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Politics & Engagement

  • Woman at conference
  • Speaker at conference
  • Speaker at conference
  • IPS discussion with woman and man
  • IPS discussion with attendees
  • Speaker William J. Howell
IPS Conferences

IPS Conferences

IPS coordinates conferences focusing on the history and present state of the nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia. All conferences are open to the College and the community.

In the weeks following the 2012 national elections, IPS conducted a conference analyzing the election results, coined the “Post Election Conference.” Nationally known scholars, journalists and political leaders joined NOVA faculty on panels to discuss the significance of the electoral events before an audience of students and community members in the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. In November 2013, IPS held its 2nd Post Election Conference which focused on the implications of the Virginia Elections. IPS hopes to continue to offer a Post Election Conference every year.

Upcoming Conferences

IPS Forums

William J. HowellWorking with NOVA faculty from various disciplines, IPS invites prominent elected officials, political experts, journalists and community leaders for guest lectures on campus to promote dialogue on issues of importance to the students and community.

In the spring semester of 2013, IPS hosted lectures by the Speaker and the Minority Whip of the Virginia House of Delegates. Both events were followed by luncheons that brought these officials together with members of the College Board, NOVA administrators, local school superintendents, faculty and students. These luncheons were held in the Tyler Gallery with student artwork on display, and with background music provided by NOVA music students.

Elections Watch

Elections Watch

The Elections Watch initiative aims to closely monitor the electoral campaigns at the national, state or local level each year, and offer comprehensive, objective commentary and analysis to the general public that will help voters make an informed decision when voting. The long-term goal is to serve as a reliable source of clear, unbiased information regarding politics and administrations.

Virginia Elections Watch

In the summer of 2013, IPS convened a panel of Political Science and Geography faculty to produce weekly releases of information about political developments locally and nationally. The panel was complemented by a student panel who enrolled in PLS 298 – Seminar and Project Course. Students in this course conducted research regarding the elections, campaigns, administrations and policies. Each week the two panels meet to discuss their findings and prepare their analysis. A blog documenting the faculty and student findings can be found here.


IPS is a proud supporter of the NOVA Forensics Team. The NOVA Forensics Team features an impressive roster of talented students from the NOVA campuses. Students compete in platform speaking, literature performance and debate events. All students work with coaches to stay informed on worldwide aspects of literature, economics, drama, politics or social issues to excel in their craft. By competing they harness their skills and learn how to communicate powerful messages to a variety of audiences.

In late October 2013, the NOVA Forensics team traveled to Cedar Crest College and walked away with awards in Impromptu Speaking and Dramatic Interpretation. In November 2013, at the Seton Hall University Tournament and the West Chester University tournament NOVA won 1st place in Parliamentary Debate and a variety of final round finishes in Impromptu Speaking and Dramatic Interpretation. In December 2013, the team faced its greatest challenge at the Suffolk Community College tournament held in Selden, N.Y. In addition to many of the local powerhouses like James Madison University that were in attendance, the competition also included last year’s community college National Championship team from Harper College in Illinois & El Paso College in Texas. Despite the pressure, our students rose to the challenge taking home trophies in Impromptu Speaking (2nd place) and Extemporaneous Speaking (5th place).

Beginning in 2013, IPS co-sponsored the Richard J. Ernst Debate Tournament in which NOVA Forensics Team hosted other schools from the league to compete at the NOVA Alexandria Campus. IPS will continue to sponsor this tournament in the years to come.

Political Science Specialization

IPS provides support and guidance for students pursuing the Associate of Science degree in the Social Sciences with the Political Science Specialization. Periodically, the Institute plans to offer both credit and non-credit courses in campaign management, and courses designed to train the staff members of elected officials in the requirements of effective constituent services.