Third Annual Innovation in Public Service Conference Set for Friday

April 11, 2012 — The third annual, student-initiated Innovation in Public Service Conference, to be held Friday, will bring together University of Virginia students, faculty and local community partners to collaborate and share knowledge on service and community engagement within and beyond the Grounds.

Conference discussions will address topics such as connecting service with academics, the meaning of community engagement in Charlottesville and advice for getting started in public service work. It will also feature a "Pitch Competition," in which students will present their ideas for a nonprofit organization, large-scale fundraiser or other service idea and compete for $400 in prizes.

A schedule of events for the conference, to be held in Newcomb Hall, is online. Updates can be followed on Twitter using this hashtag: #2012PublicServiceConference.

Attendance at the conference, which runs from noon to 7 p.m., is free but registration is required.

The keynote address will be given by Frank Dukes, lecturer in the School of Architecture and director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation.

The conference is being held in conjunction with two other public service events: this year's Jefferson Public Citizens project presentations, which will be given Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Newcomb Hall's Kaleidoscope Room, and Madison House's Cavaliers Care day of service for students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members, to be held Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the Jefferson Public Citizens presentation, one team will be selected as a winner, and its community partner will receive $500 to continue the team's work. An honorable mention also will be awarded. The schedule of presentations include "Adaptive Reuse of Waste Materials and Social Entrepreneurship in Rural Central Asian Communities," "reCOVER: Thomas Jefferson Coalition for the Homeless Transitional Housing Project," "Touchscreen Tablet Technology for Health Information Dissemination in Southwest Virginia" and "Documenting the Benefits of Home Energy Retrofit." All the presentations are listed here.

New this year to the Jefferson Public Citizens competition is a Listener's Choice Award. Audience members will be able to vote for their favorite presentation.

— by Matt Kelly