Program Contact 

Colonel James Turner PHD '65 
Professor and Chair of Biology 
Science #203A 
Virginia Military Institute 
Lexington, VA 24450 

P: 540-464-7436 
F: 540-464-7047 

Shepherd Poverty Program Curriculum 

Village Children with Shepherd Poverty Program StudentVMI’s Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability integrates academic study and learning through service and reflection.
The program’s focus is two-fold:

  • to inform cadets regarding the issues related to poverty
  • to determine what can be done to foster human capabilities for communities and individuals who have been left behind in domestic and international development.
  • Shepherd Poverty Program Website


Poverty and Human Capability

Course Number: PH 303

Credit Hours: 3-0-3 

This course will focus on how best to understand what poverty is, what causes it, whose responsibility it is to do something about it, and what courses of action might best be pursued to reduce poverty. Poverty and Human Capability examines the causes and consequences of poverty in order to come up with workable solutions for eradicating it. To this end we will explore: (a) definitions of poverty, (b) various measures of poverty, (c) causes of poverty, and (d) possible solutions and ways to choose between solutions. Enrollment is restricted to cadets in the Institute Honors Program or those who receive permission from director of the Institute Honors Program. Provisions will be to enroll non-honors cadets who have declared their intention to become involved with VMI’s Shepherd Poverty Program.   

Prerequisite(s): None

Internship Information :Major Dorothy Hayden

Instructor : Professor Duncan Richter