Los Fresnos News

UT student seeks information from SPI community for COVID-19 impact study

A section of South Padre Island as seen from the Gulf of Mexico waters. A University of Texas student is looking to speak to people who live and work on the island to help understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the community’s economy. Photo: Tony Vindell / LFN


The Lone Star State is now in the midst of another crisis created by the pandemic that has touched the lives of people all over the nation’s second most populated region, but how has this impacted its economy?

That is what group of students have been assigned to conduct research on a number of communities across Texas on behalf of the IC² Institute at the University of Texas-Austin.

Thomas Adkins, a UT student-employee, has been assigned to work this summer with the Town of South Padre Island as part of a study on the assets and challenges communities have and face today.

In particular, he said, he would like to talk and to hear from people who live and work on the Island.

He said the Institute researches the concerns of communities outside of major urban corridors and creates programs addressing those concerns.
The Austin native is currently a graduate student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, served in Nicaragua with the Peace Corps and worked with Teach for America in Brownsville.

The research includes taking an economic survey or conducting interview with people interested in assisting with the project

Adkins said he would like to hear from as many people as possible and he may be contacted by calling 512-923-2034 or by sending an email to takins@utexas.edu.

You can fill out the survey online here.