Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge
Since 2017, the Voinovich School has encouraged public administration faculty and staff to share exciting new ideas in teaching, community engagement, research, and administration.
The Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge is hosted by the Voinovich of Leadership and Public Service, in partnership with NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration). Each summer, faculty and staff are invited to submit two-page applications, describing their innovative approaches to enhancing students’ education, addressing unmet needs, advancing understanding of their field, or improving programmatic effectiveness.
The top three or four finalists are invited to present their ideas before a panel of expert judges at the October NASPAA conference. Winners receive a financial award to support the further development and implementation of their idea.
Winners have included:
- The O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the University of Miami for the, “COVID-19 Executive Orders Project,” a tool to examine and analyze pandemic-related executive orders adopted at state levels and present them in a dashboard for comparison.
- The University of Maryland’s Do Good Campus, which seeks to make social impact education a core element of all students’ experiences, from orientation to graduation. Schools across campus partner to develop social impact courses, and students compete in a year-long Do Good Campus competition.
- The University of Kansas’ Pathways to Public Service, which provides community college students with a seamless transition to a KU bachelors program through a combination of academic and financial coaching, social meet-ups, networking events, and leadership opportunities.
- The University of Montana’s Robotic MPA Access, which enables online students to fully participate in on-site classes via robot, including participating in live discussions, engaging with classmates, and moving around the room.
The Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge is named in honor of Sen. George V. Voinovich (July 15, 1936 – June 12, 2016) whose nearly half century of public service was a living example of innovative leadership. He encouraged others to design and deliver practical solutions to challenging public problems and was an early proponent of public-private partnerships.
To apply, interested faculty or professional staff must:
- Have developed an innovative program or approach that fits within this year’s theme – Expanding Opportunity for Underserved Communities –through enhancing student education, addressing an unmet need, and/or improving programmatic efficiency or effectiveness.
- Create a two-page written overview, telling us what you are doing and how it works. Submission deadline: September 1, 2021
- Be prepared to give a short presentation of your idea and answer questions posed by a panel of expert judges at the 2021 NASPAA Virtual Conference October 28 and 29, 2021 if you are selected for the finalist pool.
If your innovative approach to teaching, community engagement, research, or administration is selected as one of the three finalists, you will receive:
- An opportunity too present your idea at the 2021 NASPAA Virtual Conference
- A chance to win a $10,000 award to launch or further develop your innovation
To apply for the Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge, or for more information, please contact Kate Leeman, Director of Strategic Initiatives.