Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Communication Studies

First Advisor

Darrin K. Hicks, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Luis Leon

Third Advisor

Kate Willink


Community engagement, Food access, Food desert, Impact, Philantrophy, Storytelling


Forwarding a narrative framework of philanthropic impact this thesis problematizes the evaluation methods used by social engagement organizations to measure the impact or change that they are contributing to in a community. By focusing on the example of food access, and the corresponding language of the "food desert", this project locates the power to control the framing of social issues in the hands of funders as opposed to those who experience the real life effects of living in poverty or resource-poor communities. This process then lets the philanthropists set a goal and meet that goal without ever truly communicating or understanding the complexity of factors that affect a community politic. Instead, by looking to the community's stories of a social concern an engagement plan can better reflect the needs and interests of that community.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jonathan F. Denzler


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

114 p.


Rhetoric, Communication, Philosophy