Sustainability Webinar

The webinar was held on January 20, 2022, from 12 noon – 1.00 pm. The session focused on sustainability issues relevant to communities in Hampton Roads and beyond.

The panelists:

  • Karen Forget, Executive Director, Lynnhaven River Now
  • Christy Everett, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Hampton Roads
  • Katie Cullipher, Principal Environmental Education Planner, Hampton Roads Planning District; Team Lead,
  • Freddy Coronado, Residential Zero Waste Specialist, San Francisco Department of the Environment

Happy New Year (2022)!

Happy New Year to all Hampton Roads ASPA members.

A few exciting announcements and calls for participation.

(1)   We invite you to submit proposals for the Annual Research Symposium. The Symposium will be held virtually on Thursday, March 24th from 9.45 am to 1.15 pm. This year’s theme is “Examining Public Service in the Wake of COVID-19: Challenges, Successes, and Future Implications.” The symposium explores how public, private, and non-profit agencies addressed a myriad of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the evolving needs and expectations of communities, agencies, personnel, and programs. Please consider submitting proposals for Panel Presentations and Roundtable Discussion. Submissions are due January 24th. See the call for proposals (PDF).

(2)    Plan to join us for our next webinar focused on Sustainability on January 20 from 12-1.00 pm. More information will be shared soon via e-mail and on the HR ASPA website.   

(3)    For the April 2022 HR ASPA event, we would like to focus on issues or topics of interest to student members of the chapter or public service students in general. We want this event to be student-focused and useful to students. Please use this form to share ideas for the event:

(4)    Save the Date for the annual Awards Ceremony on May 19, 2022. Calls for nominations will be shared soon. Remember to check the HR ASPA website for updates ( 

Did you miss the Fall 2021 webinars? Check out the Hampton Roads ASPA webinar playlist on YouTube here:     

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.

ASPA Hampton Roads 2021 Service and Scholarship Awards

In honor of Public Service Recognition Week, May 2-8, 2021, the Hampton Roads Chapter of ASPA is proud to announce those recognized by the Chapter in 2021.

— Julian F. Hirst Award for Distinguished Service —

Paul Long, Dean, Public Safety, Allied Health and Human Services, Thomas Nelson Community College, is recognized with the Julian F. Hirst Award for Distinguished Service. He has been recognized for a lengthy, distinguished career in local emergency service delivery and his continuing commitment to public safety education. Most recently, this was exemplified by his supportive, encouraging, flexible leadership in addressing pandemic-related challenges to the faculty, staff, and students at Thomas Nelson Community College.  

 — Dr. Wolfgang Pindur Award for Distinguished Service in Academia and Practice —

Celeste Greene, Associate Professor, School of Professional and Continuing Studies, University of Virginia, is recognized with the Dr. Wolfgang Pindur Award for Distinguished Service in Academia and Practice.  Her long-term research agenda reflects a passion for environmental justice, exploring ways to bridge academia and practice to address a challenge which has a disparate impact on marginalized groups within our communities. Addressing these challenges will benefit not only these marginalized groups, but everyone with the community as well.

— Outstanding Public Employee in Hampton Roads —

Carmela Gregorio, Storekeeper, Out-of-School Time Programs, Department of Parks & Recreation, City of Virginia Beach is recognized as the Outstanding Public Employee in Hampton Roads. Too often, the effort of front-line employees goes unnoticed, and therefore unheralded. She is being recognized for her continuing performance excellence, and notably for her dedicated efforts to provide critical support to maintaining quality services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Hampton Roads ASPA Chapter Academic Scholarship for Studies in Public Administration —

Tihara Richardson, doctoral student in public administration and policy at Old Dominion University is awarded an academic scholarship to support her studies in public administration. The award recognizes her past professional service and her engagement with the Chapter and other professional organizations, supporting her continued studies in fields such as emergency management, community resilience, and social justice.

The Chapter wishes to thank all those who submitted nominations, those Chapter members who served on review committees, and most especially those recognized by Chapter for their passion for public service, seeking to provide a higher quality of life for everyone in the Hampton Roads region.

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.

January 2021 Webinar

The Future of Public Service: Questions from Students

The webinar was held on Thursday, January 21, 2021 – Noon – 1pm Eastern.

“That’s when America soars, when we look out for one another and we take care of each other, when we root for one another’s success, when we strive to do better and to be better than the generation that came before us and try to build something better for generations to come, that’s why we do what we do. That’s the whole point of public service.” – Barack Obama

In November 2020, we asked students – the next generation of public service leaders –  what issues, questions, or concerns they have regarding responsive public service of the future. As 2021 dawns, we attempt to address their issues, questions, and concerns.

The webinar’s three panelists discussed three themes that are top of mind for our students and future public service leaders:

  • Citizen engagement on critical public service issues
  • Social equity and environmental justice
  • Workforce of the future


  • Dr. Kenneth Chandler, Deputy City Manager, City of Virginia Beach
  • Mrs. Latara Rouse, Communications Manager, James City County
  • Mr. Zach Nissen, Community Outreach Coordinator, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore