Economic Development Division Previous Scholarship Winners


The 2017 Holzheimer Memorial Student Scholarship winners were M. Nolan Gray and Olivia Gonzalez of Rutgers University's Master of City and Regional Planning program, who submitted their independent study project, "Making Room for Home-Based Businesses: A Survey of 12 Zoning Ordinances." Their report, supervised by Dr. Barbara Faga, assessed the growing importance of home-based businesses for local economic development and reviewed how zoning ordinances in 12 large U.S. cities regulate home-based businesses. They concluded that local zoning codes are frequently out-of-step with the changing character of home-based businesses, and proposed approaches that support local economies while addressing negative impacts on neighborhoods.

The committee also acknowledged two submissions with "Honorable Mention" designations: Lauren Shuffleton Drago (Tufts University) for the paper, "Liquor Licenses in Boston: Distribution and Impact," which assessed neighborhood disparities along race and class lines in access to local liquor licensing; and Austin Shelton (Georgia Tech) for the paper, "Rail-Trails & Rural Communities: The Economic and Demographic Impact of the Silver Comet Trail on Polk County, Georgia."


The 2016 Scholarship winner was Judd Ullom, a 2015 graduate of the Virginia Tech Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. Judd submitted a selection from his MURP capstone entitled, "Creating a Living Museum to Promote Awareness and Support for Cultural and Economic Diversity in Clarendon (Arlington, VA)." The project used technology and social media as a means of cultural preservation to create a low-cost and adaptable method of promoting and preserving economic and social diversity in areas of rapid redevelopment. The project includes five documentary films about the neighborhood and the incorporation of those films into a 'living museum.'

The committee also acknowledged two applicants with Honorable Mention — Akshali Ghandhi (Cornell University) and Mindy Kao (Georgia Institute of Technology). Ghandhi's insightful study focused on "Economic Development Planning in Ethnic Retail Corridors: Insights from Chicago's Devon Avenue. Kao submitted an excellent paper on "The Practical Challenges of Urban Manufacturing in Atlanta."


The 2015 Scholarship winner Jon Springfield's (Harvard GSD) "Cooperative Business Development Driven by Anchor Institution Leadership - Recommendations for the Black Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans."

Honorable Mention was awarded for Julianne Stern's (UNC-CH), "Can Working After High School Set Students on a Rewarding Career Path? A Case Study of the Manufacturing Connect Program."


The 2014 Scholarship winner was Carolyn Fryberger from UNC Chapel-Hill. Her paper "Waste Not Want Not: Choosing the Most Economically Impactful Configuration of Swine Waste Biogas in Eastern North Carolina" impressed the committee with it's methodological rigor and its direct importance to planning and economic development practitioners


This 2013 Scholarship winner was Parrish Bergquist from the University Of Michigan. Bergquist's paper "The Fiscal Bluff: Debt and Sustainability in Jefferson County Alabama,"considered that community's 2011 bankruptcy. Exploring how municipal debt affects economic development, the paper uncovered important related impacts on environmental and social equity concerns that emerged from that community's crisis.

The Scholarship Jury also recognized Kelly Moosbrugger and Alison Wicks from Portland State University. Their submission, "Implementing the Portland Metro Export Initiative Through Regional Clusters: How Effective Is It?"applied traditional economic impact analysis through an industry cluster lens to a topic that is increasingly a matter of concern across the nation.


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.


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.