U.Va. Launches Second Annual Public Service Conference April 16

April 8, 2010 — Members of the Charlottesville community are invited to join students and faculty at the University of Virginia's second annual Public Service Conference on Friday, April 16. Participants will collaborate and share knowledge and experiences about service projects. Registration is free. Conference sessions will run from noon until 6 p.m. at Minor and Monroe halls and will conclude with a reception in the Monroe Hall courtyard.

Although the conference is free to students, faculty and community members, registration is requested. To register and to learn more about the conference, visit here.

Opening the conference will be a panel on "The University and Community Working Together." Panelists will include community leader Christine Nardi, U.Va. faculty member Paxton Marshall and U.Va. students Jessie Ray and Marnie Coons.

In subsequent sessions and panels, community leaders, faculty and students will lead discussions on such topics as how collaborations can occur across groups, how to motivate volunteers, how to measure success, and how to connect service to academics. The closing session, "Reflecting on Service," led by Patricia M. Lampkin, U.Va. vice president and chief student affairs officer, will offer participants an opportunity to consider the impact of service on themselves and their communities.

This year the conference also will feature a track dedicated to presentations by the 2009 Jefferson Public Citizens students. The JPC groups will present the findings of their research-service projects. A panel of judges will select one presentation to receive a $500 award, which will be given to the project's community partner. JPC is a comprehensive academic public service program that integrates students' service and research experiences throughout their time at the University.

The U.Va. Public Service Conference is co-hosted by U.Va. and members of the Charlottesville-Albemarle community. “Inaugurated in February 2009 as a student-run event sponsored by the University's Public Service Advisory Board, this year's conference has built upon the good attendance and positive feedback from the first conference,” said Angela M. Davis, chair of U.Va.’s Public Service Advisory Board and special assistant to the vice president and chief student affairs officer.

Students, faculty members and community members have met since November to plan the conference and have organized sessions and workshops to appeal to a variety of audiences. “The conference embraces the spirit of collegiality and the dedication to public service that is alive both within the University and the surrounding community,” Davis said.

— By Rebecca Arrington