Crime in the U.S.: Key questions answered | Pew Research Center

How do Americans perceive crime in their country?
Americans tend to believe crime is up, even when the data shows it is down.

MPAer News – November 20, 2020

Almost Thanksgiving week!


  • There is still plenty of room in a number of classes. Please remember that, if you register for a Web2 section of a class, you can now register for the Web5 section (and vice versa).
  • There is plenty of space in two core classes: PADM 671 (Budgeting) and PADM 701 (Public Policy).
  • As of earlier this week, DegreeWorks had not been updated for the Data Analysis requirement for students who started in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Remember that you can opt for FOUN 722 to complete this requirement; for the Spring, I see five MPA students registered for it.

Recommendations: Some advice… if you ask someone to do a recommendation, please make sure to waive the right to view the recommendation. This does NOT mean that folks won’t do it for you; however, there IS a chance that they won’t and will just move on.

The Future of Public Service: Student Perspectives: The ASPA (American Society for Public Administration) Hampton Roads chapter will host a free webinar on ‘The Future of Public Service: Student Perspectives’ on January 21, 2021 from noon-1pm. The goal of this webinar is to address questions and issues raised by students regarding responsive public service of the future. Dr Yusuf is leading the planning of this webinar, and she wants this webinar to be useful to students like yourself. Specifically, the webinar will be structured around the issues, questions, and concerns of interest to students. We are seeking your input in identifying these issues, questions, or concerns. We invite you to complete this online form (at to share questions or issues you would like addressed by webinar panelists. The webinar panelists will be identified based on the input you provide.

Election polls are more accurate if they ask participants how others will vote

"Specifically, we wanted to know whether asking people about the political preferences of others in their social circles and in their states could help paint a fuller picture of the American electorate. Most people know quite a bit about the life experiences of their friends and family, including how happy and healthy they are and roughly how much money they make. So we designed poll questions to see whether this knowledge of others extended to politics – and we have found that it does.

"Pollsters, we determined, could learn more if they took advantage of this type of knowledge. Asking people how others around them are going to vote and aggregating their responses across a large national sample enables pollsters to tap into what is often called “the wisdom of crowds.” "

What 2020 election poll performance might mean for other survey work | Pew Research Center

The fact that the polling errors were not random, and that they almost uniformly involved underestimates of Republican rather than Democratic performance, points to a systematic cause or set of causes. At this early point in the post-election period, the theories about what went wrong fall roughly into four categories, each of which has different ramifications for the polling industry.

MPAer News – November 13, 2020

We are at mid-November with less than a month to go in the Fall semester and two months before the Spring semester!

Registration is on-going for both Spring and Summer. Once a class is filled and has a wait list, no overrides will be given. About 80% of students have registered for the Spring Semester. If you haven’t registered, please do so right away….

• Be aware that there are multiple screen pages for registration.
• Registration shows the number of seat available; some folks interpret this the wrong way.
• Do not overbook classes, please (that is, don’t register for more than you plan to take).
• All Web2 students should be able to register in Web5 sections now (as well as Web5 in Web2 sections).
• We have the Spring and Summer courses linked at
• Please take a mix of core and electives. This will settle out a lot better than taking all of your core classes and then hoping that the elective(s) you want will be available.
• Classes have a “total cap” for enrolled students. For example, a section of an online or streaming course may have room in its cap, but the class may be filled in terms of the total cap.
• Summer 2021 – Don’t forget that you can register now.
• See where you stand with courses at DegreeWorks.

New students:

MPA Orientation will be live/streaming on Wednesday, January 6th. The link to Zoom is provided at

University New Graduate Student Orientation will be available as a Blackboard event starting on January 4, 2021. Students that have holds on their account will not be able to access Blackboard until those holds are removed. However, the Graduate School will keep the event open for the entire Spring 2021 semester. They will be sending out invitations to students by Friday, November 13, 2020. However, the RSVP is

For current or new students: please read (and re-read): This will answer a lot of on-going questions.

Dannetta Townsend – an MPA grad – is listed as Top 40 Under 40 in The Virginian-Pilot’s Inside Business:

What Is a Particle? | Quanta Magazine

“We say they are ‘fundamental,’” said Xiao-Gang Wen, a theoretical physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “But that’s just a [way to say] to students, ‘Don’t ask! I don’t know the answer. It’s fundamental; don’t ask anymore.’”

Why we didn’t get a vaccine by Election Day – but why we may get one soon

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is planning for the vaccine to be administered first to health care professionals, essential workers, national security populations and people aged 65 and older and with underlying illnesses. Vaccination of low-risk individuals in the general population will be later, likely in the summer. A vaccine for children likely will not be available until even later.

Time Traveler: When Did New Words Appear? | Grammar Girl

Last week, Merriam-Webster launched a new tool on its website called Time Traveler that lets you explore words by year.