Jay A. Mancini has joined Virginia Tech's Institute for Society, Culture and Environment (ISCE) as a senior research fellow, according to Karen A. Roberto, the institute's interim director.
In his new position, Mancini will be responsible for securing external funds to maintain and expand upon his previous research in relationship to the institute’s focus on social and individual transformation, investigating new funding sources to support his research agenda and the interests of other institute researchers, and assisting other faculty in ISCE-related proposal writing ventures.
“The diversity of researchers at Virginia Tech and the disciplines they represent make for a rich capacity to address the more pressing issues facing the nation and the globe, including immigration, health disparities, poverty and other forms of disadvantage, and family and community well-being,” said Mancini. “My role is intended to bring scholars together around societal issues that are not easily addressed by individual disciplines.”
Mancini’s research attends to organizational effectiveness, collaboration, and community capacity, and examines the linkages between aspects of social organization and desired community outcomes.
“I am very pleased that the institute was able to recruit such a well-established faculty member to join the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment,” said Roberto. “One of our approaches for furthering interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the social sciences, humanities, and arts is to have faculty affiliated with the institute who devote significant time to developing our concentration areas. Jay has had great success in securing grants and contracts and we look forward to his guidance in expanding that expertise with the ISCE faculty groups.”
Mancini, who joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1977, is a professor of human development and served as department head from 1989 to 1996. Sponsored by various federal agencies and several foundations, Mancini has secured more than $6 million in funding for his research. Currently he is a consultant to the U.S. Army’s Child and Youth Services Division (evaluation of family support programs), and to America’s Promise: The Alliance for Youth (research on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina).
Previously he was a consultant to the National Park Service as a research sociologist. Mancini’s research has appeared in the top-tier journals in family studies and social gerontology. He is a fellow of the National Council on Family Relations, and received the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Service Award from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he received his Ph.D. Mancini received his bachelor’s degree at King’s College and earned a master’s degree from Kansas State University.
"The appointment of Professor Mancini represents another milestone in the development of the institute," said Sue Ott Rowlands, chair of the stakeholders committee for ISCE and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech. "It adds to the increasing momentum of ISCE in extending its influence in supporting and facilitating faculty research and scholarship."
Established in 2006, ISCE is tasked with strengthening the university’s competitive position in the social sciences, humanities, and arts. Addressing issues of social and individual transformation, the primary programmatic focus of ISCE include: global issues, human development and behavioral health, rhetoric, representation, and public humanities, social complexity and individual risk, and community arts, built environments, and urban formations.