Faculty Spotlight

Steinberg’s GIS expertise takes her to Poland

September 12, 2016 by Brandman University
Dr. Sheila Steinberg poses with a statue of Copernicus while at a conference at Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

Dr. Sheila Steinberg poses with a statue of Copernicus while at a conference at Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

Brandman University Professor Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg recently gave a presentation in Europe as an invited keynote speaker at the European Sociological Association Qualitative Research Methods Network 20 conference held in Krakow, Poland. 

The theme of the conference was “Qualitative Methods and Research Technologies,” with a wide range of discussion topics, including sophisticated research know-how, digitalization, use of innovative equipment and software and thoughtful debate on practical, epistemological and ethical aspects.  

Steinberg’s presentation was “Sociospatial Grounded Theory: the Qualitative Power of GIS.”  The talk explored how geographic information systems can be used to collect, analyze and communicate data in a meaningful way to empower rural ethnic communities that face community health challenges. She focused on illustrating the theory of “Sociospatial Grounded Theory” (Steinberg and Steinberg 2015)  in action through a Latino community-based case study. The results of the research project produced meaningful policy changes of buffer zones for pesticide spraying around schools in rural Tulare County, California.

The conference was held at  Jagiellonian University, the oldest higher education institution in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe. It is famous for its mathematicians, astronomers, lawyers and other eminent scholars, including Nicolaus Copernicus and Pope John Paul II.

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