professor in Public Policy; Selena Skorman, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute social research sssistant; Justin Lane, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute graduate assistant

Study Description: This mixed methods study investigates the educational trajectories of black male students at UNC Charlotte from high school to college. The overall objective is to understand characteristics that shape educational and life course outcomes for a group of students underrepresented in higher education.

From this objective, we develop this research question: What are the high school experiences, college experiences, family background, and individual characteristics of the black male students who graduate from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), enter UNC Charlotte, and graduate within six years or fail to graduate within six years?

We will utilize these profiles to develop a predictive model identifying pathways and pitfalls from CMS to UNC Charlotte degrees for black males. Research findings will serve to offer recommendations for policies and practices, including possible collaboration between institutions.

ISC Announces New Scholars Advisory Council

We would like to introduce you to the Scholars Advisory Council (SAC), an exciting new committee convened by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s, Institute for Social Capital, Inc. Our goal is for SAC to play an integral role in guiding the work of ISC, both within and beyond the community. SAC consists of a committee of 17 members, representing 9 colleges and universities and 11 disciplines. SAC will serve the following purposes:

  • Setting ISC research priorities annually
  • Identifying opportunities for research funding (RFPs, etc.) that have the potential to engage faculty researchers and coordinating inter-agency and inter-institutional research collaborations, including an annual research symposium
  • Communicating the role of the ISC Community Database within and beyond the community, among agencies and researchers
    • Review database holdings annually and recommend depositor and data inclusion and exclusion based on data quality, current methodology and research trends, data gaps, and community need
    • Provide scholarly support for ISC Board of Directors, Data and Research Oversight Committee (DAROC), researchers and staff, as needed
    • Make recommendations regarding data holdings and research priorities to ISC’s Board of Directors, including a formal presentation at the annual Board retreat each September.

    If you or any of your colleagues are interested in joining SAC, please contact Ashley Williams

    Community feedback

    ISC wants to hear from you! What research do you think our community needs more of? What data would you like to see integrated into ISC?


    Here are some grants and RFPs that may be of interest to our partners.



    Brief Description

    Due Date

    More Information

    Bank of America


    Focus Areas: community development, education and workforce development and critical needs; Nationwide



    Blumenthal Foundation

    Application Letter

    Focus Areas: Arts, Science, and Culture, Civic and Community, Education, Environment, Foundation Affiliates, Health, Jewish Institutions and Philanthropies,  Religious and Interfaith, Social Services



    Merancas Foundation



    Focus Areas: Social Services (Food, Shelter and Clothing), Health and Welfare, Children’s Education, Vocational Training, English as Second Language, Disaster Relief; Charlotte, NC focus


    Feb. 15 & Aug. 15

    Philip L. Van Every Foundation


    Focus Areas: Education, HealthCare and Rehabilitation, Human & Community Service, and Arts, Culture, History; NC & SC focus

    Rolling; Next Board Meeting March

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


    Pioneer pitch: funding for innovative ideas that shape the future of health and healthcare; Nationwide




    Initiative on Philosophy in Educational Policy and Practice; Nationwide


    LOI: Letter of Intent

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