Wilder School Builds Presence at Leading Policy Conference
November 16, 2018
By Tiffany Murray-Robertson
A notably diverse sampling of faculty, students and researchers from the Wilder School’s core academic programs and Centers for Public Policy (CPP) traveled to the annual Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Fall Research Conference in Washington, D.C. Overall, nine members of the Wilder School community participated as presenters, exhibitors and hosts of featured conference events.
A perennial favorite, APPAM brings together researchers from an array of disciplines, as well as practitioners and policymakers to share their insights on important current and emerging policy and management issues. This year’s conference was held November 8-10 and was the largest assembly in the association’s history with over 2,500 participants. Sessions focused on improving programs and policies by engaging with evidence throughout the policy analysis and management process.
Wilder School faculty presenters and participants in attendance included Susan Gooden, Ph.D., interim dean; Jill Gordon, Ph.D., associate dean of faculty and academic affairs; Elsie Harper-Anderson, Ph.D., program chair; Grant Rissler, Ph.D., CPP affiliate faculty member; and Brittany Keegan, Ph.D., CPP research coordinator and Land Use Education Program director; and Michael Mackenzie, research coordinator for the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis.
Doctoral students from the Wilder School were also among those prominently featured at APPAM. Marta Squadrito presented a compelling poster session on diversity management, examining inclusion as a driver of performance for women in the workplace.
And, for the first time in APPAM’s history, two graduate students from the Wilder School—Yali Pang and Nathan Teklemariam—were among 40 students selected nationally to participate in APPAM’s Diversity and Inclusion Fellows program from VCU and within a single year. Selection as a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow is a prestigious appointment and rarely includes multiple recipients from the same institution. Fellows receive travel support, exclusive mentorship and networking opportunities at the event and throughout the year. Pang and Teklemariam were also honored during a special luncheon held on November 9.
The Wilder School also elevated its presence at the conference as an exhibitor at the Ph.D. Fair and as a sponsor and host of APPAM’s Student Mixer. While both events were well attended, the mixer was an overwhelming success. Gooden spoke at the event, which far exceeded previous attendance. Nearly 200 current and prospective students gathered to mingle with the Wilder delegation.