PULLMAN, Wash. — A panel of academic experts will discuss “Exploring Social Capital and Public Policy” at a forum set for 3 p.m., April 11, in Washington State University’s Todd Hall, Room 120.

Panel members include Rachel Garshick Kleit, a faculty member at the University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs; Nicholas Lovrich, a professor of political science at WSU; and Thomas Rotolo, an associate professor of sociology at WSU. James Short, a WSU professor emeritus in sociology, will moderate the discussion.

“Social capital” is a set of skills that develop from interpersonal relationships, Short said. He studied juvenile crime and its prevention, youth gangs, the causes of youth violence, and the impact of violent crime on society. During his research, Short discovered that a lack of social capital, for instance, could keep street kids from keeping jobs because they could not interact socially with others.

The other panel members bring a variety of different backgrounds to the discussion. Kleit’s research interests include public and assisted housing self-sufficiency programs; the effect of housing programs that mix income groups; and connections between housing location neighborhood composition, social networks and access to opportunity. Lovrich has researched administration, politics and public policy. Rotolo’s work explores voluntary association membership in organizations, participation and group composition.

The event is free and open to the public. The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service is sponsoring the event. For more information, contact Edward Weber, director of the institute, at (509) 335-2455.