Leadership Profile

What's Happening at Cedar Crest College

Professors Report on State of the Lehigh Valley 2010

Cedar Crest College faculty members Arlene Peltola and Scott Hoke each authored a section of the State of the Lehigh Valley 2010 report published by the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium (LVRC). Peltola, assistant professor of business, management and economics, and Hoke, assistant professor of criminal justice, are executive board members of the LVRC—which consists of educators from area colleges and universities. They were very pleased to work on the annual report.

Arlene Peltola“As a board, we examined how the economy was impacting all of the different areas we covered,” said Peltola, who is in her second year as a board member of the LVRC. “This is a great example of academics going out into the community and trying to address the problems that exist.” The hope is that local businesses and organizations use the State of the Lehigh Valley 2010 report to identify relevant trends and take them into account when formulating their operating strategies.
Peltola wrote the section dealing with population trends in the Lehigh Valley during the past decade, while Hoke’s section addresses the prevalence of crime during the same time period. Peltola found that the population in the Lehigh Valley grew by leaps and bounds from roughly 2000 to 2006, but barely grew at all during the past few years.

She speculated that large numbers of people moved into the area during the first half of the decade when the economy was doing fairly well, and that job losses the last few years may have led to the leveling off of population growth.

Scott HokeHoke—a member of the LVRC since 2006—examined crime in the Lehigh Valley during the same time period and found that, contrary to the prevailing wisdom that crime will spike during a sluggish economy, criminal activity actually declined during the decade. He said there was “no solid evidence” why this might be the case.
Cedar Crest College junior criminal justice student, Jackie Hanzok, did much of the data analysis with Hoke and is listed as co-author of the article.

“She is just extremely talented. She has great computer skills, she’s very analytical, and she did a lot of work,” said Hoke. “I couldn’t have done all of the work myself.”

In addition to population and crime, other sections of the report deal with such issues as economy and employment, education and youth services, public health and welfare, and much more.

Peltola said the LVRC is currently seeking student interns. Cedar Crest students who are interested can contact her at 610-606-4666, ext. 3753 for more information.