2023 Fellow

Headshot photo of Armin Yeganeh, PhD , Assistant Professor, Construction Management, Michigan State University

Armin Yeganeh, Ph.D.

Armin Yeganeh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Planning, Design and Construction
Michigan State University

Project Title: Satellite-based Automated Data Collection and Visualization for Mobile Home Park Analysis Using Computer Vision

Project Summary: The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development has acknowledged the critical need to invest in physical infrastructure as the top priority for the development of rural communities in the next five years. Affordable housing is a key area requiring attention. To facilitate this development, the Center aims to foster collaboration for survey development, enhance data collection methods, and acquire robust data to overcome barriers to regional research across time and space. Mobile home parks are the largest source of unsubsidized, affordable housing in the United States, comprising approximately 6.2% of the American housing stock and housing 5.6% of the population. Studies emphasize the significance of these community forms in providing affordable housing, which benefit local businesses by ensuring a stable workforce and customer base. However, there is limited literature on mobile home parks and there is no systematic data on the count, footprint, or location of these communities.

We propose using computer vision and satellite imagery segmentation as a cost-effective and scalable solution to automated data collection. We will develop a publicly available web database and GIS map resource that enables automated longitudinal data collection with minimal human involvement for recording the physical characteristics of mobile home park communities. This resource offers valuable insights into housing risks and opportunities in the North Central Region. It aids targeted development initiatives, infrastructure resilience, and disaster preparedness by detecting changes and vulnerabilities over time. These insights inform proactive measures to enhance economic well being and resilience in rural communities.

NCRCRD accepts Fellow proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year and encourage others to submit projects. If interested, please read the Fellow proposal guidelines (PDF): https://ncrcrd.ag.purdue.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/NCRCRD-Fellow-RFP-2022-2023.pdf

2022 Fellows

Photo of Stephen Gavazzi, PhD

Stephen Gavazzi, PhD

Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.
Professor, College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University

Project Title: Understanding and Advancing Partnerships Among 1994 and 1862 Land-Grant Universities in the North Central Region

Project Summary: Stephen M. Gavazzi, professor of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University, recently was awarded a conference grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). In collaboration with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), this NIFA grant will be used to host a pre-conference in front of the 2022 First Americans Land-grant Consortium (FALCON) Conference. This pre-conference is designed to focus attention on past, present, and potential future partnerships between 1994 land-grant Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and their sister 1862 land-grant universities (LGUs). This proposal seeks support for work conducted both prior to and following the October 2022 pre-conference.

Activities preceding the conference (July 2022-September 2022) will center on classifying the defining features of past and present 1994-1862 partnerships throughout the North Central Region. These pre-conference activities will include both larger-scale survey methods as well as one-on-one interviews with personnel attached to these 1994-1862 partnerships. Defining features will include, but not be limited to, characteristics associated with mission-specific classification (teaching, research, community engagement), funding sources, and evaluation strategies to date. Efforts conducted as a follow-up to the October pre-conference (November 2022-June 2023) will surround the implementation of a needs assessment which will determine the gaps that exist between current partnerships that serve Tribal families and communities and what might optimally be carried out by these sister institutions. Again, both larger-scale survey methods and one-on-one interviews will be employed as data-gathering strategies.

For more information on the Land-Grant Partners Project visit https://landgrantpartnerships.org/.

Photo of Shoshanah Inwood, PhD

Shoshanah Inwood, PhD

Shoshanah Inwood, Ph.D.
Rural Sociologist and Associate Professor
School of Environment and Natural Resources
The Ohio State University

Project Summary: Caregiving is a critical rural development issue that affects all sectors of the economy. Broadly, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention defines caregivers as those who “provide care to people who need some degree of ongoing assistance with everyday tasks on a regular or daily basis. The recipients of care can live either in residential or institutional settings, range from children to older adults, and have chronic illnesses or disabling conditions.” Caregivers may be paid or unpaid and caregiving occurs in both the formal and informal economy. The availability, quality, cost, and value of caregiving in the United States has long been fraught, these issues have all been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To better understand how caregiving currently intersects with and affects community and economic development in the North Central Region, the theme of the 2023 NCRCRD regional survey is “caregiving.”

As a NCRCRD Fellow, Dr. Inwood proposes to coordinate with the NCRCRD to lead the development, implementation, and analysis of the 2023 NCRCRD Caregiving Survey. The resulting data set will be housed at the NCRCRD and following Center protocols and policies will be used for interdisciplinary collaboration across states and across research and Extension.


Faculty Collaborator


Pphoto of Florence Becot, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Florence Becot, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Florence Becot Ph.D., M.Sc.
Associate Research Scientist
National Farm Medicine Center
Marshfield Clinic Research Institute

Project Summary: Working in close collaboration with Dr. Shoshanah Inwood from The Ohio State University, Dr. Florence Becot from the National Farm Medicine Center will support the development, implementation, and analysis of the North Central Region Caregiving Survey.

More specifically Dr. Becot will:

  • Participate in identifying the Caregiving Survey Team, an advisory group of research scholars and Extension professionals working in the field of caregiving.
  • Work in collaboration with the Caregiving Survey Team to define the objectives and scope of the survey; research and develop survey questions; and develop a data analysis plan.