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MTSU professor takes global approach to homelessne...

MTSU professor takes global approach to homelessness during visit to UN

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.”

Sandra Poirier, right, professor of nutrition and food science at MTSU, shows off her credentials at the 58th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development held in February in New York. At left is Mary Ann Remsen, an adjunct faculty member in the College of Doctoral Studies at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. (Photo submitted)

Dr. Sandra Poirier, right, professor of nutrition and food science at MTSU, shows off her credentials at the 58th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development held in February in New York. At left is Dr. Mary Ann Remsen, senior adjunct chair at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz. (Photo submitted)

“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.”

Department of Human Sciences logoPoirier 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 sandra.poirier@mtsu.edu.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Sandra Poirier, left, a professor of nutrition and food science at MTSU, poses with colleagues at the 58th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development held in February in New York. From Poirier's left are Mary Ann Remsen, senior adjunct chair, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Ariz.; Peggy O'Neil, lecturer and adjunct research professor of human ecology, Brescia University College, London, Ontario, Canada; and Gwendolyn Hustvedt, acting president of the International Federation for Home Economics and a professor of textiles at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. (Photo submitted)

Dr. Sandra Poirier, left, a professor of nutrition and food science at MTSU, poses with colleagues at the 58th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development held in February in New York. From Poirier’s left are Dr. Mary Ann Remsen, senior adjunct chair, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Ariz.; Dr. Peggy O’Neil, lecturer and adjunct research professor of human ecology, Brescia University College, London, Ontario, Canada; and Dr. Gwendolyn Hustvedt, acting president of the International Federation for Home Economics and a professor of textiles at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. (Photo submitted)


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