2012 Scholarship Winners
The 2012 Economic Development Division Graduate scholarship winners are Seema Adina, Kira Intrator, and Lindsay Reul of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for their joint paper "Wealth Creation Through Sustainable Forestry: Generating Wealth Creation Models in the Appalachian Wood Products Industry."
Their paper combines analysis of value chain and supply chain to identify strategies that would capture environmental and economic benefits for communities. The selection committee, consisting of David Bieri (Michigan), Shari Garmise (Association of Land Grant and Public Universities), Shana Johnson (Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning), John Provo (Virginia Tech), and Greg Schrock (Portland State), appreciated their innovative approach. Among all the papers it stood out as an original synthesis of ideas in an accessible form for practitioners.
The authors will share a $1,000 scholarship from the Economic Development Division and the full paper will be published in a future division newsletter.
2011 Winner and Runner-up
The 2011 Economic Development Division Graduate scholarship winner is Evan Casper-Futterman of the University of New Orleans for his paper "Back to Basics: Worker Cooperatives as Economic Development."
Mr. Casper-Futterman's analysis of community stabilization using worker cooperatives was thoughtful and well-conceived. He will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Economic Development Division.
Alexandra Thompson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be awarded a runner-up certificate for her paper, "Local Foods: Three Ways to an Industry that Pays."
Ms. Thompson's paper on connecting local food producers and consumers in ways that generate jobs and promote innovation greatly impressed the selection committee.
There were 16 graduate-level papers submitted this year, a superb response from the many planning schools in the U.S. Many congratulations to our 2011 student paper awards winner and runner-up who will both be honored at the division's annual business meeting during the annual APA conference in Boston.
The 2010 scholarship winners were Cornell's Kate McCarthy and Eric VanderMass for their paper "Industrial Wind Farms, Economic Development and Land Use: What Planners Need to Know." The paper speaks to a most timely topic and provides a resource planners can put to immediate use. The final line of their paper summed up a clear message that stuck with reviewers. "Wind may be 'green,' but it is still industry, and planners and others will need to find a way to manage it as such, both in terms of economic development potential and land uses."
McCarthy and VanderMass, the second winners from Cornell in two years, will be provided a $1,000 scholarship from the Economic Development Division (EDD).
The reviewers were also impressed by the submission from Georgia Tech's Evan Robertson. "Hacker Spaces: User-Led Innovation and Economic Development," provides interesting insights into new potential sources of innovation. In the words of one reviewer the author offers an effective message to practitioners to "watch this space." This paper was awarded a $500 scholarship.
The 2009 EDD Scholarship award of $1,000 went to Lingwen Zheng for her paper entitled "Trapped in the Race to the Bottom: Who is Using Business Incentives Now?" This paper appears in the spring 2009 edition of News & Views.
Honorable mentions went to Ann Thompson for "Alexandria's Associations: Spontaneous Grouping or Economic Cluster?" and Jessica Sheldon for "Going Uptown in Downtown Oakland: Market Rate Housing as an Economic Development Tool."
Kelly Kinahan's article entitled "Leveling the Playing Field: Independent Retailers Co-existing with Formula Businesses in Downtown Commercial Districts" appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of News & Views. The suburban growth that dominated the American landscape during the post World War II era through the recent past drained the life out of traditional commercial corridors across the nation. The proliferation of road networks, availability of inexpensive land, and cheap gas created the perfect storm, allowing large numbers of people to live in one place and work in another. In an effort to being reversing this trend, the National Trust for Historic Preservation created the National Main Street Center in 1980 with the mission of revitalizing the downtown areas of small towns across the country by restoring economic vitality to neighborhood business districts. As revitalization efforts have enlivened many once defunct commercial districts, and as outlying suburban markets have become saturated, national chain retailers are taking advantage of this resurgence along Main Street by locating their stores in traditional downtown settings.
Allan Mathew Freyer's "A Nonprofit Response to Economic Disasters: The Resources to Recover Initiative" appears in the summer 2007 News & Views. On July 31, 2003, the Pillowtex plant in Kannapolis, North Carolina, closed its doors, laying off more than 4,000 workers. The notion of the "economic disaster" was born, resulting in a high unemployment rate, a significant loss of local revenue, and emergency service and workforce development needs that overwhelm local resources. Drawing from plans and experiences with natural disasters, North Carolina developed a specific program model known as Resources to Recover (R2R) to address this economic disaster, which calls on nonprofits to play a critical role as labor market intermediaries, connecting dislocated workers to the workforce development resources they need for long-term recovery.
Janelle Santos of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill was selected for her paper titled "Planning to Sustain Small Farms: An Upgrading Strategy for Farmers and Institutions." Her paper appeared in the spring/summer 2006 issue of News & Views.
Jessica Zenk of the University of California at Berkeley was selected for her work titled "The Arts as Economic Development: Three Successful Applications." Her paper appeared in the spring issue of News & Views.
Alisa Kane of Portland State University was selected for her work titled "Reclaimed Opportunities: Planning for Recycling-Based Economic Development." Her paper was featured in the summer issue of News & Views.