April 19, 2010 — In collaboration with the Virginia Policy Review, the Jefferson Public Citizens program launched the first edition of its academic journal "Public" on Friday at the University of Virginia's second annual public service conference.
The journal articles and conference presentations reflected the work of the 15 inaugural JPC teams. Over the last year, the students researched and implemented academic public service projects locally and internationally.
"The journal is an opportunity for students to reflect on their project experience with JPC and integrate the scholarship component," said Megan Raymond, U.Va.'s director of academic community engagement.
Virginia Policy Review, a tri-annual journal run entirely by students, features research papers. Public is the spring edition of VPR.
VPR editor-in-chief Caitlin Gearen found that working with the JPC students brought a new angle on policy to the journal.
"Everyone did a good job of translating their research into a policy context," said Gearen, a second-year student in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
The goal of the articles, Gearen said, was to explain how the individual teams' research matters in a global context. Gearen encouraged the JPC students to make an argument based on their research.
Writing academic articles about their field experience proved to be a rewarding challenge for the teams.
"It developed organically based on our familiarity with the project and feedback from participants," said Jennifer Leyton, a graduate student mentor for one of the two Young Women Leaders Program teams.
The articles fall into two sections, domestic and international, and include subject areas like education, architecture and environmental science. About 1,000 copies of the journal are available around Grounds.
The conference also included panels and workshops, including "Collaborating Amongst the Faculty" and "Connecting Service and Academics."
A panel of faculty, student, alumni and community members judged the JPC presentations and selected Jena McDaniel, Hilary Koch, Jennifer Peterson and Melina Franzel's "The Use of a Sensory Resource Guide in Dementia Care" as the winning JPC team. They won $500 for their community partner, the Alzheimer's Association of Central and Western Virginia.