Voinovich Challenge

July 07, 2021

Your NASPAA Institution is invited to join a ‘pitch competition’ cosponsored by NASPAA and Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Public Service in honor of the late Sen. George V. Voinovich. The Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge is an annual event that highlights exciting new strategies for enhancing student education, addressing unmet needs, advancing knowledge, and/or improving programmatic efficiency or effectiveness. This year, the challenge is focused on Expanding Opportunity for Underserved Communities. If selected as one of the three finalists:



To apply, interested faculty or professional staff must:

  • Have developed an innovative program or approach that fits within this year’s theme – Expanding Opportunity for Underserved Communities – through enhancing student education, addressing an unmet need, and/or improving programmatic efficiency or effectiveness.
  • Create a two-page written overview, telling us what you are doing and how it works. Submission deadline: September 1, 2021
  • Be prepared to give a short presentation of your idea and answer questions posed by a panel of expert judges at the 2021 NASPAA Virtual Conference October 28 and 29, 2021 if you are selected for the finalist pool.

Submit questions and applications to:

Kate Leeman, Voinovich School Director of Strategic Initiatives, leemank@ohio.edu.


NASPAA’s Executive Director, Dr. Laurel McFarland, and Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs Dean, Dr. Mark Weinberg, conceived of this competition as a commemoration of their mutual friend and colleague, Senator George V. Voinovich (July 15, 1936- June 12, 2016), whose nearly half-century of public service was a living example of servant leadership. He encouraged others to design and deliver practical solutions to challenging public problems, to expand higher education public private partnerships, and, most importantly, to educate, mentor and develop people engaged in public service from every sector and walk of life.