SPIA Sponsors Society of Socio-Economists Meeting

| December 15th, 2014 | No Comments »

SOS Meeting in Washington D.C. (Jan 6, 2015) On Tuesday, January 6, the Society of Socio-Economists (SOS) will be holding its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. This years meeting  on “Socio-Economics: Broadening the Economic Debate” is being co-sponsored by SPIA and promises to be a valuable and thought provoking event with notable speakers. SPIA’s own Ralph Hall, Susan Sterett, and Katie Wells will be participating!The intent of the meeting is to provide people with an opportunity to explore how their research may connect with the ‘socio-economic’ approach to economic analysis, and to build bridges between disciplines and perhaps chart new research collaborations/projects.

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Research Assistant Wanted for MI

| December 5th, 2014 | Comments Off

The Metropolitan Institute is seeking a research assistant! This part-time position will support the Metropolitan Institute and faculty in SPIA. The research assistant will work closely and report to the Metropolitan Institute but will occasionally be assigned tasks from SPIA Faculty. The position involves conducting research as assigned, some administrative/organizational tasks, as well as a range of web-based activities. Click here to read the GRA Description 2014. Interested applicants should email a cover letter and their CV/resume to MCHINDS@VT.EDU  

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Lauren Bulka and Adam Eckerd Present to Arlington County

| December 3rd, 2014 | Comments Off

Three graduate student groups in the Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP) recently presented economic development metrics and measurement plans for Arlington County to Cindy Richmond, acting director; and Troy Palma, regional economist at Arlington Economic Development. Laura Clauser, Lorita Daniels, Lindsay Housden, Allison Knox, Rosa Krewson, Derek Larson, Crane Lopes, Amira Maaty, and Adam Price are all enrolled in a Policy Inquiry course taught by Adam Eckerd, assistant professor. The student’s involvement is part of a pilot project — the Arlington Metrics Initiative – between Virginia Tech, Arlington County Economic Development, and Arlington County Economic Development Commission designed to help the county better understand and communicate its economic successes, goals, and challenges.Lauren Bulka, a research associate at the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, was embedded with Arlington Economic Development to identify key data-based questions and an appropriate metric framework which the students used to develop their plans. 

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Register now for Managing Team Science Workshop in January

| November 21st, 2014 | Comments Off

Please register now for our upcoming seminar on Managing Team Science, hosted in Arlington, VA. Please RSVP here. https://teamscience.eventbrite.com

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Mariela Alfonso chosen among the 40 under 40 by ULI

| October 23rd, 2014 | Comments Off

Mariela Alfonzo, former MI post doctoral associate, has been identified as  one of the Urban Land Institute’s 40 under 40!  This list is intended to highlight the “Best Young Land Use Professionals from around the globe.”  ULI members select these individuals from a pool of candidates in real estate or land-use disciplines.  Read the article here.  Mariela is currently the founder of “State of Place, a data analytics company that helps communities identify what is or is not working and choose optimal interventions and investments, tailored to their unique circumstances, to boost their social and economic bottom lines.” The complete list is published in Urban Land Magazine.  

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The Lessons of Civil Defense Federalism for the Homeland Security Era

| September 18th, 2014 | Comments Off

Patrick Roberts, CPAP Faculty, has developed a video on “The Lessons of Civil Defense Federalism for the Homeland Security Era” because he wanted to do something creative in presenting his recent work, beyond a journal article. He had seen whiteboard videos on several TED talks, and thought they were effective means to communicate ideas. Eager to try this out, Patrick worked with a graphic designer to turn the article into a beautiful whiteboard style story. Patrick’s article on the lessons of civil defense federalism for the homeland security era is part of a special issue of the Journal of Policy History on disasters. The special issue grew out of a conference panel on disasters and from new research on disaster history, including his book, Disasters and the American State. He hopes that the video generates interest in how the lessons of history can inform public policy today.      

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MI Wins Grant From Wean Foundation

| September 15th, 2014 | No Comments »

Click here to read the article. The Raymond John Wean Foundation just announced its 3rd quarter awards. “$75,000 to Virginia Polytechnic and State University’s Metropolitan Institute (MI)for its City of Youngstown Code Enforcement & Blight Remediation Technical Assistance & Capacity Building Project: Relying on extensive experience working with other municipal housing and building code enforcement departments, the MI will directly engage City code enforcement managers and staff in the assessment process and development of new policies and procedures. They will also conduct a series of trainings and workshops.  Phase I of the project will identify civic sector leadership and engagement opportunities for citizens to be more involved in monitoring and addressing blight in their neighborhoods. The Project Team will engage community stakeholders, including Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation and the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, throughout the life of the project.  The work will be further enhanced by regular briefings with the Mayor

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Russo on Adjunct Faculty Organizing

| August 13th, 2014 | Comments Off

John Russo, MI Visiting Research Fellow, recently wrote and article for the Social Policy website about the social teaching of the Catholic church and how it relates to university adjunct faculty as they unionize.  Click here to read the article. “In political economy debates of the late nineteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church defended workers’ rights to organize and bargain in Rerum Novarum by Leo XIII (1891). Samuel Gompers allegedly claimed that this Encyclical served as the “Magna Carta” for the labor movement. The Catholic Church’s defense of labor unions and workers’ rights continued to be reiterated and re-endorsed throughout various encyclical publications by various Popes during anniversaries of the publication of Rerum Novarum. On the national level, the U.S. Catholic Bishops implemented the teachings of Rerum Novarum in their 1919 Program for Social Reconstruction. In that document, the Bishops clearly affirm the rights of workers and their labor unions.”

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Book Review: The Hidden Potential of Sustainable Neighborhoods

| July 10th, 2014 | Comments Off

Fanny Carlet, a SPIA PhD alumna, has published a Book Review: The Hidden Potential of Sustainable Neighborhoods: Lessons from Low-Carbon Communities in the Journal of Planning Literature, August 2014; vol. 29, 3: pp. 274-275. Ms. Carlet reviewed a book written by Harrison Fraker and commented that “Fraker’s book, replete with practical wisdom and compelling examples of strategic sustainability strategies validated by performance data, explores the efforts of four district-scale urban communities to achieve low-carbon and low energy goals using an integrated approach similar to the EcoBlock concept.” Click here to read the PDF.

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Shrinking Cities

| June 12th, 2014 | Comments Off

Joe Schilling was recently quoted by Governing magazine about urban demolition. Link to the quote. “Demolishing, in many cases, is the right thing to do. By celebrating the history and legacy of this building, it’s letting go in a much more humane way.” Joe and visiting fellow Michelle Cullen is participating in the Sustainable Smart Cities Symposium being hosted by The University of Alabama at Birmingham today, June 12, 2014. Joe Schilling  is discussing “Reversing Shrinking Cities, Population Decline, and Urban Vacancy” and is being live tweeted by Brandon S. Bias. Michelle Cullen’s lecture in the afternoon will discuss the “Social and Ethical Implications of Smart City Solutions.” Local governments are increasingly striving to make their cities “smarter” by integrating big data and analytics across city systems and services. While this trend may result in operational efficiencies, it is also causing often unexamined changes in local governance – effecting the way

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