An MTSU professor’s visit to the United Nations will help her enlighten her students about the impact of homelessness on society at home and abroad.
Dr. Sandra Poirier, a professor in the Department of Human Sciences’ nutrition and food science program, attended the 58th session of the U.N.’s Commission for Social Development in February in New York. The priority theme was “Affordable Housing and Social Protection Systems for All to Address Homelessness.”
“Just being there was a real career highlight for me because I’ve been (interested in) this field ever since I was in the eighth grade,” Poirier said.
In nine days of panel discussions, forums, debates and other events related to the theme, Poirier and her colleagues examined the issue through the lenses of poverty, climate change, income inequality, global conflict and the need for worldwide partnerships.
“It just really deepened my understanding of the issue, brought up topics that I really had not thought about before, and enriched me as a person so that I can also help to weave some of these things into the courses I teach,” Poirier said.
With colleagues from Kentucky and Ontario, Poirier wrote a statement about homelessness on behalf of the Germany-based International Federation for Home Economics, a nongovernmental organization. The statement, which was submitted to the U.N. commission, can be read in its entirety at https://tinyurl.com/s6ytb9a.
“I learned a lot about other countries and what has happened to them, how some of them have moved backwards,” Poirier said. “One girl from Jordan told me how she had come to the United States to study … how she had to go through this metamorphosis to fit into this society.”
Poirier said she has spent a third of her career working internationally in countries that include Austria, Pakistan, India, Japan, Iceland, Poland, Canada, Thailand and the Middle East.
“We are a global society, and we need to think that way,” Poirier said.
For more information, contact Poirier at email@example.com.
— Gina Logue (firstname.lastname@example.org)