L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs


News and events

Nicolette Zbell (at right) enjoys working with students to help them “overcome, work around or bypass,” any barriers along their paths to earning their degree. Here she poses with Diana Hall (Urban & Regional Studies) at the Wilder School May 2023 Commencement.
News / May 25, 2023

Wilder School academic advisor Nicolette Zbell helps navigate students to graduation and beyond

For 14 years, Nicolette Zbell has advised thousands of students at VCU as an academic advisor for VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. She joined the Wilder School four years ago, bringing more than a decade of experience as a VCU advisor. She says the most rewarding part of her job is helping students– but the most challenging part is getting them to her office.

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John Venuti
News / May 22, 2023

VIDEO: Exploring the future of campus policing With the VCU police chief John Venuti

What is the role of the VCU Police Department in promoting campus and community support for all? It's a key question VCU chief of police John Venuti explored during a recent Wilder School Lunch and Learn presentation. 

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As an associate professor at University of South Carolina Beaufort, Najmah Thomas is committed to providing young people with the tools and opportunities they need to thrive in the world of public policy.
News / May 19, 2023

Alumni Changemaker: Najmah Thomas, Ph.D., merges history, equity and policy

For Najmah Thomas, Ph.D. (PPA ’11), the intersection of history, equity and policy has always been at the forefront of her career in public service, policy program evaluation and academia. With over two decades of experience in government and beyond, Thomas is forging a path for future generations of practitioners.

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The VEI graduating Spring Class of 2023 were joined by Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and Wilder School Dean Susan Gooden at the Virginia State Capitol.
News / May 17, 2023

Virginia Executive Institute Class of Spring 2023 celebrates with workforce development presentations

The Spring 2023 Class of the Virginia Executive Institute (VEI) celebrated their program completion by gathering to present group project findings. VEI provides a dynamic forum for leaders to collaborate across a network of state executives committed to developing their leadership strengths and becoming change agents for Virginia's future.

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Illustration of a pharmacist filling a prescription.
News / May 16, 2023

Unequal Distribution of Pharmacies in Virginia Leaves Vulnerable Populations at Risk, Study Shows

A recent study by Ivan Suen and Jimmy Chen, both professors of urban and regional planning at Virginia Commonwealth University's L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, reveals compelling evidence of the unequal distribution of pharmacies in Virginia, which disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations.

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With the federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 ending, there will likely be fewer mass vaccination events and less intense outreach efforts in the coming year. (Getty Images)
News / May 16, 2023

Brie Haupt: The federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 ended. What does that mean?

While most might not notice any changes, VCU experts say people who face social and economic inequities may feel the effects of pandemic for some time.

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The Class of 2023 joins the ranks of more than 12,000 Wilder School alumni.
News / May 15, 2023

2023 Spring Commencement Recap

On Saturday, the Wilder School welcomed more than 250 graduates to our alumni ranks of 12,000 and counting. Governor Wilder delivered the keynote speech which prompted graduates with the charge to take on leadership for the public good, no matter their professional roles. Undergraduate Abby Houchin and graduate student Alexia Brown delivered riveting speeches to their classmates.

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Wilder School and NASPAA colleagues gather with Dr. Laurin Henry at his home in Charlottesville, Va. last month. From left to right: Associate Dean RaJade Berry-James, Professor Emeritus Laurin Henry, Dean Susan T. Gooden and NASPAA Executive Director Angel Wright-Lanier. Back row, left to right: Development Director Stevan Dozier, Professor Emeritus Blue Wooldridge.
News / May 8, 2023

Celebrating a career of public service: Laurin L. Henry, Ph.D., professor emeritus, approaches 102nd birthday

Laurin L. Henry, Ph.D., turns 102 on May 23. He was the first dean of VCU's School of Community Services (now the Wilder School) and served as the president of NASPAA. Last month, Henry recounted his legacy of passion, dedication and service to administrators from NASPAA and the VCU Wilder School.

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Professor Xumeng
News / May 8, 2023

Plan Off! 2023: Congratulations to our urban and regional planning graduate students

The Plan Off! 2023 competition was a huge success and celebration for students, faculty, alumni and friends to gather in support of urban planning. Each year, MURP students compete for a prize by pitching their solution to a real-world planning, public policy or management problem before a panel of expert judges. Students each receive five minutes to present their plans, which advance through a series of rounds until a champion is named.

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Brad Lehmann poses with Gov. L. Douglas Wilder during commencement.
News / May 5, 2023

Wilder School criminal justice faculty Brad Lehmann selected for the 2023 Oxford University Summer Research Institute

While at Oxford, Dr. Lehmann will be designated as a Visiting Fellow of Harris Manchester College and intends to utilize the Bodleian Law Library for its unique insight for criminal justice and the law to access the materials that are not readily available to scholarship in the United States

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