Brown Bag Lunch Series Looks at Southwest Virginia from Cross-Disciplinary Perspective

October 21, 2013

How do you explain the connections between education, health, economic development and the built environment in a community? How can these connections affect overall prosperity within a region?

On Wednesday, the Appalachian Prosperity Project begins an interdisciplinary discussion series at the University of Virginia that will address these questions. The Brown Bag Discussion Series will be hosted at a different school on Grounds throughout the academic year, with the first meeting Wednesday at the Curry School of Education from noon to 1 p.m.

The Appalachian Prosperity Project is a collaborative partnership between the University of Virginia, U.Va.’s College at Wise, the Virginia Coalfields Coalition, the private sector and the commonwealth. This partnership uses a systems approach to advance the linked fields of education, health and business development, and to reinforce the University’s commitment to research and engagement with Southwest Virginia’s coalfield region.

Suzanne Moomaw, an associate professor in U.Va.’s School of Architecture and the project’s academic lead, said she hopes the Brown Bag discussions will inspire and provoke further research in this region, as well as create revitalization strategies for other small or rural communities facing similar challenges.

“These conversations illustrate the power of cross-disciplinary thinking in the 21st century,” she said. “The opportunity to have faculty, students and community members from the region join together is a powerful combination.”

The discussion series will be held monthly, and drinks and dessert will be provided. The full schedule is listed below. For information, visit the Appalachian Prosperity Project’s website or contact Moomaw at

Appalachian Prosperity Project Brown Bag Discussion Series – 2013-2014

  • Oct. 23, noon-1 p.m., Curry School, Bavaro Hall’s Holloway Hall. Topic: Cross-disciplinary Research and Practice: Building Safe, Supportive and Engaging Learning Environments
  • Nov. 6, noon-1 p.m., School of Architecture, Campbell Hall, room 205. Topic: Engaging with the Community - A Conversation with Ceasar McDowell, professor of community practice, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Feb. 5, noon-1 p.m., Center for the Liberal Arts, Booker House Conference Room. Topic: Southwest Virginia Teachers as Exemplars for Teaching American History
  • March 5, noon-1 p.m., School of Nursing, McLeod Hall, room 5060. Topic: Improving the Health Outcomes for the Region

April 2, noon-1 p.m., School of Medicine, Center for Telehealth, McKim Hall. Topic: Thinking Inside the Box: Telemedicine as an Innovative Tool for Advancing Research and Improving Access

Media Contact

Robert Hull

Media Relations Associate Office of University Communications