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SPIA Alumni Newsletter Spring 2021

School of Public and International Affairs Spring Newsletter

Welcome to the biannual Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs online alumni newsletter. This spring issue highlights our school's accomplishments and initiatives, including an introduction to an alum, and some of the research our faculty and students are doing to impact our community.

Dr. Steve Hankey wins an NSF grant for his research using a bicycle to measure air pollution. Photo taken prior to COVID-19

I am thrilled to introduce you to our first edition of the SPIA alumni newsletter!

These stories are moments in time that demonstrate the strength of our programs, our community, and our commitment to improving SPIA and the communities we serve. They are merely highlights of the plethora of activities that happen within our community and we hope to bring these to light for you, our alumni community.     Read more >


SPIA Students Form an Undergraduate Student Society

In October of 2020, a group of undergraduate students came together to form a new undergraduate student society. The main goals of the society are to foster a sense of community among SPIA students as well as to provide networking and career opportunities. The organization hopes that the society will become an outlet for community service and an opportunity for students to collectively have a voice in the school’s strategic focus areas and research. Read More >

UAP Faculty NSF Grants

Learn more about the National Science Foundation (NSF) grants that have been awarded to our very own Urban Affairs and Planning faculty: Shalini Misra, Kris Wernstedt, Steve Hankey, and Todd Schenk. These grants will enable them to conduct research on air pollution, risk perceptions, water quality, and species conservation. Read More >

Meet an Alum - Justin Redman

SPIA alum, Justin Redman ’19, has had an interesting and diverse professional and academic journey after graduating Virginia Tech in 2019. After finishing his undergraduate studies with SPIA, he embarked on a master’s program at the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon. Although he achieved academic success within the program, he realized he was not engaged in his studies at heart. The experiences that year reset his course, deciding to leave graduate school and apply for jobs as a writer and journalist. Now a writer at Wirecutter living in NYC, we sat down with Justin to explore, discuss, and reminisce about his years at Virginia Tech and his exciting new career as a young writer and journalist. Read more >

Taking a STEP to Bridge the Science-Policy Interface

The new Science, Technology, and Engineering in Policy (STEP) program is providing science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health care (STEM-H) students, scholars, and practitioners with the perspectives and skills needed to be more effective collaborators in policy-making processes. The program develops participants’ abilities to engage with complex public problems, recognizing that they are social and technical in nature. The program’s goal is to develop and enhance STEM-H students, practitioners, and scholars’ understanding of policy processes and capacity to integrate scientific and engineering knowledge with public policy reasoning. Read more >