ASPA HR 2022 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the chapter award recipients for this year:

  • Julian F. Hirst Award for Distinguished Service
    Mechelle Smith, Director, Norfolk Criminal Justice Services
  • George Robert House, Jr. Award for Outstanding Service
    Jimmy McNamara, Director, Chesapeake Planning Department
  • Dr. Wolfgang Pindur Award for Distinguished Service in Academia and Practice
    Gary Roberts, Regent University
  • John Dunning Award
    David Chapman, HR ASPA webmaster, Master Lecturer Emeritus, Old Dominion University
  • Hampton Roads ASPA Chapter Academic Scholarship for Studies in Public Administration
    Norah Alshayhan, Ph.D. student, Public Administration and Policy, Old Dominion University

We celebrated the chapter award recipients and welcomed the incoming HR ASPA council at the Annual Awards event on Thursday, May 19, 2022 from noon-12:30 pm, via Zoom.

Annual Research Symposium

The Hampton Roads Chapter of ASPA Annual Research Symposium on Examining Public Service in the Wake of COVID-19: Challenges, Successes, and Future Implications.

The Symposium will be on March 24, 2022, from 9.45 am to 1.15pm EST, via Zoom.

Symposium program (PDF).

We thank the organizing committee – Dr. Marina Saitgalina, Dr. Stephen King, Caitline Stein, and Taiwo Lasisi – for their hard work.

All are welcome to attend the Symposium, so please invite your colleagues and students.

Awards, Scholarship, and Nominations

Applications for the annual awards and scholarship are now being accepted. Please see the Awards tab for more information. All applications are due via e-mail by April 11 at 11:00 PM to the Chapter President (Wie Yusuf, Please include HR ASPA scholarship/award in the e-mail subject.
Winners will be recognized at the May meeting.

We are also seeking nominations for our chapter leadership for the next year starting July 1, 2022. Dr. Marina Saitgalina will assume leadership of the chapter in the role of President. Several Executive Council members will also continue the 2nd year of their term (Jerry Hoddinott, Gail Nicula, Gary Roberts, Caitlin Stein). We thank Vincent Afedi, Elijah Agyapong, Celeste Green and Stephen King for their service on the Executive Council (terms expiring June 2022). We also thank Tihara Richardson for serving as student representative.

We are looking for those interested in serving in the chapter’s leadership positions. These are great opportunities to become more engaged with the chapter!
Please consider nomination yourself or others for the following positions:

  • President Elect (2022-2023)
    • This person will become President in 2023-2024
  • Executive Council (2022-2024)
    • Four vacancies
  • Student Representative (2022-2023)

Note: Chapter members are required to be active members of ASPA during the year(s) of service in a leadership position.

Further information on the specific roles for the upcoming year may be found by reviewing our Chapter Constitution, or by contacting the Wie Yusuf (

Nominations should be submitted via this Google Form by 11pm (Eastern) on April 11, 2022. Self-nominations are encouraged. Anyone nominated will be contacted to ensure they are willing to run.

The Virtual Workplace: Implications for Leadership and Human Resource Management

This event was held on Thursday, November 18, 2021 from Noon-1 pm.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented public administrators with unprecedented stress and disruption in service provision and foundational human resource management practices such as staffing and job design. Concurrently the challenges gave impetus to an accelerated utilization of the virtual workplace with overall positive results from both an efficiency and effectiveness standpoint and more favorable employee attitudes and behaviors. This webinar featured four experienced local government administrators and academics reflecting on the effectiveness of the virtual workplace in addressing the key service delivery and the associated HR management challenges.

Recording (video) of the webinar.


  • Ms. Marva Smith, Human Resource Director, City of Norfolk
  • Ms. Kim Harrison, Senior Human Resource Generalist, City of Chesapeake
  • Julianne Mahler, Professor Emerita of Government and Politics, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University
  • Myungjung “MJ” Kwon, Professor and Public Administration Program Coordinator, California State University Fullerton

Webinar on Infrastructure and Resilience

Thursday, October 21, 2021. Noon to 1:00 PM.

Recording of session (YouTube).

Ms. Karen Firehock (Green Infrastructure Center and the University of Virginia) spoke on green infrastructure planning and offered examples from Hampton Roads and other localities on how green infrastructure supports resilience of coastal communities.

Ms. Firehock is an environmental planner with more than 26 years of experience in natural resources management. She is the director and co-founder of the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) and oversees green infrastructure planning and research projects. Since 1999, she has served on the adjunct faculty at the University of Virginia and teaches graduate courses in green infrastructure planning, watershed planning and stormwater management and global health and environmental ordinances and fundraising. Ms. Firehock has authored numerous publications, including Green Infrastructure: Map and Plan the Natural World With GIS, Strategic Green Infrastructure Planning: A Multi-scale Approach, A Handbook for Wetlands Conservation and Sustainability, and A Citizen’s Streambank Restoration Handbook.

May 2021 Virtual Webinar

“Moving Towards Environmental & Energy Justice”

May 20, 2021 – Noon to 1:00pm EST

Janet Phoenix, MD, MPH
Assistant Research Professor, The George Washington
Milken Institute School of Public Health
Seth Mullendore, MS
Vice President & Project Director, Clean Energy Group
Celeste Murphy Greene, Ph.D., MPA
Associate Professor & Program Director, UVa, School of Continuing and Professional Studies

2021 Annual Research Symposium Program

The theme of the 2021 Annual Research Symposium was responsive public service, exploring how public and non-profit agencies seek to identify the evolving needs and expectations of the communities they serve in a dynamic political, economic, and social environment. The evenr was held on March 18, 2021, 10:30 am – noon (Eastern).

Paper # 1
Title  Environmental nonprofits and institutional diversity: An analysis of diversity practices, demographics and implications for sustainability
Author  Taiwo Olanrewaju-Lasisi PhD Student, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
Author e-mail
Topic   The research analyzed the gender and racial composition and diversity practices of the board of directors and staff based on secondary data on GuideStar, one of the largest nonprofit databases in the world. The goal was to see how diverse their demographics are in terms of gender and race. This was achieved by looking through percentage data of racial and gender representation of the board of directors and staff and questions answered regarding their organizations’ diversity practices. The study gave conclusions and implications for coastal sustainability and public service based on findings.
Paper # 2
Title   How can we mitigate mass sheltering environments from the opioid and COVID-19 hazards? 
Author  Michael A. Brown, PhD, CIP President/CEO, One World, One Way, Inc., Atlanta, GA   Denise C. De Varanez, MD                                                                                                                          
Author e-mail
Overview   Right now, there is no National framework or guidelines to address the growing problem inadequate mass sheltering facilities in the United States or its Territories.  More research is needed and more collaboration amongst some potential partners is needed during this critical time.  To resolve the issues of licit and or illicit use of class II drugs there is a need for specialists in pain management and pharmaceutical experts to join with public health and emergency managers to develop, design, and ensure the necessary safe and secure processes of a National Preparedness Mass Sheltering program and plan that helps to protect, prevent and mitigate against the “Ninja Hazards, e.g., opioid addiction, pandemics (COVID 19), and other medical comorbidities that threaten citizens’ health while in Mass Sheltering Environments.
Paper # 3
Title  The level of trust in U.S. governments : A comparative study in local, state, and federal governments
Author  Koffi Jean Narcisse Djaha MPA Student, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA  
Author e-mail  
Topic  The closer a government is to the people, the more trust that people have in it. Most Americans trust the local government more than they trust the state and the federal government because the local government provides the services that meet their immediate needs. This paper examines the different levels of trust that citizens have in the local, state, and federal governments in the United States of America.
Paper # 4
Title  Servant leadership and its effectiveness in promoting sustainable employee well being in a post-pandemic, virtual workplace
Author   Gary Roberts, PhD Professor/MPA Program Director, Robertson School of Government, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA
Author e-mail  
Overview   One of the greatest challenges of leadership and management is to promote sustainable organizational effectiveness while preserving employee well-being in a virtual environment. This presentation will describe the factors of servant leadership that promote employee well-being and success in the virtual workplace. Virtual employee well-being is a multi-dimensional construct, but for the purposes of this presentation, it is defined by the ability of the organization to achieve its mission while promoting the greater good and cultivating the welfare of employees over an extended period. 

Annual Research Symposium

Call for Papers

The Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (HR-ASPA) will be holding the annual research symposium on March 18, 2021, from 9:30 am – noon (Eastern). This year’s symposium will be entirely virtual. We welcome papers from practitioners and graduate students.

Symposium Theme: Responsive Public Service

The theme of the symposium is responsive public service. We will be exploring how public and non-profit agencies seek to identify the evolving needs and expectations of the communities they serve in a dynamic political, economic, and social environment.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Diversity: Public Sector Challenges and Opportunities
  • Public Sector Response to Pandemics
  • Public Service Education: Creating Relevance in a Dynamic Public Sector Environment
  • Empowering Public Administration Students in Research and Practice
  • Public Administration in the Post-truth Environment


There will be panels from 9:45-10:45 am and from 11:00 am – noon (Eastern). Each presentation will be 10-12 minutes in length, with each panel having 4-5 individual papers.  No registration fees


Proposals must be submitted to by 1/23/2021. Acceptance notification will be shared no later than 2/7/21. Proposals must include:

  • Author(s) name and affiliation
  • Author(s) contact information (email and phone)
  • Title and abstract of the proposed presentation (250-500 words)
  • Please note whether the proposal is for an individual paper or part of a proposed panel presentation.


If you have any questions, please contact HR-ASPA President Tom Poulin at or at 757-681-6650.