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    New research details economic, nutritional impact of global recreational inland fishing , redirect

    2024-25 ISCE Scholar Elizabeth Nyboer’s research was recently featured in a new collaborative paper that highlights the significant but underrecognized role of inland recreational fisheries in providing food and nutrition. The paper also offers insights into their vulnerability to future climate challenges.

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    Faculty research informs classroom design for all learners , redirect

    Two Virginia Tech faculty researchers previously supported by ISCE, conducted a study that informs classroom designs by incorporating the perspective of neuroatypical students.

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    Virginia Tech Grad Students Team Up with High Schoolers to Cool Local Park , redirect

    Check out this video featuring Theo Lim, a former ISCE scholar, who led Virginia Tech graduate students to develop an interactive game to solve a problem for Roanoke, Virginia. Thanks to a partnership with Virginia Western Community College, Lim’s class taught high school students how to play the game and share their ideas.

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    Let ISCE Tell Your Story , redirect

    Do you have an upcoming research publication within the social sciences that you would like promoted in the media, or are you interested in being featured in an ISCE story? Complete our interest form, and we will be in touch soon!

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    Visual Arts Faculty Contribute Expertise to CDC-funded Public Health Campaign , redirect

    Two College of Architecture, Arts, and Design faculty members, previously supported by ISCE, are part of an $8.5 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant awarded to the City of New Orleans. Click here to read more.

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    Radio IQ Features Experiential Learning Course in Brain Injury Rehabilitation , redirect

    A course led by Netta Gurari, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, was featured on Radio IQ. The course immerses students in the life and care network of individuals with brain injuries. This experiential learning opportunity has been supported by a grant from ISCE. Take a listen!

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    Circular Economies with Jennifer Russell , redirect

    Jennifer Russell, previously supported by ISCE, joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to talk about the concept of a circular economy. She explained that a circular economy is a shift away from the linear economy, which follows a take-make-dispose model, and instead focuses on reducing waste and reusing materials.

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    Final Team Science Workshop Recording Now Available , redirect

    The recording and presentation slides for ISCE's third and final Team Science workshop, "Managing Difference and Conflict in Cross-Disciplinary Research Teams," which was held on April 12, 2024, are now available.

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    Patricia Raun Featured in Times Higher Education , redirect

    Patricia "Patty" Raun, Director of the Virginia Tech Center for Communicating Science, an ISCE-supported center, was featured in Times Higher Education with an insightful essay on effective public-speaking techniques for university faculty.

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    Public Interest Technology Lab Launches New Website , redirect

    The PI-TECH Lab, whose administrative home is within ISCE, has launched a new website to highlight their work focused on fostering ways that technology can be used for the needs of society.

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    View Our Most Recent News Flash , redirect

    The Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment issues a News Flash every two weeks highlighting funding opportunities for transdisciplinary social science research to address human and societal concerns that impact people and places. Check out our latest and past issues.

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    Register Now for 3rd ISCE Team Science Workshop , redirect

    Please join us on Friday, April 12, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. via Zoom for the third and final workshop of the Team Science series. This workshop, "Managing Difference and Conflict in Cross-Disciplinary Research Teams," will provide participants with essential skills in communicating across disciplinary boundaries, leveraging team diversity, fostering productive disagreement, and addressing and resolving conflicts.

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    Innovate and Connect at the 2024 Whole Health Consortium Annual Meeting at Virginia Tech , redirect

    Register now for the 2024 Whole Health Consortium Annual Meeting, scheduled for April 5, from 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. in the South End Zone of the University Club at Virginia Tech. The annual meeting is open to all faculty, students, and community members engaged in health-related work or research and who are interested in learning more.

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    ISCE and +Policy Responsible Technology Webinar Recording Now Available , redirect

    The recording and slides for the ISCE and +Policy Responsible Technology webinar, which was held on February 16, are now available. NSF program officers from the Technology Innovation & Partnerships and Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences directorate discussed funding opportunities linking technology and social sciences, with a particular focus on 'responsible technology.'

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    Apply Now: Global Change Center & ISCE Seed Grants , redirect

    The Global Change Center, in collaboration with ISCE and the Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech, is seeking projects that link multiple faculty programs and take advantage of unique combinations of expertise at VT, have societal implications and/or a policy component, and deal with emerging global change issues that have regional and global significance. Applications are due March 1, 2024.

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    Deadline Approaching for 2024-2025 ISCE Scholars Program , redirect

    Applications for the 2024-2025 ISCE Scholars Program are closing soon. To be considered, please ensure you apply by 5:00 p.m. this Thursday, February 15. The aim of the ISCE Scholars Program is to provide faculty support for developing grant proposals in the social sciences, broadly defined, and consistent with ISCE’s four thematic areas and the University’s Research Frontiers.

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    Register Now: ISCE and +Policy NSF Responsible Technology Webinar , redirect

    Join ISCE and the +Policy Network on February 16 at 10:00 a.m. for a webinar with NSF program officers from the Technology Innovation & Partnerships and Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences directorates. They will discuss funding opportunities linking technology and social sciences, with a particular focus on responsible technology.

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    Register Now for ISCE Scholars Information Session , redirect

    Interested in applying to the 2024-2025 ISCE Scholars program? Join us via Zoom on Friday, January 19, from 10:00-11:15 AM. During the session, attendees will learn about the details of the program, research of previous ISCE Scholars, how they used their grant funds, and advice they have for aspiring Scholars.

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    Faculty Highlight: Meagan Brem , redirect

    For over a decade, Meagan Brem, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, has been studying the connection between alcohol use and intimate personal violence. Brem received funding from the ISCE Scholars program in early 2023, and has recently been awarded a NIH grant to expand her research further.

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    ISCE Launches New Whole Health Consortium Website

    The Whole Health Consortium, supported by ISCE, has launched a new website to better highlight their work, funding opportunities and ways to connect.

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    Communicating Scientific Research Through Dance , redirect

    Take a look at this video showcasing the collaboration between the Center for Communicating Science, an ISCE-supported center, and the School of Performing Arts as they help graduate and doctoral students explain their scientific research through dance.

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    2024 Seed Grants Available , redirect

    Tenured, tenure-track, and collegiate faculty are invited to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to support research and outreach projects that explore and respond to challenges in rural communities as they relate to rural schooling. Applications are due December 4, 2023.

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    Deadline for Policy Scholar Applications Extended

    The +Policy Network has extended the deadline to Nov. 1st for applications for its Policy Scholar Program. This opportunity enables researchers without policy expertise to obtain mentoring from a faculty expert as they pursue a research project with a policy component.

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    Apply Now for Whole Health Consortium Seed Grants!

    The Whole Health Consortium is now accepting applications for its Seed Grant program. This year's priority area is mental health and will included two tracks with funding up to $45,000 available. A 2-page letter of intent is due Oct 13th.

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    Global Change Center & ISCE Fund Seed Grants , redirect

    The Global Change Center has awarded seed grants to five projects for 2023-2024, including three that are focused on social aspects of global change which are funded in partnership with the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment.

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    Whole Health Consortium Fall Meet & Greet

    Mark your calendar for the Whole Health Consortium's fall virtual Meet-n-Greet scheduled for October 3rd at 4:00 pm. This interactive session will offer networking, details about their Seed Grant program and an opportunity for Consortium leadership to hear from participants.

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    ISCE Updates Website and Launches New +Policy Site

    ISCE has recently refreshed its website including creating a new menu to make navigation easier. The +Policy Network, supported by ISCE, has also launched a new website to better highlight their work, funding opportunities and ways to connect.

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    ISCE 2023 Spring Forum Recording Now Available , redirect

    The recording is now available for ISCE's annual Spring Forum, featuring a virtual presentation by Christine Hunter, the acting director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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    ISCE Offering Meet & Greet Sessions for New Faculty

    The Institute for Society, Culture and Environment is hosting three "meet and greet" sessions via Zoom for new Virginia Tech faculty to learn about the institute and how it can support their research. The sessions will be held on August 30th and 31st and Sept 1st. Click the link above for details and to register.

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    Interested in policy applications for research? Sign up for Policy Camp!

    Virginia Tech’s +Policy Network is offering a free, one-day, in-person workshop for faculty and advanced graduate students on August 14th from 9:00-4:00 at the Honors College Studio in Squires Hall on ways to make your research informative to policymakers.

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    RFA for 2nd ISCE PREP Program Faculty Cohort Now Available , redirect

    ISCE is offering an opportunity for a cohort of faculty members in the social sciences who are planning to submit a grant proposal for external funding but are new to the proposal writing process or would like personalized mentoring. ISCE anticipates making up to 6 awards and up to $10,000 per award. Applications due June 7, 2023.

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    Transdisciplinary research network addresses policy research and education , redirect

    A transdisciplinary community has emerged as a result of the work of Virginia Tech’s Destination Areas. An outgrowth of the Policy Destination Area, the +Policy Network, reflects the original Destination Area’s mission and expands the breadth of engagement across Virginia Tech. The +Policy Network remains dedicated to building capacity for policy research, teaching, and training that connects STEM disciplines with social sciences and humanities.

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    Researchers explore human-centered solutions to environmental grand challenges , redirect

    Finding a solution to grand environmental social challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution requires addressing a host of transdisciplinary research and a human-centered approach. Convergence researchers aim to address such large-scale societal problems by working with a broad range of both scientists and stakeholders. This is the goal of the research project headed by Stanley Grant, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and director of the Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Lab in Northern Virginia.

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    Social science faculty recipients of Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment’s first PREP awards , redirect

    The Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment launched the Preparing your Research for an Extramural Proposal (PREP) Program this fall with a call for applications. Seven faculty members from four colleges and six departments were selected to participate in the program and are currently receiving guidance and mentoring. In addition, they received up to $7,500 to support their research and grant-writing efforts.

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    New Center for Rural Education to focus on educational equity , redirect

    As the founding director of Virginia Tech’s new Center for Rural Education, Amy Price Azano has studied how structural challenges related to poverty and educational inequities can adversely affect rural schools and communities. As a first-generation college student from a rural community, Azano, also an associate professor in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, understands these challenges both professionally and personally, but also believes in the power and promise of rural schooling.

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    Eminent researchers around the country help launch the new Center for Rural Education , redirect

    Imagine a gathering of the most innovative and prominent scholarly researchers who are offering their intelligence, experience, and time. That describes the Rural Education Summit, held at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on Aug. 26, which officially launched the new Center for Rural Education. Amy Price Azano, an associate professor in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, organized the summit with Rachelle Kuehl, also in the School of Education and a research scientist in the center.

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    Transformative Whole Health ambassador to speak at Virginia Tech , redirect

    Tracy Gaudet will speak at Virginia Tech about whole health on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m. in the Fralin Hall Auditorium on the Blacksburg campus. Sponsored by the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE), Gaudet’s presentation is free and open to the public. Having led the transformation of the Veterans Health Administration to whole health, a health care approach that empowers and equips people to take charge of their health and well-being, Gaudet will speak on the national need for the transformation to whole health and the opportunity for Virginia Tech.

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    Virginia Tech sustainability research impacts retirement community residents , redirect

    While Jennifer Russell’s analysis of a business, community, or facility is inspired by nature, the impact of her work benefits the environment. Through seed funding provided by the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment, Russell and her students are working with a retirement company, Retirement Unlimited Incorporated (RUI), to research how it could increase its sustainability efforts. Russell’s findings led to the development and continuation of a collaborative relationship affecting not only the stakeholders involved, but also in senior living communities located throughout Virginia and Florida.

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    The Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment Names New Cohort of ISCE Scholars for 2022-2023 , redirect

    ISCE has funded four new interdisciplinary research groups representing 10 departments and six colleges. The scholars program supports innovative, interdisciplinary, and translational research that addresses critical human and societal concerns impacting the lives of people and places. In addition to funding, the recipients receive technical assistance and mentoring to help them with their external grant submissions.

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    How We Collaborate: Theodore Lim and Thomas Pingel , redirect

    Featured in one of a series of articles about researchers who successfully work together, Theodore Lim and Thomas Pingel share their perspectives about collaborating together for an ISCE-funded project about heat resilience. They speak candidly about what works for them and what doesn't, and how they are able to bring their individual expertise together to enhance the overall project. In a question-and-answer format, the researchers describe in their own words their collaborative process.

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    STEP Program Keynote Addresses Climate Change and Policy Solutions , redirect

    Solving environmental and societal problems through scientifically backed policy and research was the focus of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Policy keynote seminar featuring Claire Kremen, professor and President's Excellence chair of biodiversity at the University of British Columbia. Kremen discussed how climate change, biodiversity loss, and unsustainable resource extraction form a triple threat to our era, interacting with one another to have a significant impact on humanity and the planet. In her presentation, “Managing Landscapes to Reduce the Triple Anthropocene Threat,” Kremen discussed how a working land conservation approach could be promoted through policy to address these threats to the environment.

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    Methods and the Messsage: Studing the Role of Communication in Stopping Pandemics , redirect

    Julie Gerdes, who specializes in the intersection of technical communication and global public health, believes communication is key in stopping the spread of infectious diseases. She has been inspired to use her skills to tackle COVID-19 through a research project, supported by the Council on Vibrant Virginia, with co-funding from ISCE and Virginia Cooperative Extension, that examines vaccine hesitancy among Latinx communities. While communication is an important tool in ending pandemics, Gerdes warned it can create larger problems if not used responsibly, such as pitting people against each other. She said it is important to think about the terms used to describe the vaccine. Not listening to concerns, Gerdes said, creates distrust and negatively affects population health.

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    Presentation by Social Science Research Council President Focuses on Research Landscape of Social and Behavioral Science , redirect

    The Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment hosted the president of the Social Science Research Council, Anna Harvey, as part of Virginia Tech’s Sesquicentennial celebration and in recognition of the institute’s 15-year anniversary on March 31st. The Social Science Research Council is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. focused on promoting social science research and the role social scientists play in solving pressing contemporary problems. Harvey presented on the current landscape of social and behavioral science research and strategies that both funders and universities can adopt to increase the production of policy-based evidence of impact at scale. Read more about this event in the preview article published in the Virginia Tech Daily News.

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    Middle school students learn the importance of heat resilience in communities , redirect

    Theo Lim, an affiliate with the Global Change Center, whose work is supported by both the Fralin Life Sciences Institute and the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment, focuses on green infrastructure planning, urban hydrology, water resource planning, and the linkages between land, water, infrastructure, and people. He is interested in studying these topics to help communities become more sustainable given limited natural resources and more resilient in the face of social and environmental change. This summer, Lim worked with Roanoke City Public Schools to develop a two-week intensive science-action curriculum focused on collecting urban temperature and thermal comfort data, and making proposals for cooling exceptionally hot areas of the city.

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    Data-Driven Research Accelerator Workshop jump-starts social science research , redirect

    The Policy Destination Area and University Libraries collaborated to offer a research accelerator workshop in July to help social scientists refocus their research efforts after a year affected by the pandemic. The workshop, a week-long event held July 12-16, provided dedicated time for faculty to focus on their own research, along with a supportive peer network and assistance with analytic tools, data visualization and more from experts at Virginia Tech. The event featured the COVID-19 Influences and Impacts Database of Databases, a collaboration of the Policy Destination Area and University Libraries DataBridge, which provides researchers with one-stop access to a variety of social, behavioral, health, and environmental data for research.

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    Six interdisciplinary research teams announced as 2022 ISCE Scholars , redirect

    Supporting social science research, broadly defined, is at the heart of what the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment does. One of its primary goals is to prepare social science faculty to compete for external funds to support their research. This aim is achieved, in part, through ISCE's signature Scholars Program. Scholars, who are awarded up to $30,000 for a period of a year, typically work in interdisciplinary teams and conduct pilot studies or other preparatory research so that they are ready to apply to external funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, or private foundations as as the William T. Grant Foundation. Six new research teams will begin work in summer or fall 2021.

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    New STEP Program Bridges the Gap between Science and Decision-Making , redirect

    The Virginia Tech Policy Destination Area launched its interdisciplinary graduate certificate program, Science, Technology and Engineering in Policy (STEP), in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. While launching the certificate under current conditions has had its challenges, COVID-19 is also making clear just how important such a certificate is for science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health (STEM-H) students who are looking to work at the interface of science and policy. As part of the certificate launch and to promote conversations within the Virginia Tech community, the inaugural STEP seminar, held on April 27th to an audience of over 90 faculty and students, featured Lynn Scarlett, chief external affairs officer at The Nature Conservancy.

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    Center for Gerontology researchers receive $2.14 million to study extended family caregivers of people with dementia , redirect

    Karen Roberto and Tina Savla, both faculty members of Virginia Tech’s Center for Gerontology, are leading a five-year, $2.14 million NIA study that examines the role of extended family caregivers for a relative with dementia and their service use, needs, and challenges. While most of the caregiving literature to date has focused on close kin, such as adult children and spouses, this study turns the spotlight on other family caregivers, such as grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews, and step-kin. The research team will compare extended family caregivers with adult children and spouse caregivers in their study, which they have named “CareEx.”

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    What Can Stream Quality Tell Us About Quality of Life? Researchers Find Relationship Between Ecosystem Health and Human Well-being , redirect

    As the source of most of the water we drink and a place where we often go to recreate and enjoy nature, streams represent a crucial point-of-contact between human beings and the environment. Virginia Tech researchers are now using stream quality data to find new insights into the interactions between the health of our natural spaces and human well-being. Their findings, published in the journal Ecological Indicators, reveal that demographics such as race and population density, as well as health indices such as cancer rates and food insecurity, show strong correlations with water quality across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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    Policy Destination Area team develops COVID-19 database to spur policy and social science research , redirect

    As leaders of the Virginia Tech Policy Destination Area wondered how they could harness their resources to better understand policy decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, they conceived of the idea to develop a 'database of databases.' This resource, available on the web, would be populated with policies related to the pandemic with direct links to data for researchers to use. Their hope was that this new tool would facilitate research on possible and actual policy changes in response to the pandemic, or on their ramifications, considering the pandemic as a ‘natural experiment.

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    National Science Foundation Funds Research on the Social Implications of COVID-19 , redirect

    Three research teams at Virginia Tech were awarded RAPID grants from the the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences directorate of the National Science Foundation to spur the development of social science–oriented research related to COVID-19. The teams, all of whom have received prior support from ISCE for related research, represent a range of departments and disciplines, highlighting the often diverse and interdisciplinary nature of social science research.

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    Dementia Caregiving During the "Stay-at-Home" Phase of COVID-19 Pandemic , redirect

    Tina Savla and her team examined how the stay-at-home phase of COVID-19 affected caregivers of persons with dementia living in rural Virginia and their use of available home- and community-based services and informal support to assist them with their care responsibilities. To read this article and learn which caregivers have been most affected, as well as read other articles, visit the ISCE COVID-19 Repository.

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    ISCE to Feature Faculty COVID-19 Scholarship and Research , redirect

    ISCE is maintaining a repository of COVID-19 related research and scholarship of faculty and Centers affiliated with the Institute, as well as members of the Virginia Tech community who are engaged in research focusing on the social, psychological, and policy impact of the coronavirus on people and places. The repository highlights nonmedical-oriented research and scholarship taking place at Virginia Tech during this historic and far-reaching pandemic. Send us your publications so they can be included!

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    Resilience Test of the North American Food System , redirect

    ISCE’s Global Issues Initiative (GII) has contributed to the discussion of the economic effects of COVID-19 in two papers. GII Director David Orden assesses challenges in the North American food system. GII Senior Research Fellow Caesar Cororaton and co-authors at De La Salle University use their model of the Philippine economy to evaluate consequences of lockdown policies. Visit the ISCE COVID-19 repository to read both articles and others.