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Devora Shamah

Doctoral Candidate
Oregon State University, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences

2007 Youth Purpose Research Award Winner

Devora Shamah is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University. Prior to returning to graduate school, she was a K-12 teacher working with middle school students. While at OSU she has been a research assistant for Katherine MacTavish's study examining families in rural mobile homes. Her research is focused on schools and youth in rural places. Her dissertation research will examine rural youths' development of educational and occupational aspirations and sense of purpose, taking into account individual, family, school, and community factors. Email:

Award Project: 
Rural Youth: An Examination of Individual, Family, and Community Processes on Aspirations and Sense of Purpose
Award Project Description: 

This research study examines how rural adolescents shape their aspirations for the future and develop a sense of purpose within their communities. The study uses surveys, observations at school and in community settings, and repeated interviews. In addition, youth write essays and produce digital slide shows. Using all of these data, she will learn more about how place, schools, and communities play a role in these important areas of youth development.