Creating New Knowledge
Impactful research for real world circumstances
As local and global populations continue to grow, companies, organizations, governments and communities face changes—and new challenges practically every day. UTSA graduate student Chance Kinnison is among those dedicated to researching and understanding how to prepare for and move forward in a changing world. As a Ph.D. student in applied demography, he has worked with the San Antonio-based engineering and construction firm Zachry Holdings, Inc., where he has applied his research outside the classroom.
“I am looking forward to seeing the connection between my research and the real world,” says Chance Kinnison.
The Public Policy Scholars Program is the result of a partnership between the College of Public Policy and Zachry. A gift from the company to UTSA provides financial support for Chance as he conducts research that will inform Zachry’s external affairs department. While sharing his expertise in relevant areas of the company, he expects to gain new insight on how applied demography research influences public policy in the private sector.
“So far, Zachry has granted me opportunities to attend meetings and conferences that have to do with community engagement, demography and public policy, including a talk put on by the Texas Tribune about demographic change and the digital divide. These are all subjects of my research,” he says.
With a background in cultural anthropology, environmental science and policy as well as geography, Chance understands people, places, cultures and their influences. Using this internship opportunity to focus on how demographic and policy research can inform the business community, he is working toward fulfilling his purpose of providing people with “the information they need to make the right decisions” in a rapidly changing world.
“It remains to be seen exactly what form that information will take, but I’m definitely in a good place with the right support to develop the understanding and connections that are meaningful for all of us,” he says.
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