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Current Students

Emily Habeck_photo

CDA Student Wins Curb Center Award

Emily Habeck is a professional student pursuing dual professional degrees in CDA and Theological Studies. Habeck, now in her third year, is completing a practicum with the Metro Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts) where she is producing ethnographic research on local artists funded by THRIVE. THRIVE is a Metro Arts fund that “connects artists and…

Posted by on November 30, 2020 in Current Students, Final Projects and Theses, Practicum

Maryam Rehman

Practicum Spotlight: Class of 2021

All CDA students are required to complete 300 practicum hours before graduating. Most students begin their practicum placements in the spring semester of their first year. As the 2021 CDA cohort begin their placements, we wanted to highlight the range and depth of their experiences!   Below are interview responses from three CDA Class of 2021 students….

Posted by on March 31, 2020 in Current Students, Practicum


CDA Student Spotlight: Jordan Jurinsky

Jordan Jurinksy B.S. Sociology Q: Where are you from originally and what did you do before Vanderbilt?  I spent most of my childhood living in small town named Maryville right outside of Knoxville in east Tennessee, but I’ve also lived in North Carolina, Colorado, California, Texas, Florida, and Nagoya, Japan. Immediately prior to coming to…

Posted by on November 25, 2018 in Current Students,


2018 Final Projects

Of the 2018 CDA graduates, 5 completed a project for their final assessments. These projects, designed and conducted within an organizational or community context, integrate core philosophy, coursework, and field experience of the Community Development & Action program. Accompanied by a final document and presentation, the final projects account for a minimum of 100 hours of…

Posted by on May 7, 2018 in Current Students, Final Projects and Theses, ,


2018 Theses

Of the 2018 CDA graduates, three completed theses for their final assessments. These intensive, independent research projects covered a wide range of scholarly interests that intend to contribute to the field of community development. This year’s completed master’s theses are described below. Lauren Baer Foster Care for Teenagers: Motivators, Barriers, and Strategies to Overcome Barriers Forty-three…

Posted by on May 7, 2018 in Current Students, Final Projects and Theses, ,

Adobe Spark

Recommended Reads

Looking for some winter reads? Check out these recommendations from a few of our HOD professors: Paul Speer No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age by Jane McAlevey This is a book about labor organizing, but it taps into the rich ‘relational’ models that I focus on in organizing research. Discussing some of the recent…

Posted by on December 8, 2017 in Current Students

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CDA Student Spotlight: Allie Mikels

Allie Mikels B.S. Public Policy Studies and Economics   “For me, CDA was a great fit because of its focus on preparing people to be local change agents – which means something different to each of us, and yet unites us all.”  Q: To begin, where are you from originally at what did you do before coming…

Posted by on November 10, 2017 in Current Students,


CDA Student Spotlight: Hannah Nell

Hannah Nell B.S. Agricultural and Applied Economics, Political Science                 “The most valuable thing I have learned through the program is that there are tons of other people in the world who care about the things I care about and feel as much joy as I feel in…

Posted by on October 20, 2017 in Current Students,


CDA Student Spotlight: Allison Plattsmier

Allison Plattsmier is currently a second year Community Development & Action (CDA) student who will be graduating in December of 2016.  She took a few moments to tell us about some of her experiences during her time within the CDA program and her future pursuits.   Where are you from? I’m from Nashville, TN (Yes,…

Posted by on November 30, 2016 in Current Students


CDA Student Spotlight: Mike Thompson

Mike Thompson is a second year CDA student who will graduate in December of 2016.  Mike shared with us some of the journey that led him to the CDA program, some highlights of his time as a CDA student, and some ideas for the future.  Q. Where are you from? Minneapolis, MN   Q. What did…

Posted by on November 4, 2016 in Current Students

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