Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

ACLU Suit Names ACPD Captain — Arlington County Police Department Captain Wayne Vincent has been added, in his personal capacity, to the ACLU lawsuit over the actions by police to clear protesters from Lafayette Square ahead of President Trump walking from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church. Some twenty ACPD officers, who are not named, are also being sued over the use of force and chemical irritants. [WTOP, ACLU]

Where APS Students Are Going to College — “The following is a list of the colleges and universities where Arlington Public Schools high school graduates (Class of 2020) applied and where they were accepted.” [Arlington Magazine]

Sen. Kaine in Arlington Today — “On Thursday, September 3, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine will host a socially distant conversation in Arlington with local leaders to discuss the work being done to support the Latino community in Northern Virginia, as reports show Latino communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.” The closed event is taking place at an apartment building near Columbia Pike this afternoon. [Press Release]

Bus Project Likely to Be Funded — “A project submitted by the Arlington County government remains in contention for Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) funding, even as a number of other regional projects have been delayed for consideration due to sharp dropoffs in available funding. As a result, the Arlington project — an HOV- and bus-only lane on Route 29 in Rosslyn during rush hour — is likely to receive the $710,000 in regional funds being sought to help with the overall project cost.” [InsideNova]

Local Group Supports Eviction Moratorium — “Leaders of VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) cautiously welcomed the announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of a nationwide eviction moratorium through Dec. 31, but noted that Congress and the Administration still need to work together to provide significant funding to prevent huge rental housing market instability after the ban expires.” [Press Release]

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The rate of new coronavirus cases in Arlington has dropped over the past few days, but four COVID-related deaths have been reported this week.

The Virginia Dept. of Health reported only nine new cases in Arlington overnight, five new cases the day before that, and 15 new cases two days ago — all below the seven-day moving average.

The county’s cumulative case count is now 3,569, while the seven-day moving total of new cases is 134 — or 19.1 per day.

Despite that good news, there is some bad news: another coronavirus death was reported overnight, the fourth such death reported by VDH over the past three days. Arlington’s cumulative total now stands at 141. Prior to Monday, the death toll had only risen by four over the course of more than 50 days.

Hospitalizations in Arlington are also elevated, relative to earlier this summer. Arlington has recorded 17 new COVID hospitalizations over the past week, with three new hospitalizations reported overnight. The seven-day total has only dipped into the single digits once over the past two weeks, after staying in the single-digits throughout the summer before that.

What might be behind the recent drop in cases?

It’s entirely possible it’s just a normal fluctuation, as the numbers have bounced up and down for months. It’s also possible that the return of students to college campus could be a partial explanation.

A student from Arlington who contracts the disease while at college elsewhere would most likely not be included in Arlington’s numbers, according to county health officials.

That could have a noticeable impact on Arlington’s numbers — since the Phase 3 reopening on July 1, which allowed more people to crowd in to bars and restaurants, a preponderance of cases in Arlington have been among those in the 18-29 age range.

But the return to campuses may be short lived: James Madison University students, for instance, are returning home after an outbreak on campus led to more than 500 active COVID-19 cases.

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(Updated at 11 a.m.) For a week, new reported coronavirus cases in Arlington were trending down. That trend has since reversed.

The Virginia Dept. of Health has reported 57 new cases and 6 new hospitalizations in the county over the past two days. The trailing seven-day total of new cases is now 156, up from 142 on Wednesday. Ten coronavirus hospitalizations have been reported in the county over the past seven days.

The cumulative total of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Arlington since the start of the pandemic currently stands at 3,492, 458 and 137, respectively, according to VDH.

Despite some peaks and valleys, the overall trend in new cases in Arlington has been up since late June, with a preponderance of cases among those in the 18-29 age range — as noted by Arlington Public Health Director Dr. Reuben Varghese during a County Board meeting earlier this week.

“We’ve been seeing emergency room visits also going up for COVID-like illness,” Varghese said. “You look at the overall picture and this has not being going in the right way, and that’s why I’ve been imploring people: stay at home as much as possible.”

The timing of the uptrend roughly coincides with the lifting of state-imposed restrictions, as Virginia entered Phase 2 and the current Phase 3 of its reopening, following more stringent orders during the spring.

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among those waiting in line outside popular Clarendon bars, Arlington County police are set to start enforcing the county’s emergency sidewalk crowding ordinance tonight.

One question on the mind of some is how the start of college might affect Arlington’s numbers among young people.

Ryan Hudson, spokesman for the county’s Public Health Division, said that students from Arlington attending school elsewhere would most likely not count in Arlington’s numbers, while those attending college and residing in the county — Marymount students, for instance — would, in fact, count as an Arlington case.

“Lab reports for a COVID-19 test are reported to the local health district dependent on the residence of the patient,” Hudson explained. “So, if a student and/or school records a dorm, apartment, etc. in Arlington as their residence, then Arlington County Public Health Division could receive the lab report. If the student’s test lists a permanent home address that is outside of Arlington County, the result would go to that local health district.”

“Typically, public health will ask for the residence where a patient is currently living, as that will be more indicative of where transmission took place,” Hudson continued. “So, for college students, they would likely be reported as residents of where the college is when it is in session.”

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Morning Notes

County Forms Hunger Task Force — “In anticipation of increasing need, County Manager Mark Schwartz and APS Interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson have created the Cooperative for a Hunger Free Arlington (CHFA) and tasked it to help coordinate efforts to make sure that every Arlington resident who needs food has it during the pandemic.” [Arlington County]

ACPD, Bayou Bakery Distribute Free Meals — “Yesterday, ACPD assisted with the distribution of over 100 meals and school supplies to families in our community. This successful event was a collaborative effort by Real Food For Kids, Bayou Bakery, Abingdon Elementary PTA and private donations.” [Facebook]

Del. Lopez Celebrates Va. Dream Act Signing — “After years of work in the legislature — and decades of activism from educators, students, and advocates across the Commonwealth — the Virginia Dream Act has finally been signed into law, expanding in-state tuition to undocumented students for the first time.” [Press Release]

Wardian Went to Work After 63 Hour Race — “Q: How much did you sleep when you were done with the race? A: I didn’t sleep at all. I came right back from the race and I had a work deadline Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. I work from home, so I came right to my desk. I started working until I passed out on my keyboard. I told everyone to please double check all my work.” [New York Times]

County Again Encouraging Clapping Tonight — “Join us in saluting healthcare workers on Monday night! At 8 p.m., clap in front yards, balconies, windows and cars to show gratitude.” [Facebook]

Rosslyn Couple’s Very Mini Golf Course — “When your fiancée sets up a 9-hole mini @TheMasters for your quarantine birthday, you want @Buck to call play-by-play on the disappointing 9th hole.” [Twitter]

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In today’s digital environment, organizations must collect vast volumes of data, analyze that data to retain high-value customers, predict trends, identify emerging markets, mitigate risk, drive innovation and more.

This means IT leaders must know how to gather and store information, combine data into meaningful clusters, mine it for compelling insights, and present it in a way that can help the business.

“Nowadays every company needs data-literate IT leaders who understand how to manipulate data, hear the voice of data, and translate insights into a competitive advantage for the business,” says Barbara Hoopes, Associate Professor of Business Information Technology at Virginia Tech.

For those companies or individuals looking to deepen their data analytics skill set, Virginia Tech’s online Master of Information Technology (VT-MIT) program provides an excellent foundation.

Not everyone has the time or financial resources to commit to a full master’s degree program, however. Some may already have a master’s and are just looking for a narrow update on a current skillset. For these reasons, the VT-MIT program also offers IT professionals the option to earn a graduate certificate in six specialized IT subject areas, including Business Analytics and Data Mining.

“IT leaders can find a certificate that speaks exactly to their professional needs without having to commit several years to pursuing a master’s degree,” says Hoopes. In fact, students can earn a certificate in as little as 12 months.

Whether looking to enhance existing skills or prepare for a major career transition, VT-MIT students can expect:

  • Enhanced marketability as they develop skills where a current dearth of talent is driving competitive salaries and prime opportunities for career advancement.
  • Greater convenience through exclusively online courses and a flexible schedule that allow for VT-MIT students to stay in the workforce while they earn a credential, shift their course loads at busier times for their business, and benefit from the experience of peers from across the globe.
  • Rapid upskilling in high-demand areas through focused graduate certificate options. Employers often provide tuition reimbursement “to contribute to the skill sets and the knowledge base of employees without having to release them to earn a degree as a full-time student,” says Hoopes.

Data analytics can provide organizations with invaluable insights — but only if IT leaders know how to parlay data into insights that drive informed business decisions.

Learn more about Virginia Tech’s 100% online Master of Information Technology and graduate certificate options at vtmit.vt.edu.

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The working professionals who pursue the Arlington-based Executive MBA at Virginia Tech get a rich education in the fundamentals of business — accounting and finance, marketing, operations, ethics, communications and leadership.

But woven around foundation courses are “experiential modules” designed to accelerate development in four essential and current areas: business analytics, entrepreneurship and innovation, leadership and governance, and global business.

The hands-on experience of the integrated modules is meant to allow Executive MBA students to immediately put their learning into action. That’s the idea behind all of Virginia Tech’s MBA programs — giving working professionals the tools they need to advance their careers as they pursue an MBA.

“What we did at Virginia Tech a few years ago was to say that we really want to focus on the working professional — someone who wants to enhance their career or make a change in the direction of their career, but not at the expense of continuing to be a business professional,” says Pamplin College of Business Dean Robert Sumichrast. That allows those students to come into the classroom, he adds, “and use what they’ve learned as part of the experience of the MBA program.”

That strategy meant Pamplin had to rethink program formats and locations to ensure they were meeting the needs of their busy students. They now offer three different paths to the same MBA and have centrally located their classes in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area, Richmond, Roanoke and Newport News.

Ballston is home to the Executive MBA program, an 18-month, cohort-based option for mid-career professionals that meets every other weekend.

The nationally-ranked Evening MBA program is just two Metro stops away in Falls Church. It is designed to provide maximum flexibility by allowing students to change their course load each semester to balance work and other commitments.

The Professional MBA program is a 24-month hybrid online and in-person option with once-per-month class meetings that rotate between Richmond, Roanoke and Newport News.

Visit mba.vt.edu to learn more about Virginia Tech’s MBA programs or register to attend an upcoming information session.

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A free one-night seminar November 21 for prospective graduate students explores policies behind AI, big data, Uber, blockchain and more.

The Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University is offering a rare opportunity to sample a range of courses across the Master’s in Transportation Policy, Operations, and Logistics program in an evening focusing on “Transportation in the City of the Future.” The 90-minute sampler takes place Thursday, November 21, from 6:30-8 p.m. at George Mason University’s Arlington Campus.

“This will cut across all of our courses and some of the other programs offered at the Schar School,” said Laurie A. Schintler, director of the dynamic and timely Master’s in Transportation Policy, Operations, and Logistics program. “We will focus on emerging technologies in smart cities, which is very hot right now. We’ll look at everything from drones and autonomous vehicles to transportation economics and logistics.”

The sample class will also examine ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, big data, the use of blockchain and AI in transportation, flexible and on-demand transit systems, shared-use vehicles, mobile payment systems, and a methods course and a systems course. New electives addressing additional topics, including one focusing on automated vehicles, will be introduced.

Just as importantly, Schintler will also address “the social, ethical and institutional issues that go along with these technologies,” she said. Those issues include planning, policy and privacy as well as inclusiveness, sustainability and livable communities.

The title may suggest the “City of the Future,” but Schintler said the future is already here, and so are employment opportunities.

“There are jobs in the field, but you do have to be abreast of the cutting edge,” she said. “Things are changing rapidly.”

The session is free for prospective graduate students. Space is limited. Register here. #ScharSchool

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The ever-evolving “security threat landscape” and changes in user behavior and IT infrastructure require IT professionals to keep their knowledge up to date and stay on top of the latest trends and developments.

Earning a 100% online Master of Information Technology with a specialization in cybersecurity from Virginia Tech can help individuals meet these heightened demands in a number of ways.

Ranked the #1 online master’s degree for cybersecurity by Cyberdegrees.org, and one of the top 3 online graduate IT programs nationwide by U.S. News and World Report, Virginia Tech’s VT-MIT program takes a unique approach to specialized education.

Core courses in areas such as information systems design, elec­tronic commerce, software engineering and computer programming help students master technical expertise in a business context. After completing these core courses, degree students can choose to specialize in cybersecurity.

Areas of focus range from cybersecurity management — for those interested in running their own in-house cybersecurity practice — to cybersecurity policy, which explores the legal and ethical concerns triggered by data breaches. This breadth of content allows students to tailor their education around their career ambitions.

Part of Virginia Tech’s core strength is its world-class cyber­security research, supported by $15 million in research grants and contracts. Students can access six cybersecurity research centers, including the Ballston-based Hume Center for National Security and Technology.

The VT-MIT program’s 100% online format allows students to pursue higher education at their own pace — a flexibility that allows for a longer timeline. Further enriching the student environment is the program’s openness to students with diverse backgrounds and interests, including business line leaders looking to improve their technology capabilities while leveraging their domain expertise.

Combating today’s cyber threats has never been more difficult, nor more critical to business continuity. A Master of Information Technology degree with a specialization in cybersecurity from Virginia Tech can help leaders better understand the systemic nature of these threats, and teach them strategies for dealing with an increasingly complex security landscape.

Learn more about Virginia Tech’s 100% online Master of Information Technology with cybersecurity specializations here.

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In today’s digital age, as technology drives innovation throughout the enterprise, business acumen and technology expertise are emerging as essential skills.

At the same time, traditional functional roles are blurring, creating a blended business environment where IT leaders must embrace more business-oriented responsibilities and line of business leaders must find their way around sophisticated and complex technology systems. Only through education can these professionals gain the necessary skills and expertise to keep pace with this evolving business landscape. But it shouldn’t have to come at the cost of a full-time position.

Virginia Tech’s dual Master’s degree in business administration and information technology (MBA + MIT) is based in the D.C. area and can help professionals gain the experience, expertise and advantages they need to succeed in a blended business environment. Here’s how:

  • Career boost: Students receive an MBA while keeping up with changes in the technology industry by adding on a Master of IT. The result: greater marketability in a competitive labor market.
  • Economize time and money: The dual-degree program double-counts up to five courses earned in the MBA program toward those also offered in the MIT program or vice versa.
  • Work-life balance: Both the MBA and MIT degrees are built for full-time working professionals. Students have the flexibility to set their own pace by choosing the number of courses they will take each semester.
  • Variety: Students can select from a wide range of specialization areas including business intelligence, big data, cybersecurity, networking and software engineering.
  • Network: An in-person class format for the MBA program encourages students to establish valuable working relationships with classmates, and engage with top-notch faculty. A 100% online format for the MIT degree provides additional flexibility for working professionals and opportunity to work with students from across the country.

The Virginia Tech MBA + MIT dual-degree program offers the flexibility to contribute to business growth, revenue and innovation as a working professional today — and as a substantially more marketable leader tomorrow.

Learn more the dual degree program here or explore Virginia Tech’s other local MBA options here.

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When juggling a full-time job and evening classes four to five nights a week in George Mason University’s juris doctor (JD) program became difficult, graduate student Alicia Meads withdrew from the program. When she heard last year that the Antonin Scalia Law School was offering a new part-time juris master’s (JM) program, designed for working professionals, she re-enrolled.

“I wanted to understand the nuances of the law so that I could be a better lobbyist and policy professional,” said Meads, who works as a legislative affairs manager for one the nation’s largest fertilizer companies and regularly meets with members of Congress on Capitol Hill to represent her company.

Meads was able to transfer some of the credits from her JD program, and will be the first graduate from the JM program this fall. What she’s learning has been immediately applicable to her career, she said.

“I’ve been able to develop an expertise in environmental, social and governance — or ESG — reporting,” said Meads, who also helps the company coordinate its sustainability reporting and disclosure. “[The JM program] is perfect for anyone who’s working in public affairs, politics or policy and still wants a law school experience.”

Other JM students agree.

Ginger Burk, who’s been a journalist for more than a decade, said she joined the program to expand her understanding of the law and become an even stronger political correspondent.

“[Understanding the law] is inherent to all political and government reporting,” Burk said.

As a result of her studies, Burk is better able to understand court documents she reads for her job and how the lawyers she interacts with everyday have been taught to think, she said.

“A juris master’s degree will bring increased credibility to one’s skillset,” said Adriane McCray Webb, a mindfulness practitioner who said she facilitates workshops to guide clients to personal transformation, creative innovation and self-actualization. The Florida native believes the program will help her better understand intellectual property laws to help her clients copyright and protect their creative works.

Jessica Sartorius, director of the JM program, said the JM degree is in high demand and offered by almost half of all tier-one law schools. With Mason being close to Washington, D.C., the program could help many more professionals in the future, she said.

In addition to professors who keep class intellectually stimulating, there are other benefits to being part of a law school, the students said.

“You’re building professional and social connections with the people that you’re in class with and that you’re learning from,” Burk said. “It is truly a well-designed program.”

For more information about the JM degree program, please visit our website or contact Jessica L. Sartorius, Director of Juris Master (JM) Degree Program, at [email protected] or 703-993-8418.

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Since launching in 2019, the Juris Master Degree Program (JM) at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School has assisted students in building professional and social connections.

The JM Degree is designed for professionals who interact with lawyers and legal issues regularly in the course of their careers. This type of program is in high demand and now offered by over half of all tier one law schools.

“We are proud to offer the Juris Master Degree Program at Scalia Law School,” said Dean Henry N. Butler. “This is an opportunity for professionals to learn the law, so they will be better equipped to provide leadership in their respective fields.”

Scalia Law’s two-year part-time program is offered at the Arlington campus, and enrollment for the January 2020 class is currently OPEN.

As listed on the JM Degree website, https://jurismaster.gmu.edu/, in addition to general legal research, writing and introductory law courses, JM students can select law school courses from six concentration areas:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Employment & Labor Relations
  • Financial & Commercial Services
  • Government Contracts & Regulations
  • Intellectual Property & Technology
  • National Security, Cybersecurity & Information Privacy

JM students can maintain employment schedules, while benefiting from the opportunities afforded by a tier-one law school.

There is a growing base of legal services and legal knowledge required by employers and the JM Degree is designed to educate students with the legal knowledge necessary for them to succeed in their chosen professions.

Applications are being accepted now. For more information about the JM degree program, please visit our website or contact Jessica L. Sartorius, Director of Juris Master (JM) Degree Program, at [email protected] or 703-993-8418.

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