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Dissertation Defended, Dr. Andrew McNeely

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Andrew McNeely in his successful defense of his dissertation “Over-Churched, Under-Fed: The Culture of Religiously-Affiliated Food Pantries in Brazos County, TX”. Andrew was mentored by Dr. Sarah Gatson, committee members include Dr. Joseph Jewell, Dr. Rob Mackin, Dr. Christopher Quick (Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology), and Dr. Robin Veldman (Religious Studies Program).

Dr. McNeely’s dissertation is a study of the culture of five religiously-affiliated food pantry operations in Brazos County, Texas. This study employed multi-sited, team-based, participant-observation techniques over 34 months, collecting field note data and performing qualitative coding. Dr. McNeely’s findings show how volunteers at food pantries conceive of and embody their religious obligations in their volunteerism, how the organizations structure their operations to enable and constrain agency in line with ideological expectations, how ideology is communicated through the food pantry operation, and how this cultural landscape is shaped by macro-structural forces.

Congratulations, Dr. Andrew McNeely!