Simone Wien '16 Winner Engaged Scholarship

Simone Wien ’16, a Geography modified with Economics major, was selected to present at the Annual Engaged Scholarship & Social Justice Undergraduate Research Conference at Harvard College, and was awarded First Prize for Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation.

Simone’s research project “After Brown: Desegregation, Schooling, and Property Values in New Rochelle, NY” examined the relationship between changes in property values and public school demographics within the New Rochelle City School District following two important events: Taylor vs. New Rochelle School District Board of Education (1961), the first northern school district court-ordered desegregation, and Latino migration to New Rochelle in the late 1990s.

Using ArcGIS and trends in financial data, Simone demonstrated that whereas desegregation prompted White flight, there were no strong changes in property values, unlike Latino migration, which also spurred depreciation. Furthermore, there was evidence of (re)segregation in Latino-majority elementary schools—one elementary school is presently 80% Latino—the same percentage of White students that attended the same elementary school at the time of the Taylor decision. Using this research, Simone argued that one event of desegregation does not necessarily prevent future instances of segregation from occurring within school districts, and that the issue of “segregated diversity” persists in New Rochelle.

The research was made possible by Professor Wright of the Department of Geography, who served as her advisor, with additional support from Professor Charles Wheelan and Professor William Fischel from Dartmouth’s Department of Economics.