Monday, 1 August 2011

Virginia Tech Partnering Program - Awards Announced

This year marks the second anniversary of the Virginia Tech-University of Kent Partnering Award Program. The Program is aimed at encouraging and facilitating collaboration between the two institutions, and this year three awards were made.

Ms Bilge Daldeniz (Kent Business School, University of Kent)
Dr Nancy Gard McGehee (Dept of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Virginia Tech)

Ms Daldeniz and Dr McGehee will examine the impacts of volunteer tourism on host communities. Volunteer tourism is a niche that has grown significantly in recent years, but little is known about its effects on host communities. Dr McGehee has worked on volunteer tourism for over a decade, whilst Ms Daldeniz is an emerging scholar in the area; the former’s research experience and theoretical background will complement the latter’s extensive contacts in the field. Together they will submit an application to the UK’s Economic & Social Research Council, to develop a robust, evidence-based framework for future planning, management and hosting of volunteer tourism.

Dr Todd Mei (School of European Culture & Languages, University of Kent)
Prof Nicolaus Tideman (Dept of Economics, Virginia Tech)

Dr Mei and Prof Tideman will discuss economic and philosophical concepts of land, and how related questions of rights and justice can be developed in new ways. The investigators do not share identical views on these areas, but a fertile mixture of agreement and difference exists that will lead to a healthy and critical dialogue and develop each scholar’s thought and contribution to their respective fields. Their collaboration will lead to two proposals to the UK’s Leverhulme Trust: one for a project grant, the other for a Visiting Professorship.

Dr Joao Macieira (Dept of Economics, Virginia Tech)
Dr Diogo de Souza Monteiro (Kent Business School, University of Kent)

Certification – such as that for organic farming standards – tends to be implemented and monitored by third parties (e.g., The Soil Association), and there is now a fast growing global market for the provision of these services. However, there has been little empirical research examining the performance of this market. Drs Macieria and Monteiro will undertake a pilot project to do just that, focusing initially on the organic food sector in the USA, UK and Portugal. This will lead to a joint paper, and the development of a grant proposal targeted at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture in the US, or the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK.

Congratulations to all those involved in these partnerships. They offer an exciting opportunity to make connections and explore shared research which will, we hope, lead to both a productive collaboration and fruitful long term ties between our two universities.

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