Danny White Passes proposal defense

Danny White, PGG PhD candidate, passed his proposal defense on Monday, November 13, 2017.  The title of his dissertation is:  “Sport and Social Capital:  Perceptions of Civil Society Organizations in Kigali, Rwanda”.  His committee includes:  Chair, Max Stephenson (Director of IPG), David Kniola (Professor School of Education), John Dooley (CEO of Virginia Tech Foundation),and Jocelyn Widmer (Director for Online Degree Programs at U of Florida).  Congratulations Danny and best wishes as you progress through the next phase of your PhD work!

New Soundings Commentary

Note to Readers: I originally prepared this week’s Soundings as remarks I delivered as a keynote address at the Global Leadership, Empowerment and Diversity Summit held in Arlington, Va. on October 18-19, 2017. I have edited them lightly for publication. MOS.

Max Stephenson’s latest Soundings commentary has been posted:  Reflections on Capacity Building and Community Change.

 Thank you for reading and enjoy!

ASPECT 2018 Graduate Conference – Call for papers

Across disciplinary boundaries, the 2018 ASPECT graduate conference seeks to tackle the topic of interdisciplinarity in the humanities and the social sciences, the opportunities interdisciplinary learning, researching, and teaching offer, and the challenges interdisciplinary programs present from a variety of perspectives including scholarship, publication, teaching and mentoring, and diversity and inclusivity. Graduate students at any level and irrespective of disciplinary affiliation are encouraged to submit abstracts of approximately 300 words based on papers that engage topics related to artistic, aesthetic, social, political, philosophical, cultural, theoretical, ethical, educational, and critical concerns.

We invite papers that engage a variety of contemporary issues about interdisciplinarity as the interdisciplinary and theory-oriented ASPECT PhD program at Virginia Tech celebrates its 10th anniversary with this conference.

Possible paper topics may include but are not limited to: the body and politics; critical approaches to technology and aesthetics; ecological and environmental issues; gender and sexuality; geopolitics and international relations; identity politics; marginalized knowledges; moral and political philosophy; new materialities; writing and history; postcolonialism; post-Marxism and ideology; race and politics; religion and secularity; minority studies; critical security studies; critical pedagogy; and violence and representation.

For more information, visit our conference website at https://aspectconference.wordpress.com/.

American Association of Geographers (AAG) 2018 Conference

American Association of Geographers annual conference, 10th to 14th April 2018, New Orleans.

With the theme of the 2018 AAG conference being Black Geographies and Geographies of Struggle and the Association’s concern with engagement outside of its academy thresholds, we are seeking papers from academics and practitioners from across the geography, arts and community development disciplines and sectors to form a three-part whole-day session on these issues.

Session 1 will focus on practice-based research;

Session 2, on theory and its application in this regard

Session 3, on practice and practitioners.

We are seeking contributions from a global field from all settings; urban, suburban and rural. We are especially interested in contributions from practitioners and ‘non-academics’ and in directly including the community voice in the paper presentations. We aim to include both qualitative and quantitative research and project evaluations, as well as methodologies, and critiques of the same.

Those participating will also be invited to join a dialogue space throughout the conference (located centrally at conference), curated and programmed from session contributors (as available and willing) and from local arts, community development and activist organisations and communities of practice. A pre-conference tour of local organisations and practitioners is also to be programmed in this strand of activity.

Respondees to this CfP are invited to indicate if they would like to play a role in or have content to suggest/add to this wider programme. Please submit an abstract for consideration, of no more than 250 words, by 12 pm 5th November, to both cara@caracourage.net and anita@smartlab-ie.com. Successful applicants will be informed by 6th November for their timely registration to AAG 2017 by 8th November.

If you anticipate now that you are not able to make the conference registration deadline, we encourage you to submit an abstract anyway for our consideration as we aim to accommodate later registration.

We cannot offer funding for attendance at the conference at this time so responses to this CfP should be made on this basis, though some registration fees may be accommodated. For all information relating to the conference and its registrations deadlines (8th November 2017), please visit: http://annualmeeting.aag.org.

Community Voices presents Carolyn Zelikow and Brad Stephens

Carolyn Zelikow and Brad Stephens at the Goodwin Hall Rm 125

Monday, November 6, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

“Exploring the Dynamics of Community”

On Monday November 6, 2017 @ 7:00 PM, Community Voices will present Carolyn Zelikow, Associate Director of National Programs, The Aspen Institute; Founder of the Hometown Summit, TomTom Founders Festival and Brad Stephens, Director of the CoLab; Lead Planner of CityWorks (X)po in Roanoke, Va.

Carolyn was the Assistant Director and first employee of Tom Tom Founders Festival, a civic venture fostering culture and entrepreneurship in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, which drew over 18,000 attendees in 2017 and has seeded nearly $3 million to new ventures since its inception in 2012. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2012 with a B.A. in English Language and Literature.

Brad has spent the past several years helping foster the social change and entrepreneurship community in Roanoke and building innovative community solutions. Along with being the founder of Big Lick SOUP, a co-founder of Noke Codes and helping put on CityWorks (X)po, he is always looking for new community development projects that can help improve the places we call home. Brad earned M.S. in Forestry at Virginia Tech with a focus on community collaborations in sustainable development.

Carolyn and Brad will be exploring the dynamics of civic and business entrepreneurship and community change processes.