L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



The Latest News from the Wilder School Faculty

Webber Awarded Grant
David Webber, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Wilder School's Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness program, has been awarded a Department of Defense grant to study the psychology of refugees and its potential for radicalization. Webber is a co-principal investigator on the $1.2 million grant, which will be headed by Arie Kruglanski, Ph.D., a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland. The project will study Syrian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Germany and Spain, as well as natives from each of these countries. The project will examine various motivational and cultural variables, and examine a possible cycle of radicalization stemming from the interplay of refugee and native populations. The project will span three years, beginning with focus groups, moving into longitudinal surveys, and ending with workshops that will contextualize the findings and highlight policy implications.  
To optimize public investment in business incubator programs, it is crucial to distinguish the effects of the program from the effects of the host region’s economic environment. This study in Economic Development Quarterly, co-authored by Elsie Harper-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of urban and regional studies and plannng, measures the influence of incubator quality and regional capacity variables on incubation outcomes using survey data from program managers across the United States. Results suggest that incubator quality variables have a stronger causal influence on successful incubation outcomes than regional capacity variables. While regional capacity is a stronger predictor for graduate-firm outcomes than for tenant-firm outcomes, incubator quality matters more overall. Results suggest that quality incubation may compensate for deficiencies in regional innovative capacity, which is often associated with entrepreneurial success. This research is expected to help policy makers more effectively use business incubators to “hatch” innovation-based entrepreneurial development.
Harper-Anderson Participates in SUNY Oswego Symposium
Elsie Harper-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of Urban and Regional Studies and Planning, participated in a symposium, "Business Incubators & New York State: New Strategies for Socio-Economic Renewal," sponsored by the State University of New York Oswego School of Business and MBA Programs on Oct. 30. The symposium brought together national, state and regional public policy experts, community economic leaders, and researchers to discuss how to develop innovative business incubator ecosystems.
Howell Publishes Article in Richmond Fed's Community Scope
Kathryn Howell, Ph.D., assistant professor of Urban and Regional Studies and Planning, has published an article in Community Scope, a magazine published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Community Development office.  Her article examines how in Washington, D.C., a network of organizers, government agency staff and affordable housing advocates have cooperatively developed quantitative and qualitative housing data to address the loss of subsidized, rent stabilized and market-affordable housing in gentrifying neighborhoods.
Four faculty members from the Urban and Regional Studies and Planning program presented researchk at the annual conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, held in Denver. Colo., in October. Meghan Gough, Ph.D., program chair; Damian Pitt, Ph.D., associate professor; Elsie Harper-Anderson, Ph.D., who also served as track chair for the regional track; and Ben Teresa, Ph.D., assistant professor, presented.
Jay Albanese Recognized by IASOC for Lifetime Contributions

Jay Albanese, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Wilder School’s Criminal Justice program, is recipient of the Senior Scholar Award from the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime (IASOC) for lifetime contributions to the field.  The contributions include research, books, articles, lectures, mentoring, and his work at the National Institute of Justice and United Nations. He will receive the award at the IASOC ceremony held during the 2017 meetings of the American Society of Criminology in Philadelphia.

Founded in 1984, IASOC is a professional association of criminologists, researchers, working professionals, instructors and graduate students.  IASOC works to promote greater understanding and research about organized crime in all its manifestations. The organization sponsors a journal Trends in Organized Crime (published by Springer), holds annual meetings in conjunction with the American Society of Criminology, and host panels at other professional meetings, as a forum to disseminate the latest knowledge and research about organized crime.

Sarah Raskin Contributes to Book

Sarah Raskin, Ph.D., assistant professor, is a contributor to a newly released book, “Stigma Syndemics: New Directions in Biosocial Health.” The book explores the linkages of social stigmatization, structural conditions and how these societal forces affect human health. The authors examine new areas in which biosocial health can be better understood by looking at how social and biological interaction are driven by stigma, through a syndemic framework.

Avrum J. Shriar Coauthors Article

Avrum J. (A.J.) Shriar, Ph.D., associate professor, has coauthored an article, Transfer of development rights, growth management, and landscape conservation in Virginia, with Alissa Akins of the Congress for the New Urbanism. 

Urban sprawl in Virginia has led to the loss of wildlife habitat and agricultural land, reduced water quality, and to severe traffic congestion. They conducted a survey to identify the tools being used by the state's localities to manage growth and protect land from development, and the factors that influence interest in particular planning goals and strategies.

More specifically, they sought to explore the level of interest in using the transfer of development rights (TDR). Almost every locality in Virginia has stated goals of protecting green space and agricultural land but very few have pursued a TDR program since it became legal to do so in 2006. However, the main tools being used by planning departments are of limited effectiveness, particularly with regard to ensuring permanent or even long-term land preservation. More broadly, they are reflective of a reactive response to individual development proposals rather than a proactive, comprehensive approach to planning.

 Rissler Publishes Article in State and Local Government Review

Grant E. Rissler, a Ph.D. graduand from the Wilder School and assistant director for programs at the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute, published an article "Social Equity in the Trump Era" in State and Local Government Review with Joan E. Pynes, professor of public administration at the University of South Florida.  
"While not yet certain, Trump administration proposals to cut federal programs, including support for low-income housing, economic development in distressed rural communities, and workforce training programs, significantly threatens resources that local administrators have depended on to pursue greater social equity. As with the 'new normal' following the Great Recession, administrators will be asked to innovate complex structural changes, including searching for new ways to generate needed revenues. These areas have both profound social equity implications and yet have received less attention from public administration researchers concerned with social equity. By necessity, if not by choice, local public administrators will be at the leading edge of innovation in these areas. By sharing ideas and innovations, administrators can support each other and advance our collective understanding of best practices in guiding structural change and financial equity administration. Most importantly, administrators can partner with their communities to defend, maintain, and expand social equity and social justice gains."

Lowery Publishes Article in Feminist Criminology

Patrick G. Lowery, Ph.D., assistant professor of Criminal Justice, has published an article in Feminist Criminology, “Plea Bargains Among Serious and Violent Girls: An Intersectional Approach Exploring Race in the Juvenile Court.”

There exists much scholarship on the decision-making process in the juvenile court. While a variety of processes in the juvenile court, types of offenders and theoretical frameworks have been analyzed to better understand the decision-making processes, there are some gaps, particularly in the use of an intersectional framework in explaining the plea bargaining process among serious and violent girls. Given the paucity of research on this subject, the present study pays homage to intersectionality by exploring the aforementioned process and group in the juvenile court.

Gooden, Rissler Publish Article in State and Local Government Review
 Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., professor of Public Administration and Policy, and Grant E. Rissler, assistant director for programs at the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute and a Ph.D. graduand at the Wilder School, have published an articl,e "Local Government: Social Equity 'First Responders," in State and Local Government Review.  

Public administrators at all levels are discussing implications of President Trump's proposed budget. While eventual outcomes remain uncertain, a recent interview of a panel of local government practitioners highlighted that when such reductions occur, local governments often operate as "first responders" in serving the most vulnerable residents within their respective communities. They run toward the potential equity crisis rather than away, in part because they see those affected as neighbors. In essence, their focus on social equity includes an emphasis on direct services as well as trust building. The panel also highlighted the importance of trust building and leadership for sustainability of social equity work and noted assessment and performance improvement as a key opportunity for academic/practitioner collaboration.

Albanese to Present at United Nations
Jay Albanese, Ph.D., chair of the Wilder School’s Criminal Justice program, will make a presentation at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City with two members of the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime on June 20 titled "24 Hours of your Life Affected by Organized Crime.” This special event is held on the side of the General Assembly High-Level Debate on Transnational Organized Crime (pursuant to GA resolution 71/209), which will take place on June 19. 

 Adopted at the conclusion of the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Doha Declaration highlights the importance of education as a tool to preventing crime and corruption. It emphasizes that education is fundamental in promoting a culture that supports the rule of law, crime prevention and criminal justice.

Harper-Anderson Publishes Article in Urban Affairs Review

Elsie Harper-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of Urban and Regional Studies and Planning, has published an article, "Contemporary Black Entrepreneurship in the Professional Service Sector of Chicago: Intersections of Race, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Transformation"  in Urban Affairs Review.

Entrepreneurship could level the playing field between racial groups and decrease poverty through job creation. Growth in the U.S. professional services (PS) sector over the last several decades has increased high-wage employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Although the number of black-owned PS businesses has grown, their performance lags behind their counterparts of other races. Black entrepreneurs in highly skilled sectors, such as PS, tend to be more educated, better financed and have more diverse customer bases than their counterparts in other sectors.

 Yet, these advancements have not translated into firm performance. This study examines factors influencing outcomes of black PS entrepreneurs in Chicago using interview and focus group data. Results indicate that racialized barriers, current entrepreneurship culture and the nature of the PS sector combine to contour a contentious business environment. Updating models of inclusion to address the contemporary entrepreneurial environment and incorporating accountability measures are necessary steps to realize the potential of this group.

Howell Publishes Article in the Journal of Planning Education

Kathryn Howell, Ph.D., assistant professor of Urban and Regional Studies and Planning, has published an article, “Housing and the Grassroots: Using Local and Expert Knowledge to Preserve Affordable Housing,” in the Journal of Planning Education and Research.

Planning practice has had to balance the adversarial relationships necessary to challenge existing and dysfunctional or unjust policies and the collaborations necessary to solve problems and create new policies. However, the complexity of urban planning problems suggests a need for a space in which to build trust, foster collaborative learning, and share data between stakeholders. This article explores the case of the DC Preservation Network, a collaborative process to address the preservation of affordable housing in Washington. It is through this collaboration that disparate stakeholders can navigate complex processes and create avenues to negotiate and advocate outside the group.

Cleary Study Finds Parents Uninformed on Youth Interrogation Rights 
‌Are parents the best advocates for minors during a police interrogation? A recent study coauthored by assistant professor Hayley Cleary, Ph.D. says maybe not, upending the assumptions about parental knowledge upon which many state and police agency juvenile interrogation polices are based. 
Cleary's paper, "Parents’ knowledge and attitudes about youths’ interrogation rights," was co-authored by Todd C. Warner and published in the journal "Psychology,Crime and Law." Based on a sample of 294 parents recruited from urban community centers, YMCAs and YWCAs, the study found that "on average, parents correctly answered fewer than half of the questions about juvenile interrogation practices" while "knowledge about parental notification procedures was especially poor." Read the full study

Albanese Presents at U.N. Crime Commission 

Jay Albanese, Ph.D., chair and professor of criminal justice, presented on the subject of public corruption at the United Nations Crime Commission held in Austria, Vienna May 22-26. Albanese helped to develop an annotated bibliography of empirical research for international distribution at the commission and represented Criminologists without Borders, an NGO that applies scientific findings and best practices to the policies and operations of crime prevention and criminal justice systems globally.  

Urban and Regional Studies and Planning Faculty Present Papers

Three members of the Urban and Regional Studies and Planning program presented papers at the 47th Annual Conference of the Urban Affairs Association, held April 19-22 in Minneapolis, Minn.

Elsie Harper-Anderson, Ph.D., presented a paper, "Understanding the Differentiated Impact of Virginia's VIEW Program for Multiple Populations: Which Program Components Matter Most?" The paper was coauthored with a colleague from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Wendy Carter-Veale, Ph.D.

Kathryn Howell, Ph.D., presented, “Staying Put–But on What Terms? Examining the Preservation of Affordable Rental Housing in Washington, D.C.,” which examines the importance of different methods of preservation of affordable housing from the perspective of residents she interviewed in the summer and fall of 2016. 

Benjamin F. Teresa, Ph.D., presented a paper with coauthor Andrew Zitcer of Drexel University, "From Creative Economy to Artistic Agency: The Role of the Artists in Urban Change".

Teresa also recently published a paper in the journal, Urban Affairs Review, with coauthor Ryan M. Good of Rutgers University, "Speculative Charter School Growth in the Case of UNO Charter School Network in Chicago". The paper examines how parent and student demand is not the only factor driving charter school growth. Financing for charter school expansion plays an important role and can increase instability and inequality in urban education.

Virginia Association of Regional Jails Recognizes Balestrieri

Blythe Bowman Balestrieri, Ph.D., associate professor and Criminal Justice undergraduate coordinator at the Wilder School, received special recognition today from the Virginia Association of Regional Jails for her study on “weekend jail time" at the association’s annual meeting at Virginia Beach. Her independent research study was conducted among jail administrators across the state and examined their experiences and opinions about nonconsecutive day sentencing, also known as weekend jail time. The research helped inform the General Assembly on a bill related to this issue this year.

Brubaker, Mancini Publish Article in the Journal of School Violence

Sarah Jane Brubaker, Ph.D., associate professor, director of the Ph.D. in public policy and administration program and certificate in gender violence intervention, and Christina Mancini, Ph.D., criminal justice graduate coordinator, have published an article, The Impact of Increased State Regulation of Campus Sexual Assault Practices:Perspectives of Campus Personnel, in the Journal of School Violence.

Seeking to improve university accountability and compliance with federal mandates, states are considering new reforms including mandating reporting of campus sexual assault allegations. These new policies remain an empirical “black box.” To address these gaps, the current exploratory study draws upon a recent survey that examines the extent of awareness, perceptions, concerns, and policy practices of victim advocates and other personnel concerning new legislation. Virginia is chosen as the state for this case study given its recent implementation of a controversial mandated reporting law, as well as other initiatives, across institutions of higher education. Findings suggest that campus personnel are aware and largely supportive of the new reforms, but they also share concerns. Implications for research and policy development are discussed.

Webber Coauthors Article for American Psychologist

David Webber, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Wilder School’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness program, has coauthored a paper, “To the fringe and back: Violent extremism and the psychology of deviance,” which appears in American Psychologist, the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association. In the paper, he and his colleagues outline a general psychological theory of extremism and apply it to the special case of violent extremism.

Webber coauthored the paper with Arie W. Kruglanski, Marina Chernikova and Michelle Dugas, all of the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland, and Katazyna Jasko of the Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland. 

Verma Receives Fulbright-Nehru Award

Niraj Verma, Ph.D., professor of urban planning, has been awarded a Fulbright-Nehru U.S. Scholar Academic and Professional Excellence award for research and scholarship in India.  This will allow him to spend four months in multiple Indian universities in the coming year. The Fulbright Program, which aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.

Gooden Elected to HOME Board of Directors

Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., professor of public administration and policy, has been elected to the board of directors of Housing Opportunities Made Equal. HOME is Virginia’s premier fair housing and housing counseling organization, offering a variety of programs and services designed to ensure equal access to housing for all Virginians. The nonprofit was founded in 1971 to fight discrimination in housing access.

Albanese Invited to Join a UN Expert Group Meeting

 Jay Albanese, Ph.D., professor and Criminal Justice program chair, has been invited to join a UN Expert Group Meeting of the Education for Justice Initiative (E4J) organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria. The meeting in March derives from the Doha Declaration on Integrating Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice into the wider United Nations agenda. The E4J initiative was adopted by the UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. At the university level E4J aims to facilitate and promote teaching and research on issues including anti-corruption, organized crime, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, terrorism prevention, cybercrime, arms trafficking, and integrity and ethics. The meeting at UNODC in Vienna will bring together academic experts from selected world regions to discuss and make recommendations to achieve the aims of the E4J initiative.

Cleary Publishes Article
An article by Hayley Cleary, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Criminal Justice program, "Applying the Lessons of Developmental Psychology to the Study of Juvenile Interrogations: New Directions for Research, Policy, and Practice," has been published in the journal, Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.

Lowery Publishes Article in Crime & Delinquency

Patrick G. Lowery, Ph.D., assistant professor of Criminal Justice, recently had an article published in the journal of Crime & Delinquency. The article, “A Multilevel Test of the Racial Threat Hypothesis in One State’s Juvenile Court,” focuses on the effects of racial and economic inequalities on sentencing decisions for juveniles.

Verma Named Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University

Niraj Verma, Ph.D., professor, has been named a Visiting Fellow of the Judge Business School at Cambridge University in England for the 2017 calendar year. During the upcoming year, he will share his work with colleagues in the Judge Business School and the Center for India and Global Business.

Baker Co-authors Paper

Natalie Baker, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness program, has co-authored a paper in Critical Policy Studies, “Disaster Preparedness as Social Control.” The paper discusses research on disaster management institutions, as well as members of the vulnerable public in an area of significant seismic risk. 

Mancini Publishes Article About Whether Mandatory Report Laws Work

Christina Mancini, Ph.D., associate professor of Criminal Justice, had a paper published on Sept. 1 in Campus Safety magazine, “Will Mandated Reporting Laws Help Victims of Campus Sexual Violence?”

CURA Presents Historic Tax Credits Report to Lawmakers

John Accordino, Ph.D., interim dean of the Wilder School and director of the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, presented a 2014 report, "Economic Impact of Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Programs in Virginia," at a meeting on Aug. 29 of the Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Tax Preferences at the state Capitol. Also representing CURA were Fabrizio Fasulo, Ph.D., and Sarin Adhikari, Ph.D. Read coverage in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and on WVIR-TV in Charlottesville.

Wooldridge Presents Social Equity Training Workshop

Blue Wooldridge, D.P.A., professor of public administration, delivered a four-hour social equity training workshop on Aug. 4 to approximately 25 senior staff members of the state Department of Behavior Health and Developmental Services and members of their SystemLEAD cohort.