​​​​​​Yale University-Cedar Valley Campus Research Partnership

Dr. Paul Lussier Dr. Maria Boccalandro

After hearing Dr. Paul Lussier speak about his theory of values-based humanistic communications at a National Council for Science and the Environment conference in 2016, Dr. Maria Boccalandro, director of the Sustainable Communities Institute at the Cedar Valley Campus, created a partnership between students of the Cedar Valley Phi Theta Kappa and Dr. Lussier's bachelor and graduate students from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Dr. Lussier's theory is that compelling emotional stories that speak to peoples' core values have more impact than rational scientific data. Emotions will cause people to take action. Scientific data, not so much.

In the fall 2016 semester, Cedar Valley’s Phi Theta Kappa students created a database of stakeholders (political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal) from the southern Dallas County and northern Ellis County regions. A team of Dr. Lussier’s 2016 fall and 2017 spring graduate and undergraduate students undertook a research program to determine what is valued by neighboring communities.

The research results created a narrative that will help Cedar Valley's Sustainable Communities Institute advocate and promote sustainable economic development for the underserved communities of the region, reducing the income disparity throughout our community and increasing the quality of life.