Over the past year, performance artist Steven T. Licardi and I have been exploring ways to advance new economic thinking – related to Community Wealth Building – through a SciArts project. This project was funded by a grant from the Center for Communicating Science at Virginia Tech.
If you would like to know how ping ping and community wealth building are connected, please join us at 12pm on Thursday, March 17, at the new Creativity and Innovation Districtbuild at Virginia Tech.
Students will participate in cohort learning that introduces them to transdisciplinary research and prepares them to pursue future research opportunities. Each student may receive up to $4,000 in funding.
Students in all disciplines – especially in the humanities and social sciences – are encouraged to think broadly about how their interests intersect with the theme of Environment and Society and how they could advance a research project that builds on their interests.
In addition to receiving a stipend, successful applicants will be given an opportunity to apply for up to $4,000 of additional funding to support a proposed research project.
If you are a faculty member/researcher/advisor at Virginia Tech, please encourage your eligible students to apply. Details are available here.
USAID LASER PULSE just released the following article on our research project in Kenya. The article includes a short video showing the AgUnity blockchain app being used by project participants along the African Indigenous Vegetable (AIV) supply chain.
For many, our current economic models no longer ensure our basic human needs are met. However, other worlds are possible, but we can’t create those worlds without you. Please join performance artist Steven T. Licardi and I on Wednesday, January 26, from 5:30 – 7:00pm at the Rising Silo, for an interactive performance-lecture that imagines, explores, and develops a vision of Community Wealth-Building in our community.
In this new article published in the Journal of Public Affairs Education, we discuss institutional drivers and barriers to collaborative transdisciplinary teaching as experienced through the Virginia Tech’s Honors College SuperStudio.
Employers increasingly desire new graduates to work across boundaries, in teams, and with developed soft skills, especially in public affairs. Likewise, students increasingly seek academic experiences for learning, practicing, and honing transferable, competency-based skills. This suggests instructors should explore alternative pedagogy engaging problem definition and transdisciplinary teamwork. We describe institutional drivers and barriers to collaborative transdisciplinarity in undergraduate teaching and the structure and processes involved in developing a co-taught studio-based capstone involving public affairs students and varied other unrelated majors. We describe the structure through which the “SuperStudio” (1) combines topic concentrations with a shared policy context allowing students to apply disciplinary knowledge to define transdisciplinary problems and (2) fosters collaborative teaching and strategic exploration of overarching issues like problem framing, equity, and effective communication. We then offer lessons learned regarding the drivers and barriers to such efforts, and advice from institutional decision-makers on designing such courses at other institutions.
Suggested citation: Anne-Lise Velez, Hall, R.P., and Lewis, S.N. (2021) Designing transdisciplinarity: Exploring institutional drivers and barriers to collaborative transdisciplinary teaching. Journal of Public Affairs Education, DOI: 10.1080/15236803.2021.1992196.
Jessica Agnew, PhD, MSc, MPH Assistant Director of Research, Operations, & Program Management Center for International Research, Education and Development
Ralph P. Hall, PhD, S.M., S.M., MEng Undergraduate Programs Director and Associate Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) Associate Director, School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) Virginia Tech
Blockchain technology is heralded for its ability to improve traceability, trust, and trust in agri-food value chains. For the optimist and the skeptic of blockchain, we explore the complexities of using this emerging technology to strengthen agri-food value chains to create social and nutritional impacts. This 1-hour talk will explore results and lessons from the field in Western Kenya as to how blockchain might be used as a tool to improve food and nutrition security, women’s leadership, and youth engagement within the value chains for African indigenous vegetables (AIVs).