NYU Wagner Alumna Earns Prestigious Teaching Award
Wagner alum, Dylan Congor, received the 2012 Leslie Whittington Award for Excellence in Teaching presented by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The award honors those who make outstanding contributions to public service education and demonstrate teaching excellence over a sustained period of time.
Congor earned her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from Wagner in 2004, and is currently the Director of the Masters in Public Policy Program and Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration at the Trachtenberg School at George Washington University.
She was presented the award on October 18, 2012 at NASPAA’s annual conference in Austin, Texas. David H. Rosenbloom of American University was also a recipient. The Whittington Award is named in honor of the 2000 recipient, Leslie A. Whittington, who perished in Flight 77 at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Congor joins Wagner Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy Ingrid Gould Ellen in this honor, as Professor Ellen received the prestigious award in 2009.
"Code for Change" Honors New Digital Apps with a Public Purpose
Competition expo (Oct. 12).
A digital app that makes it possible for trained citizen responders to work together in teams as soon as a civil disaster strikes is the winner of the Grand Prize awarded by “Code for Change,” a tech competition at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.
New York City agencies and nonprofit organizations posed technical challenges to self-formed teams of developers, designers, and specialists who participated in the Code for Change competition. The Grand Prize winner is the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which needed an easy-to-use app to help facilitate communication and information exchange among volunteer emergency responders in the immediate wake of a disaster.
Code for Change gave the participants two weeks instead of a typical hackathon’s 24 to 36 hours to identify real, sustainable solutions to questions of public importance. The event also marked the first time that a big-city hackathon included challenges from both government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
This was the first time, too, that four major tech nonprofits – Code for America, One Economy, NPower, and Blue Ridge Foundation New York – joined in co-partnering a hackathon, together with NYU Wagner – with sponsorships from Motorola Mobility Foundation, Liquidnet, Centre for Social for Social Innovations, Notable, General Assembly, and Zurb.
A second Code for Change award, the Change Prize, was given to the New York City Campaign Finance Board for an app that provides citizens with information they can use to engage with the democratic process, and fosters higher voter participation in elections.
Code for Change awarded its Promise Prize to the CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development for an app that enables students to exchange, rather than buy, textbooks – and defrays their higher-education costs.
Code for Change’s Popular Choice Prize was awarded to Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship for a new platform enabling middle and high school students to write and share their own book reviews with one another, and creating a space for online reader discussion groups about literature.
The awardees – who were eligible for a total of $10,000 in cash, mentor lunches, General Assembly classes, Zurb’s web design audit, and free workspace at the Center for Social Innovation – were selected by a panel of seven judges.
New Report from NYU Wagner Innovation Labs Eyes Innovations In Five Cities
Just published: the first in a series of policy reports from NYU Wagner Innovation Labs concerning a three-year Bloomberg Philanthropies effort under way to help mayors in five cities design and implement innovative solutions to pressing challenges.
The report, titled “Getting to Innovation: How Cities are Rethinking Municipal Governance,” offers insight into work in the grantee cities, as well as concrete tools for policymakers seeking to foster municipal innovation in their own cities.
NYU Wagner, RCLA Help Launch The Ghana Wins! Project
New York University, in collaboration with Fundación Mujeres Por África, the University of Ghana, and Banco Santander has launched The Ghana Wins! Project, a major initiative designed to develop and promote leadership skills in Ghanaian women. A select number of Ghanian women will receive training and assistance from the NYU College of Nursing (NYUCN), the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service to help address Ghana’s critical needs in healthcare, education, and strengthening of its civil society.
“The needs in developing countries are great, but the more health resources that are developed, the better off the country will be,” says NYUCN’s Yvonne Wesley, co-director of the project. The project’s director, NYUCN’s Mattia Gilmartin, added, “Ghana is dealing with increases in diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as we are here. One goal of our program is to teach the participating nurses skills to improve the quality of care in their local settings.”
Each school has been awarded a grant from Banco Santander to implement its portion of the project. The College of Nursing is the first to begin, launching the four-year Ghanaian Nurse Leaders Program, which addresses a fundamental need of the Ghanaian nursing profession—the development of a corps of nurses that can improve health system management and clinical practice —in Ghana.
The Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) at NYU Wagner will offer a one-year cohort-based leadership development program for mid- to senior-level women leaders from government and civil society organizations in Ghana. RCLA will select two cohorts of 15-20 women each working in public service across the nation. Women leaders will identify a pressing organizational or community need and design a public service action-learning project to address it. They will spend the following year working in small groups to implement their projects, aided by ongoing expert coaching via regular videoconferences and support from peers.
“In the half century since gaining its independence, Ghana has developed a strong and vibrant civil society to support its social, political, and economic growth,” noted RCLA Executive Director Bethany Godsoe. “As Ghana enters this next phase in its history, the continued strengthening of democratic institutions will be crucial to realizing greater prosperity, and NYU Wagner is honored to be identifying, nurturing, and equipping visionary women leaders as central to that effort.”
The Ghana Wins! Project builds on the collaborative relationship between NYU and the University of Ghana, which includes NYU’s study abroad site on the university’s campus in Accra, the country’s capital and largest city. For more than three years, the two universities and two medical centers—Korle Bu in Accra and Bellevue in New York City—have been working together and learning from each other.
Calling All Coders (and Lots of Others): NYU Wagner's "Code for Change" Wants You!
Calling all coders, designers, data scientists and other technologists to participate in new kind of civic technology competition in New York this Fall! Want to win $10,000 and additional prizes helping solve some of New York City’s most pressing social problems? We invite you to join us as we remix hacking for good at NYU Wagner's upcoming Code for Change.
Unlike a weekend hack, Code for Change will feature a two-week collaboration period, September 28 - October 12, giving you a chance to really dive in, get to know the challenge, and build a lasting relationship with your team. We spent the summer working with nonprofits and local government to bring you well-defined, game-changing challenges that call for applications with the potential to vastly improve lives of people in New York and beyond. In addition to doing good work, we will have prizes for the best apps.
Register and join us on Friday, September 28 at NYU Wagner, when we kick off the competition with an afternoon and evening of team matching, giving you a chance to meet face to face, pitch ideas and form working groups. Over the course of two weeks, teams will meet on their own time to work collaboratively on their solutions. Then on Friday, October 12th all participants will reconvene at NYU Wagner for a “demo day,” when they present their solutions for judging at our exposition. Judges will include: Rachel Sterne, NYC’s Chief Digital Officer, Seth Pinsky, President of the NYC Economic Development Corporation; Charlie O'Donnell, Partner, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures; and Andrew Rasiej, Chairman of NY Tech MeetUp. For more details, please go here now.
Grand Prize $10,000, Social Innovation Prize $6,000 value (including 6 months of free workspace access at the Centre for Social Innovation, a shared workspace and incubator for social ventures, opening in New York City in January 2013. Additional cash, in-kind and mentorship prizes are being announced weekly.
Reserve your spot @ Code for Change launch (Eventbrite).
View and comment on challenge briefs.
Enter your solution idea in response to any challenge.
For "MillionTrees" Leadership, NYU Wagner Student Wins NYC's Frederick Hayes Prize
Citing her ongoing work to bring about the planting of one million trees, the City of New York has awarded NYU Wagner student Morgan Monaco its prestigious Frederick O’Reilly Hayes Prize, which honors aspiring and emerging leaders in the municipal government.
In addition to working currently toward her MPA at Wagner, Ms. Monaco serves as the Director of MillionTreesNYC in the Department of Parks and Recreation, where she leads all elements of the initiative to plant and care for one million new trees citywide.
It is for this job – managing internal staff and coordinating with dozens of outside organizations – that she drew the recognition of the Hayes Prize committee of nine distinguished public service professionals.
“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award and look forward to preserving Hayes’ legacy through my work in public service,” Ms. Monaco said. “I am particularly proud to receive this award on behalf of open space preservation and environmental sustainability. In my work at Wagner, I always look for ways to apply management best practices of people to managing the urban forest. It is my ultimate goal that New Yorkers foster a better connection to their local trees. I am inspired by Hayes’ ability to deliver innovative public programs and look forward to continuing to address open space challenges through my work at Wagner and beyond."
Ms. Monaco has been in City service for five years after several summers with the Parks Department, and holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Vassar College.
In addition to recognizing Ms. Monaco, the prize committee honored two researchers in the Chief Medical Examiner’s Department of Forensic Biology as recipients of the 2012 award. The team developed a statistical tool to describe the results of complex DNA analysis undertaken at crime scenes.
Individual winners of the Hayes Prize receive up to $7,500, while team efforts are eligible for up to $15,000. The winners are chosen from an array of candidates sent by City agencies. This is the seventh year of the prize, whose winnings may be used by the recipients to further develop their public service careers.
The prize was created to memorialize Frederick O’R. Hayes, who was New York City’s star budget director for four years in the administration of Mayor John Lindsay. In that role, Hayes attracted talented and experienced idealists from around the country who wanted to solve the problems of urban poverty.
Before Mayor Lindsay tapped him in 1966, Mr. Hayes started out his career in public finance positions for New York State government, and went on to work for 10 years in Washington as an economist at the Bureau of the Budget, now the Office of Management and Budget. Hayes in 1964 oined President Lyndon B. Jonson’s task force on the War on Poverty, where he was a senior member of the group that developed the Community Action Program. He later joined the newly created Office of Economic Opportunity under Sergeant Striver.
“He had complete integrity. He understood the delicate connection between professional standards and the political system. He attracted and inspired talent. He was a polymath with a wry sense of humor. His imagination was limitless and his analytical powers incisive,” the prize committee stated of Mr. Hayes, who died in 2002.
The award is organized by New York City and Mayor Michael Bloomberg; the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and Commissioner Edna Wells Handy; and the Citywide Organizational and Executive Development Programs
NYU Wagner Participates in White House Forum on Urban Innovation
NYU Wagner is among 16 distinguished public service and educational organizations attending today’s White House Forum on Urban Innovation with an array of Federal agencies, aimed at surfacing new partnerships and models to solve problems of concentrated poverty and economic immobility in our fast-growing cities.
The public / nonprofit conference is part of a new series of conversations the White House is hosting “to spotlight stories of social innovation on the ground,” according to the briefing packet, which adds: “We seek to learn from pioneers who are driving change in challenging times and to explore new ways federal policy making can support their endeavors.”
Among the participating organizations are the National Urban League, the National League of Cities, 100,000 Homes, Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy, NCB Capital Impact, and the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Systems. Federal agency representation includes HUD, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, Treasury, the Small Business Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
In conjunction with the Forum, the White House launched a new tool, Innovation of the Day, to collect and share innovative practices in affordable housing, community development and urban planning. It is accessible here.
'Code For Change' Tech Competition Launched to Design New Apps for the Public Good
In partnership with the largest organizations supporting technological development in the nonprofit sector, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University will launch a new competition in September, challenging tech developers to design new applications to address some of the most pressing public issues facing New Yorkers.
The school and its partners—One Economy, Code for America, NPower and Blue Ridge Foundation—have begun evaluating major challenges from government agencies and nonprofits seeking to enter the “Code For Change” competition. Team formation begins on September 28, and prizes include $10,000 in cash to support application development, VC and mentor lunches and potential support from local foundations.
Code for Change will be a twist on the traditional 24- or 36-hour hackathon, because participating developers will spend two weeks working on their concepts, culminating in the judging at NYU Wagner on Friday, October 12.
Code for Change will look for tech applications that will lead to improvements with a broad public purpose, be they in education, emergency readiness, voting, social services, or other areas of public interest and public service.
Code for Change is made possible by generous support from Motorola Mobility Foundation and Liquidnet.
Anyone interested in entering the contest can create challenges, join teams, and view rules and other details at www.applicationsforgood.org, a platform for designers created by the global nonprofit One Economy.