The Ridenour Faculty Fellowship

The Minnis E. Ridenour Faculty Fellowship is supported by an endowment gift from the Strickler Family of Harrisonburg, VA to honor Mr. Ridenour’s service to Virginia Tech and the State of Virginia and to foster the creative advancement of faculty and students in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) in public administration and policy, urban and regional planning, and government and international affairs. To further this goal, SPIA has initiated an annual program in the Ridenour name. The objective of this programming is to promote interdisciplinary discussion in order to overcome the disciplinary limitations in understanding social phenomena and in suggesting solutions to problems. The first conference took place in April 2012 and focused on distressed cities. In 2013 the conference focused on Governing Possibilities and the Possibilities of Governance and was hosted on Virginia Tech’s main campus in Blacksburg, VA. The 2014 theme was resilience and the 2015/16 programming addressed issues of diversity and inclusion. This year’s program will focus on the central theme of trust in government.

The approach of the conference and research series is twofold. First we aim for a progressive interdisciplinary exchange during the conferences. Second, we generate a research network between SPIA faculty and students and external scholars and artists, with the goal of producing edited volumes from the research and discourse that results from convening.

The conference format features a combination of structured and free flowing conversation that allows new explorations of empirical research and conceptual ideas to emerge across disciplines. SPIA scholars strive to integrate scholarship and practice to continuously inform, question, and advance knowledge in the public sphere. The Ridenour Faculty Fellowship Conference provides a forum to advance this core mission.