Week 1: Getting Started

Hi everyone! My name is Efon Epanty and I’m a doctoral student in the Planning, Governance and Globalization program. I like to think of myself as a transportation planner and a technology enthusiast.  My research interests are in the areas of transportation planning, mobility, technologies and decision-support systems in transportation.

Getting back to the VT Principles of Community, I think these principles espouse and affirm the University’s acknowledgement of its legacy of bias and exclusion, including other practices and forms of prejudice and discrimination. I see these principles as a work in progress. In other words, I think the underlying theme of VT Principles of Community is one of “continuity.” That is, it seems to espouse mutual respect and integrity as core to whatever we do and wherever we find ourselves as VT students, faculty and staff. Both in a professional and personal setting.

To some extent, I find VT’s commitment to these principles intriguing. I believe the University is committed to promoting the values of diversity and the dignity of every person. Still, I think more could be done to remove “institutional barriers” and relics of VT legacy of bias and exclusion, particularly against women and people of color by hiring a more diverse faculty across disciplines throughout the University.

Finally, I will note that in my experience, the Virginia Tech Principles of Community is well reflected and demonstrated positively, in many ways and forms, across various programs and initiatives taken by the University. I am a proud Hokie!!