HR ASPA 2020-2021 – Save the Dates!

The Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (HR ASPA) is moving virtual for our quarterly events in 2020-2021. These will be free Zoom webinars available to anyone interested in public service — anyone interested in the challenges and opportunities of providing effective, efficient public services to a diverse community in a dynamic environment.  

We will be sharing registration information and more detail on each event as it nears, but we wanted to reach out and share this brief glimpse into our schedule so you might “Save the Dates” in your calendar.

We look forward to your participation. If you have any questions, please contact

HR ASPA: 2020-2021 Schedule of Events

Responsive Public Service: Social Equity
September 17, 2020 (noon-1 pm [Eastern])

Our first webinar of the year brings in a diverse group of panelists exploring how to successfully approach social equity challenges in the public sector. Public administrators should be actively pursuing social equity, helping to develop an environment of fairness, justice, and equality for everyone in our communities. We will hear from Brandi Blessett (Associate Professor and MPA Program Director for the University of Cincinnati), Mary E. Guy and Sean A. McCandless (editors of Achieving Social Equity: From Problems to Solutions), and Jim Reddick (Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response, City of Norfolk, VA). 

Responsive Public Service: Local Government Leadership and Management Resiliency Challenges, Lessons and Opportunities In the COVID-19 Era: Staying the Course Under Duress
November 19, 2020 (noon-1 pm [Eastern])

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented public administrators with unprecedented stress and uncertainty given the toxic mixture of increased service demands juxtaposed with diminishing financial resources. This highly variable and uncertain public health crisis with its sweeping economic political, and cultural effects also presents a unique opportunity to promote innovative and creative solutions that will benefit public administration long after the pandemic ends. The Webinar will feature three experienced local government administrators reflecting on their past and present experiences in providing quality services under duress and their views on the potential positive outcomes of the crisis. The panelists will discuss both leadership and management practices as well as personal coping strategies to remain steady under pressure.

Responsive Public Service: The Future of Public Service: Student Perspectives
January 21, 2021, (noon-1 pm [Eastern])

Public service is a dynamic, broad discipline, seeking to provide a higher quality of life for the communities we serve. This requires public administrators continually assess and reassess the needs and expectations of the public, fine-tuning goals, processes, and practices to best meet these evolving needs and expectations. In this webinar, the focus will be on student perspectives. Students of public administration are the future of the discipline, and their insights on where we are going and how we should get there should be of interest to us all. Whether it is an exploration of how the COVID-19 pandemic might fundamentally alter the practice of public administration, or how changes in our definitions of vulnerable populations evolve, we need to reassess what public service means, as well as what it might take to be an effective public administrator in the future. 

Responsive Public Service: Research Symposium
March 18, 2021 (9:30 am – noon)

Each year, HR ASPA hosts a research symposium tied to our annual program theme, which this year is “Response Public Service.” The symposium theme this year might encompass such topics as responsive service for the pandemic, social equity, public sector accountability, government finance reform, intergovernmental relations, collaboration, immigration policy, or the emergent challenges and opportunities in public service. We will be seeking proposals from practitioners, academics, and students seeking to develop either original research or a professional presentation, creating a platform for discussing current issues in a manner which bridges the world of practice and theory. It promises to be an exciting time. 

Currently, we are planning on two sessions, the first from 10:00-10:50 am and the second from 11:00-11:50 am).  Each session panel will include 3-4 speakers, with the number of panels each session dependent upon the number of accepted proposals. Further information on this will be shared at a later date. 

Responsive Public Service: Annual Awards 
May 20, 2021 (To be determined)

Traditionally, this event has been a luncheon with a guest speaker. If circumstances change for the better, we will continue with that tradition in 2021. However, if concerns with the pandemic remain high at that time, we might have a guest speaker via a Zoom meeting. Further information on this will be shared at a later time.