Photo Caption – left:  MPA Student, Brittany Chumney, with Director of Government Relations at VCU, Matt Conrad.

Photo caption – right:  Director of JLARC, Hal Greer, poses with MPA student, Khaki LaRiviere.

Photo caption – center:  Capital Praxis mentors received CPAP High Table glasses filled with candies, and a certificate of appreciation from the students, professors, and leaders of the Virginia Tech Master of Public Administration program.

Stephanie Cooperstein related her Capital Praxis experiences to Dr. Rees’ normative theory class and its discussions and readings around “moral imagination’. Studying risk management in Henrico County, Cooperstein linked the ‘moral imagination’ concept to a major learning from her day: “…sometimes the job requires staff to make calls that are not always the most popular. When working in local government, you are working for the people in your own community that you see every day. You know them personally, and you do not want to cause them more stress or hardship that you know that they may already have. However you also have a responsibility to the overarching community.” A placard in one office Stephanie visited read, “Asking me to overlook a simple safety violation would be like asking me to compromise my entire attitude toward the value of your life.”

Britanny Chumney reported a full agenda at Virginia Commonwealth University, where making human connections, building relationships, and finding policy linkages were key themes. Chumney helped organize a reception at the Seigel Center, discussed and finalized a piece of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) legislation, and enjoyed a reception at the Governor’s mansion.

Jason Mills had a robust day of network building at the Virginia Department of Health, with a roster that included discussions with six top officials in the health arena, including Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner, the Director and State Registrar for Vital Records, and the Assistant Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. According to Mills, “

[Capital Praxis] was a great experience, allowing me to see the wonderful decision I’m making by pursuing a career in Public Health!”

Similarly, Charlie Lintecum had a positive experience in his shadow day with two Virginia leaders, a CEO with the Virginia Red Cross, and a Director from Virginia’s Department of Planning and Budget. Lintecum reported that, “My time with the CEO was beneficial, helping fill in a gap with understanding leadership in non-profit environments. Though our agenda was constrained, the time I spent with Mr. Maul was just was exactly what I was hoping for.”

Brittani Edwards said, “[Capital Praxis] was such an honor, and a great experience. My day was spent in the Office of the Governor, working through policy speeches – with the Governor and four others on his policy team. I attended the Governor’s Economic Development Conference with Senior Policy Advisor Marcus. And, I met with Governor McAuliffe’s Policy Analyst, Rushawna Senior. Ms. Senior discussed her duties, daily activities and projects, and even gave me a tour of each department in the Governor’s office. At the end of the day, I visited Virginia’s Executive Mansion as a guest of the policy advisor, and experienced an economic development media event where the Governor announced Stone Brewing Co.‘s entry to Virginia’s business operations scene.”

Nadrah Khadir, a Ph.D. student, met three Department of Transportation officials directly related to her dissertation research, including Virginia’s first Division Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration Irene Rico.

Lindsey Watson spent her day with top leaders in the Office of Commerce and Trade, two Virginia cabinet Secretaries, and other dignitaries from Virginia and Silicon Valley. A current staff member of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Watson reports developing a deeper understanding of the policy efforts and implications in the agriculture and economic development efforts across the state. These topics were features in the Governor’s Economic Development conference she attended with the Special Advisor for Rural Partnerships, Office of Commerce and Trade.

– by Leisha LaRiviere