In 2016 Virginia Tech Provost Thanassis Rikakis announced a major new initiative titled Destination Areas (DA). It is envisioned to create research and teaching thrust areas that defy traditional disciplinary silos. Based on the initial faculty input five DAs were identified with additional five Strategic Growth Areas (SGA) that are anticipated to grow into full-fledged DAs in the near future. The initiative also introduced an ambitious financial backing poised to support the new growth, as well as restructuring of the campus by introducing a new Creativity and Innovation District (CID) to the tune of $500+M of investment over the next 10 years.
I was nominated to serve on the Intelligent Infrastructure and Human-Centered Communities (IIHCC) Destination Area, and the Creative Technologies + Experiences (CT+E) Strategic Growth Area. Over the course of the past 18 months, I served on numerous panels, committees and have authored a significant portion of the IIHCC and CT+E whitepapers, ensuring that both retain the transdisciplinary nature, and are inclusive of both the arts and design. As a result, in the December 2016 I was appointed to the CT+E Stakeholder committee where I serve alongside Deans, Directors, and select senior scholars and help steer the efforts of the faculty involved in the SGA in order to meet the ambitious timeline associated with the phase II (scheduled to end in the spring 2018).
In parallel, I remained active in the IIHCC DA and continue to serve on both the research and curriculum committee tasked with developing a first year experience course for the undecided students who have exhibited interest in technology-centered areas of scholarship. Even though I find my research comfortably residing within both of the initiatives, looking forward, as both IIHCC and CT+E continue to mature, I am facing an inevitable question of consolidating a growing number of administrative responsibilities.