Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sarah stands out from other AICP award candidates because of her outstanding academic performance, leadership activities and contributions to our School, to the planning profession and to the community. 

Sarah focused on Land Use and Environmental planning as well as Transportation planning. She came to Planning after an early career in journalism and editorial work, and with extensive experience writing about sustainability and local food systems. Our faculty was –unanimously- extremely impressed by her performance as a student and as a leader in the area of sustainability.

She has worked on air quality, congestion mitigation, and electric vehicle infrastructure for the Iowa Clean Cities Coalition and the Iowa Economic Development Authority. She made consistently outstanding contributions to student-led projects, e.g., working on Brownfield redevelopment in Eastern Iowa with the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities. On campus, she worked on water conservation programs. In her home town of Davenport, she organizes Civic Suppers with the dual goals of generating civic conversations around local issues and to raise funds for local nonprofits affected by funding cutbacks. She also took leadership roles in the School of Planning by creating a "Jeopardy" game format to help classmates prepare for Land Use Law exams, by organizing a welcome shower for an international student's family and most recently leading discussion sessions in preparation for final exams.

Sarah is focused, reflective, friendly, and an extremely effective communicator. She has sharpened her analytical skills and her knowledge of urban ecology, and local finance, transportation/land use interactions. She has also demonstrated an outstanding ability to apply her knowledge and expertise to planning practice. She is extremely hard working and consistently produces work of the highest quality. She is also very modest and friendly, and works very well in teams. We have no doubt that she will excel in any planning career she will pursue, and that she will greatly contribute to the state, region and community where she will locate after graduating.

The award was presented to Sarah by Chuck Connerly, Professor and Director, at our graduation reception.