GARDNER BURG is a Masters of Landscape Architecture student at Virginia Tech focused on the social dimensions of urban landscapes.  This particular interest includes individual and community vitality in public places, which is what drew Gardner to Community Voices.  Gardner enjoys the potential dialogue created by the series of speakers and hopes that this dialogue can aid in the development of community social and economic health.

JON CATHERWOOD-GINN is a Master of Fine Arts student in Directing & Public Dialogue at Virginia Tech. Jon is pursuing a certificate in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management and co-directing the Building Home project: a theatre-based community engagement initiative, in partnership with the New River Valley Planning District Commission. Jon’s research and theatre-making focus on the arts’ role in community-building, planning processes, government systems, and social change movements.

JAMES M. DUBINSKY is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of English and an associate professor of Rhetoric and Writing.  From 1998 until 2007, he was the founding director of the Professional Writing Program in the Department of English, and from 2008 – 2011, he served as the founding director of the Virginia Tech Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships (CSECP), now VT-Engage.  He has received college-level awards for both teaching and outreach and the first university award for the scholarship of teaching and learning. Jim is also the faculty adviser for the Sustainable Food Corps and for WUVT-FM, the campus radio station, and hosts a weekly radio show (The New River Sampler) on Friday mornings from 7-9 am.







DAVID MOORE is on the research faculty at the Institute for Policy and Governance where he studies and conducts outreach related to nonprofit capacity building, cross-sector partnerships and policy networks.



Jackie PontiousJACKIE PONTIOUS has earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning from Virginia Tech and is currently working towards a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Her research interests are in nonprofit governance and leadership and the role of the arts in community change and healing. Before Graduate School she worked for a local nonprofit corporation, Community Housing Partners, on a U.S. Department of Labor stimulus grant to train unemployed and dislocated workers in renewable energy and energy efficient construction practices. Prior to this she has worked for a range of nonprofit organizations on sustainability and social justice issues across Appalachia and Virginia. Jackie is also an artist with her medium of choice being paint, digital art and graphic design. You can view her art and design work here:


ANDY MORIKAWA was the long-time Community Foundation of the New River Valley Executive Director and one-time President of SHARE International. Morikawa continues working in nonprofit governance, social entrepreneurship, and community capacity building. Morikawa serves as a trustee on the boards of the Community Group, New Mountain Climbers Giving Circle,  Community Housing Partners, and, SustainFloyd. He serves as consulting advisor for the Via Institute of Via International, Spikenard Farm, and the Sojourn Center of the NRV hospice house. Morikawa also serves as a fellow of the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance and VT Honors Residential College.

KATHERINE PRESTON is a doctoral student with the Center for Public Administration and Policy and a graduate assistant in the Office of the Senior Fellow for Resource Development.  Her research interests bridge arts management and public affairs scholarship.  Kate holds a master’s degree in Arts Management from American University and a bachelor’s of music in viola performance from James Madison University.



MAX STEPHENSON JR. currently serves as a Professor of Public and International Affairs and Director of the Institute for Policy and Governance at Virginia Tech. His research interests include the dynamics of peace building and international development and the role of arts and leadership in community change processes.

SCOTT TATE links communities and organizations across Virginia with the knowledge and resources of the university and Extension system as an Extension Specialist in Community Viability for Virginia Tech. Scott also serves as adjunct faculty in the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning and as a Research Associate with the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance.  His research interests include community change and place-making, inclusion and diversity, and civic innovation and social entrepreneurship.  Among other projects, Scott is currently investigating the role of arts and culture in community change processes and coordinating Virginia’s USDA-funded Stronger Economies Together project.