Archive for the ‘Talks’ Category


Lunchtime Workshop – Thursday, June 9th

May 27, 2011

Alexandria Quality of Life Initiative – Lunchtime Workshop Series

Calling All Surveys:

Collecting Data Across Departments & Nonprofits

Thursday, June 9, 2011 – Noon -1pm

Check out the announcement here.

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S.W. Tucker Talk – Wednesday, April 6th

March 30, 2011

Remembering Civil Rights Pioneer

Samuel W. Tucker

A Conversation with Writer Stephen J. Ackerman and

Alexandria Black History Museum Director Louis Hicks

5:30-7:00pm – Wednesday, April 6th

Virginia Tech Alexandria Center

1021 Prince Street, 3rd Floor

Open to the Public!

Discuss the life and legacies of Alexandria-born Civil Rights pioneer Samuel W. Tucker with Louis Hicks, Director of the Alexandria Black History Museum, and Stephen J. Ackerman, who has written extensively about Tucker and his role in the 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-In.

Background  material:

S. J. Ackerman. 2000. “The Trials of S.W. Tucker.” Washington Post Magazine. June 11.

Alexandria Black History Museum, “America’s First Sit Down Strike: The 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-in.”

Co-sponsored by the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs Politics and Planning Speaker Series, the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment, and the Urban Affairs and Planning Diversity Speakers’ Series.


A Century in Search of Results…

February 17, 2011

Every few years Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS) holds a research symposium featuring College faculty. I’m Blacksburg-bound tomorrow with several (mostly pre-tenure) colleagues. My presentation is based on a paper I presented at last September’s APSA meeting. “A Century in Search of Results: Publicity, Professionalism, and Reform in the Progressive Era” – here’s a copy of the pdf of the presentation, if you’re interested. As students and colleagues can attest, the paper is basically an ode to William H. Allen’s 1907 book Efficient Democracy (1907) and the remarkable but disastrous story of Efficient Citizenship, a printed by the New York Bureau of Municipal Research under Allen’s direction between 1908 and 1914. Allen’s story is useful because it highlights tensions basic in the search for reform in numbers, and – if someone is looking to do archival research – simply digitizing the Efficient Citizenship series would be a big contribution. I found the design and visualization in these cards genuinely fascinating. If I hadn’t been so busy trying to finish the paper, I was tempted to take a day and do some photography (but as Rachel says that’s a good post-tenure project).


Chicago (our annual spring pilgrimage)

April 27, 2010

Back from our annual spring pilgrimage to Chicago. We stayed in Hyde Park with Rachel’s brother Ross and his wife Meera.  I attended the MPSA conference  was a discussant on for a couple panels “Campaigning to Governing” and (the clumsily titled) “Bureaucratic Leadership Transition and Agency Performance.”

Patrick Roberts presented a paper he and I are writing our CPAP colleague Sang Ok Choi currently titled, “Guarding the Guardians: Oversight Appointees and the Search for Accountability in U.S. Federal Agencies.” It’s a paper looks that the historical development and problem of vacancies among president-appointed, Senate-confirmed appointees in three positions: inspectors general (IGs), chief financial officers (CFOs), and general counsels (GCs).

Dave Parker and I also presented a paper we’re co-autoring – a second – on congressional committee investigtions. This one, “Rooting Out Waste, Fraud, and Abuse: House Committee Investigations, 1947-2004,” looks at investigative hearings across committees and chairmen.

Before leaving on Sunday, guided by Ross’s phone, we caught a couple Southside buses to the Hull House Museum, which consists of only the original house and one or two other structures, the bulk of the buildings that made up the historical settlement house have been replaced by the UIC student center. Anyway, the small museum on the house’s first floor was neat. Meera’s photo of a few of the children’s cubbies displayed in the museum really evokes the spirit of the place:


Transparency Talks – Today!

March 2, 2010

A discussion with Christina Schultz (Casals & Associates, Inc.) and Michael Geertson (Chemonics Intl.)  on transparency in international development.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2nd Floor Common Area

Reception: 5:00-5:30

Moderated Discussion: 5:30-6:30

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Missing Something?

February 11, 2010


Professor Matt Dull of Virginia Tech will present “Missing Something Important?: Using the Heckman Selection Model in Policy Research” on Wednesday, March 3rd from Noon – 1:30 in 309 Marvin Center. The Marvin Center is on the corner of 21st and H.

This talk will provide a nontechnical introduction to the use of the Heckman selection procedure to correct bias in the estimation of regression models due to nonrandom sample selection. Do you want to perform a regression analysis but worry your sample is biased due to missing observations that may be related to a variable of interest? The Heckman correction estimates a two stage model: first, a selection equation with a dichotomous dependent variable equaling 1 for observed and 0 for missing values; and second, an outcome equation predicting the model’s dependent variable. If correctly specified, the Heckman model produces unbiased parameter estimates and may even provide some useful information. Does your theory predict which cases may be missing? Drawing on two applications relevant to policy research – analysis of federal grant program applicants and analysis of survey data with a large number of “I don’t know” or “No-basis to judge” responses – I’ll discuss the Heckman technique as a potentially rich opportunity for (cautious) inference.

Matt Dull is Assistant Professor in the Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech’s North Virginia campus. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2006.


Charles Goodsell

December 3, 2009

Charles Goodsell discussing Alexandria's City Council Chamber

A quick photo from CPAP Professor Emeritus Charles Goodsell’s visit to Alexandria to discuss his book The Social Meaning of Civic Space: Studying Political Authority through Architecture (University Press of Kansas, 1988), a study of 75 city council chambers from around the U.S.. During Goodsell’s visit, CPAP MPA student and City of Alexandria budget analyst Morgan Routt gave us a quick tour of Alexandria’s city council chamber – a classic example of a midcentury chamber.

The chamber shows only small changes from the photo Goodsell took 25 years ago as he was doing the research. From the collection of Goodsell’s photos available online from the Virginia Tech archives:

Alexandria City Council Chamber, September 1982

Thanks Professor Goodsell!