Holzheimer Memorial Scholarship

Holzheimer Memorial Student Scholarship for Economic Development Planning

Application Period Now Open:

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2021 scholarship. The deadline is February 5th, 2021. Please find the application form at the following link: 


Due to the word limit, submissions may reflect adaptations of original student work, including theses, term papers, capstone and studio projects. Group submissions are allowed, although it is expected that one or two students will take responsibility for the submission and represent the group should the submission be chosen as the winner. If a group submits a project, all group members must be planning students or APA student/early career members; exceptions for non-planning student or non-APA member co-authors may be granted at the discretion of the scholarship committee.

The submission should speak to planning practitioners about a substantive topic related to economic development. We welcome submissions that focus broadly on the topic of economic development, which we define in terms of enhancing community, urban and regional economic prosperity, inclusion and resilience. Submissions regarding non-United States cases are permitted, but applicants are strongly encouraged to speak directly to their relevance for the EDD audience, which is predominantly based in the U.S.

The winning paper or project will satisfactorily demonstrate the following: topical relevance to economic development practitioners with a clear discussion of why practitioners should care about the findings; soundness of empirical methods; quality writing; and originality and creativity.

The committee reserves the right to withhold the award should no submissions comply with these criteria.

The winner will be notified in February and the scholarship will be presented at APA's National Planning Conference in May 2021.

The paper will be published on the Economic Development Division website and distributed electronically to EDD members in the News & Views newsletter; the winning author(s) may be asked to revise their submission prior to publication.

All inquiries should be directed to:

Greg Schrock, Committee Chair
Associate Professor, Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning
Portland State University

2020 Winner

The 2020 Holzheimer Memorial Student Scholarship winner is 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 assesses 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 have been negatively impacted by the program. She concludes 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"

The winning paper, and summaries of the honorable mention papers, can be found in the April 2020 edition of the Economic Development Division News & Views Newsletter.


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.  

Previous Scholarship Winners

About the Holzheimer Scholarship

The Economic Development Division annually solicits applications for the Holzheimer Memorial Student Scholarship for Economic Development Planning. Master's-level students enrolled in or recently graduated from PAB-accredited planning programs, or other current student or recently graduated APA early-career members, are eligible to apply. The application system generally opens in late November, with the deadline in January (subject to change).

The scholarship is named in memory of longtime APA member and economic development visionary, Dr. Terry Holzheimer of Arlington County, Virginia and Virginia Tech. The $2,000 award is a scholarship provided by the APA's Economic Development Division. Winners are strongly encouraged, but not required, to use the award money to support attendance at the APA National Planning Conference. The application materials should include an original student paper or work that is 2,500 words or less (including citations and footnotes), and must include the name and contact information of a faculty member involved in supervising the student and/or the submitted work.