Emma González Roberts of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (currently Director of Community Engagement and Organizing at Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation in Chicago) submitted the winning paper in 2021, titled "Rebuilding Main Street After COVID-19: Recommendations for and reflections from small and mid-sized American cities." The paper summarizes research conducted in summer 2020 in six U.S. cities in the northeast and midwest examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on downtown retail spaces. Based on a business survey and interviews with local officials, Emma’s paper offers practical recommendations for cities and their retail cores as they grapple with the fallout of business closures, commercial vacancy, and potential long-term decreases in downtown activity in the pandemic’s wake.

Honorable Mention:

  • The committee also acknowledged the following submission with “Honorable Mention” designation: Grace Yixian Zhou & Avi Gandhi (Cornell University), “Short Term Rentals: Economic Implications and Local Policy Response.”

Scholarship Committee

  • The 2021 Holzheimer Scholarship committee was comprised of: Dr. Greg Schrock of Portland State University (Chair); Dr. Li (Kerry) Fang of the University of Florida; Dr. Henry Renski of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Corey Proctor of Forrest County, Mississippi; Katie McConnell of Arlington (VA) Economic Development; and Emily Egan of the City of Elmhurst, Illinois.


The 2020 Holzheimer Memorial Student Scholarship winner was Lauren Ashley Week of University of Michigan, who submitted the paper "Shaking Up Small Business: The Impact of Seismic Retrofitting on Small Businesses in San Francisco." The paper assessed how a 2013 San Francisco city ordinance requiring seismic upgrades of certain residential and mixed-use buildings impacted business turnover and vacancy rates in three city districts. Drawing on administrative data sources from the City of San Francisco, Ms. Week found that buildings affected by the ordinance experienced high rates of small business turnover, and vacancy rates that exceeded market averages, suggesting that many small businesses and commercial corridors had been negatively impacted by the program. She concluded that such efforts to promote disaster resiliency are important, but should be done in a way that safeguards small businesses.


Scholarship committee member Katie McConnell, of Arlington (VA) Economic Development, a former student of Terry Holzheimer at Virginia Tech, said: “I know Terry would have loved this paper. The author exemplifies what Terry taught as an academic and practiced as an economic developer – to make resourceful use of available data to tell impactful stories about how political, environmental, and market forces affect local businesses and the economy.”

Honorable Mentions:
  • Jonathan Wolfrath (University of Wisconsin-Madison), "Downtown Economic Vitality and Business Mix in Small Wisconsin Communities"
  • Larissa Lai (Pratt Institute), "Sustainable Circular Community Development: Planning and Implementing a Hyperlocal Food-Based Economy in the South Bronx"
Scholarship Committee

The 2020 Holzheimer Scholarship committee was comprised of: Dr. Greg Schrock of Portland State University (Chair); Dr. Margaret Cowell of Virginia Tech; Dr. Li (Kerry) Fang of University of Florida; Corey Proctor of Forrest County, Mississippi; Katie McConnell of Arlington (VA) Economic Development; and Emily Egan of Elmhurst, Illinois.


The 2019 Holzheimer Memorial Student Scholarship winner is Jenna Davis of University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who submitted the paper "NYC's Industrial Business Zone Program: Examining the Intersection Between Economic Development and Land Use Policy." The paper, supervised by Dr. Henry Renski, examines the prevalence of incentive awards by NYCEDC to businesses in the City's established Industrial Business Zones, and concludes that economic development incentive awards to non-industrial businesses are working at cross-purposes with the industrial preservation goals of the land use policy.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Elizabeth Darnall and Luke McClanahan (University of Iowa), "Applying Strategic Planning Principles and a Focused Approach to Economic Development"
  • Alan C. Peterson II (Texas Southern University), "Examination of the Atlanta, Georgia Region Entrepreneurial Ecosystem"
  • Jessica Jones (University of Illinois at Chicago), "Defining and Re-Defining Blight: Evaluating the Blight Remediation Goal of Tax Increment Financing."
Scholarship Committee

The 2019 Holzheimer Scholarship committee was comprised of: Dr. Greg Schrock of Portland State University (Chair); Dr. Margaret Cowell of Virginia Tech; Dr. Haifeng Qian of University of Iowa; Brittany Bagent of the Columbia River Economic Development Council; Corey Proctor of Forrest County, Mississippi; and Katie McConnell, Arlington (VA) Economic Development.


Congratulations to Katie Cettie Steinberg of the University of California at Los Angeles Master of Urban and Regional Planning program, who submitted an adapted version of her capstone thesis project, "Developing New Economy Industrial Corridors in Los Angeles County."

Her project, supervised by Goetz Wolff, combines survey and statistical analysis to assess locational patterns and preferences for bioscience firms in the LA area. She concludes that economic development practitioners interested in bioscience development need to focus on both affordable real estate within industrial corridors, but also networking supports to help early-stage businesses connect with one another and critical resources such as investors.

Honorable Mention

The committee also acknowledged the following submission with "Honorable Mention" designation: Julia Fiore (Hunter College, City University of New York) for her paper, "Strategies to Support the Food and Beverage Processing and Manufacturing Cluster in Ulster County, New York."

Scholarship Committee

Thank you to members of the 2018 Holzheimer Scholarship committee: Dr. Greg Schrock of Portland State University (chair); Dr. Margaret Cowell of Virginia Tech; Dr. Haifeng Qian of University of Iowa; Shana Johnson, AICP, of Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning; Brittany Bagent of the Columbia River Economic Development Council; and Corey Proctor of Forrest County, Mississippi.


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 AdinaKira 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.

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 reverse 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 2005 issue of News & Views (Not Currently Available Online).


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 2004 issue of News & Views.