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Recent Publications

The Social Determinants of Native Youth Gang Involvement

Roholt, Ross VeLure, Katie Johnston-Goodstar, and Don Eubanks Published in 2016.

While youth gang involvement nationally is believed to be on the rise, few policies and services are in place to address this issue, leaving primary responsibility to law enforcement. The focus of such responses shift quickly to deterrence and suppression strategies, tactics aimed at reducing crimes committed by gangs. These strategies alone are typically unsuccessful. This article describes a community-based participatory research project investigating the presence and activities of youth gangs in one Native American tribal community in the Midwest.

Creativity Testing, Achievement, and Higher-Order Thinking in Schoolchildren

Hokanson, Bart, and William Bart Published in 2016.

Abstract: Creativity and innovation are seen as critical factors in economic growth and personal success. This article presents research about the creative capability of Minnesota schoolchildren and the correlation between creativity and academic success. Creativity, as a measured skill, has declined in American schoolchildren since 1991, and this decline will have a greater impact on economic vitality than shortfalls in science or math.

Poverty Explains Some of the Achievement Gap, but Not All

Craig, Will Published in 2016.

The Twin Cities have one of the worst achievement gaps in the nation. On third-grade reading tests, 70% of White students meet the achievement standards, while only 38% of students of color meet those standards. This article attempts to understand the causes of that gap. It focuses on family income and finds it explains much of the gap. Some schools in the Metro area have been able to close the remaining gap for low-income students of color.

CURA Reporter Spring 2016

This issue contains the following articles: The Social Determinants of Native Youth Gang Involvement, by Ross VeLure Roholt, Katie Johnston-Goodstar, and Don Eubanks / Creativity Testing, Achievement, and Higher-Order Thinking in Schoolchildren, by Brad Hokanson and William Bart / Poverty Explains Some of the Achievement Gap, bu

CURA Reporter Spring/Summer 2015

This issue contains the following articles: Reforming Teacher Contracts: A Look at the Impact of Q Comp on Student Achievement in Minnesota, by Elton Mykerezi, Aaron Sojourner, and Kristine West /

CURA Reporter Winter 2014

This issue contains the following articles: Assessing Minneapolis–St.

CURA Annual Report, 2013–2014

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) was created in 1968 to connect the University of Minnesota with the community and issues facing the state. This report summarizes the activities during the past year. For more information on any of the programs listed, visit our website at cura.umn.edu.

CURA Reporter Winter/Spring 2014

This issue contains the following articles: The Nutritional Quality of Foods Donated by Individuals to the Emergency Foodshelf Network, by Megan Harrison, Lisa Harnack, and M.

CURA Reporter Summer/Fall 2013.

CURA Annual Report, 2012–2013

CURA Reporter Spring 2013

Impacts of CURA Projects [2009-2010].

This report presents the results of contacting more than 100 people involved in CURA-sponsored projects during the 2009-2010 academic year. Each person completed an online survey that asked both quantitative and qualitative questions. The report provides community and student answers to specific questions, followed by sample quotes from individuals that provide details about his or her project and the impact it has had.

CURA Reporter Fall/Winter 2012

This issue contains the following articles: Hmong Families and Education: Partnership as Essential Link to Discovery, by Heidi Barajas, Kari Smalkoski, Margaret Kaplan, and Yia Yang / Exploring the Potential for a More Local Food System in the Western Lake Superior Region, by David Syring / Migration in Minnesota, by John Fraser Hart and Mark

Overcoming Barriers to Forest Bioenergy Production in Minnesota.

Becker, Dennis R. and Laura Eaton. Published in 2012.

As a state with no coal, oil, or natural gas production, the development of renewable energy is vital to Minnesota’s future. Forest biomass used for heating, electricity, and biofuel production is one potential source of energy that could significantly reduce carbon emissions and dependence on energy imports while reinvesting in local communities. Yet bioenergy investments have been slow to materialize despite an assortment of state and federal incentives.

Smaller Minnesota Cities Are Holding Up Well Economically.

Craig, William J. and Bruce Schwartau. Published in 2012.

This follow-up to “Trade-Center Hierarchy in Greater Minnesota,” which appeared in the Fall/Winter 2011 CURA Reporter, uses a new data set from the Minnesota Department of Revenue that includes an additional 82 cities with populations ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 and sales-tax data for a wider range of goods and services. Analysis of this expanded data set provides a relatively complete picture of the smaller trade centers in Greater Minnesota and supports our earlier finding that smaller cities are doing well.

Urban Competitiveness and the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.

Gauto, Victor. Published in 2012.

Traditionally, discussions of “competitiveness” have focused on firms or national economies. Recently, this conceptualization has been extended to urban economies and their role in promoting economic development for local jurisdictions. This article defines urban competitiveness and the indicators that are most commonly used to measure competitiveness, compares the performance of the Twin Cities metropolitan region to seven peer metropolitan areas on a range of urban-competitiveness indicators, and discusses the potential policy implications of this analysis.

Something Old and Something New: Forest Bioenergy Production in Minnesota.

Becker, Dennis R. and Laura M. Eaton. Published in 2012.

As a state with no coal, oil, or natural gas production, the development of renewable energy is vital to Minnesota’s future. Forest biomass used for heating, electricity, and biofuel production is one potential source of energy that could significantly reduce our dependence on energy imports while reinvesting in local communities. Appropriately scaled and using the latest technology, it could also enhance forest productivity and reduce carbon emissions. Yet bioenergy investments have been slow to materialize despite an assortment of state and federal incentives.

Hydrogen Generation Using Magnetite to Store Energy from Alternative Sources.

Halley, J. Woods, Andy Schofield, and Bjorn Berntson. Published in 2012.

Demand for alternative energy sources arises from the need to reduce both carbon emissions that cause climate change and U.S. dependence on fossil fuels from foreign sources. The leading alternative energy sources, wind and solar, however, are intermittent; the wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine. Thus, it is necessary to find ways to store the electrical energy obtained from these sources.

Who Seeks Home Foreclosure-Prevention Counseling?

Luong, Alexandra. Published in 2012.

The primary goal of this study was to examine whether individuals facing home foreclosure who seek financial counseling differ from those who choose not to seek financial counseling. The author surveyed homeowners who had received preforeclosure notices regarding their financial-counseling behaviors and perceptions of services received. Results indicated that older, more educated homeowners facing foreclosure were more likely to seek counseling.

CURA Reporter Summer 2012

This issue contains the following articles: Urban Competitiveness and the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, by Victor Gauto / Something Old and Something New: Forest Bioenergy Production in Minnesota, by Dennis R. Becker and Laura M.

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