Several Virginia teachers from southwestern Virginia participated in a civics workshop at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise on June 6. The workshop was sponsored and conducted by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing the public with information on a variety of issues.
Ali Mislowsky, VaNews coordinator for VPAP, said one goal of the workshop was to introduce the teachers to the tools that are available at the organization’s VPAP.org website. The workshop, the first in far Southwest Virginia, was designed to give teachers more tools to bring to their civics classes in public schools across the region and the commonwealth.
“The Virginia Public Access Project is doing a major public service for the Commonwealth of Virginia, its teachers, and students by hosting this civics workshop,” Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “This workshop will equip Virginia educators with the tools and resources necessary to engage and empower our young people in the political realm. The objective of this program falls squarely in line with the College’s mission to prepare students and graduates to think critically, act purposefully and contribute productively to society. I am pleased VPAP has chosen to host this program here at UVa-Wise and in Southwest Virginia to broaden access to teachers in our region.”
David Poole, executive director of VPAP, and Mislowsky gave the teachers a tour of the organization’s online resources for civics lesson plans. The teachers, many from as far away as Galax, shared their own classroom experiences and ideas on ways to incorporate the VPAP resources into their own lesson plans.
Dennis Workman, a government, U.S. history and psychology teacher at William Fleming High, traveled from Roanoke to attend the workshop.
“It has helped me find the online resources to use to better explain civics to my students,” Workman said. “VPAP has done a lot of leg work for me.”
Marvin Gilliam, the University of Virginia Board of Visitor representative on the UVa-Wise College Board, praised VPAP for its mission to educate the public on civic and government issues.
“I am delighted that VPAP has chosen UVa-Wise as the first workshop of their new program to inform high school civics teachers across the state of all the tools VPAP offers the citizens of Virginia,” Gilliam said. “VPAP has evolved from a raw database of political contributions to a website with extensive and sophisticated analytic tools. These tools can help civics teachers educate our high school students about the interaction of the political and governmental processes in the state.”
The nonprofit Virginia Public Access Project connects Virginians to nonpartisan information about Virginia politics in easily understood ways.
VPAP was founded in 1997 on one simple premise: Because Virginia’s ethics laws rely on disclosure, it is imperative that citizens have easy access to public documents related to money in politics.
VPAP is fiercely nonpartisan. It has no dog in any political fight. Its singular focus is to give Virginians the information they need to make informed decisions.
VPAP’s approach is grounded in facts taken directly from public documents such as campaign finance reports, election returns, conflicts disclosures and lobbyist registrations. VPAP breaks down the silos of government data and weaves in other information such as newspaper articles.
This integrated approach provides the public with unique and valuable insights on politicians and issues that impact their families and communities.
VPAP’s excellence and nonpartisan approach have won awards from numerous organizations, including the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, the Wilder School of Public Policy at VCU and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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Today, Governor Ralph Northam announced the 2018 Governor’s Fellows Program participants, and Natalie Chapman, a recent UVa-Wise graduate, is one of the participants. The Governor’s Fellows Program offers rising college seniors, graduating seniors, and graduate students an opportunity to gain valuable firsthand experience working under Cabinet secretaries and alongside staff in the Office of the Governor.
“I am pleased to welcome this year’s class of Governor’s Fellows to my office,” said Governor Northam. “Our Commonwealth is fortunate to have these talented young students serve in support of our state government. I look forward to seeing their contributions and watching them develop into leaders who will use their new skills and abilities to help build a stronger, more inclusive Virginia.”
Each Fellow is placed in a division within the Office of the Governor for the duration of the summer. In those offices, the Fellows cultivate and sharpen leadership skills by taking on a variety of tasks and projects. The Fellows also learn from special guest speakers from the administration and take field trips across the Commonwealth.
The Governor’s Fellows Program is open to students at Virginia colleges and universities as well as Virginia residents studying outside of the Commonwealth.
Below is a list of the 2018 Governor’s Fellows Program participants:
- Jevontè Blount, Ferrum College
- Hannah Melissa Borja, The University of Virginia
- Tonecia Brothers-Sutton, Virginia Commonwealth University
- J. Baxter Carter, Randolph-Macon College
- Christopher Cassingham, University of Mary Washington
- Natalie Marie Chapman, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise
- Rima Chavda, Virginia Commonwealth University
- Diamond T. Clark, Virginia State University
- Noah Clarke, The University of Richmond
- Rebecca Dooley, George Mason University
- Lauren N. Fishbein, Lynchburg College
- Jack Foley, Radford College
- William Davis Gammon, Auburn University
- Weston Gobar, The University of Virginia
- Meaghan Green, The University of Chicago
- Khenia Haro-Perez, Old Dominion University
- Salinna Lor, Virginia Commonwealth University
- Jalen Mask, Norfolk State University
- Zara Siddiqui, The University of Virginia
- Chandler James Vaughan, Virginia Tech
- George Ward, St. John’s College
- Theodore Webne, George Mason University
- Jasmine Zollar, The University of Virginia
For more information on the Governor’s Fellows Program, click here.
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WISE - - Head Volleyball Coach Kristen Salyer announced the hiring of Katelyn Holley to the position of assistant volleyball coach Wednesday morning. A native of Dry Fork, Virginia, Holley most recently served as a graduate assistant volleyball coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina.
The University of Virginia Astronomy Department is offering a free week long Dark Skies, Bright Kids Astronomy Summer Program at UVa-Wise for rising third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders in late July.
The astronomy club will give students the opportunity to explore the night sky and travel to other planets with DSBK’s portable planetarium. The youngsters will also learn about constellations, distant solar systems, and get to make their own comets, discover how invisible light is used to solve mysteries of the universe, and more.
UVA Astrophysicist Kelsey Johnson, associate professor of astronomy and director of Dark Skies, Bright Kids, oversees the camp.
The camp will run from July 23 through July 27. Applications can be found at https://www.uvawise.edu/dark-skies-bright-kids-2018/ . For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Hooswell Weight Watchers at Work Meetings are held each Tuesday at Alumni Hall.
Weigh-ins begin at 11:45 a.m. Meeting begin at 12:15 p.m.
Meetings are open to the public.
For more information contact Deborah Vanover at email@example.com or 276-376-1067.