Tarleton Professor Reinforces Census in Rural Northeast Texas


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Northeast Texas 2020 census efforts are being reinforced over the summer by Tarleton State University communication professor Jennifer T. Edwards.

Dr. Edwards received a grant from the Hogg Foundation to promote the census in Panola, Rusk and Shelby counties. The counties have been deeply affected by covid-19 and are also considered hard-to-count areas of Texas.

Through pop-up events, social media outreach and road-sign ads, Northeast Texans are getting the message.

Recently, Edwards hosted an awareness event in Beckville, the city in the region with the lowest number of completed census surveys. The event resulted in a one-week increase in completed surveys from slightly under 13 percent to 28.6 percent, already exceeding the 2010 census overall completion percentage for Beckville, 26.5 percent.

“As a fifth-generation East Texas, I’ve observed the positive impacts of the census,” Edwards said. “From healthcare and veteran outreach to education and safety, the census affects all areas of rural life in Texas.”

Her goal is for at least 60 percent of Northeast Texans to complete the census. The overall completion rate for the state is 56.1 percent.

Due to covid-19, the deadline has been extended to Oct. 31. Individuals can complete the census by mail, telephone or at http://my2020census.gov.

For more information, contact Edwards at [email protected] or 254-307-1375.

Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 13,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.

Contact: Phil Riddle
[email protected]

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.