Research and Awards

Funded Research Projects

  • Primary Investigator, 2012 – Present, “Will Talent Attraction and Retention Improve Metropolitan Labor Markets? The Labor Market Impact of Increased Educational Attainment in U.S. Metropolitan Regions 1990-2010” (Dissertation) Funded by the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellowship and the Institute for Education Sciences Predoctoral Fellowship (through the Penn Graduate School of Education).
  • Co-Investigator, 2010 – 2014, “Sustainable Urban Development Indicators” Client: US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Partnership for Sustainable Communities and the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovations.  Funded by the Ford Foundation.
  • Researcher 2011 – 2012, “Fiscal Conditions, Unemployment, and Debt-Financed Economic Development in Large U.S. Cities” Funded by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Primary Investigator, Laura Wolf-Powers.
  • Co-Investigator, 2009, “Innovation As Civic Work: Civic Innovation and Deliberative Politics,” Kettering Foundation, Dayton, Ohio.  Funded by The Kettering Foundation.  Research on how civic innovation and deliberative politics improve quality of life and economic outcomes for communities.
  • Co-Investigator, 2009, “Regional Economic Development in the Danville, VA” Client: Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, Virginia Tech.  Funding from US Economic Development Administration.  Research defining region and strategies for improved regional economic outcomes for depressed rural community in southern Virginia.


  • Certificate in Urban Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2014
  • Lincoln Institute of Land Policy C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellowship
  • Institute of Education Sciences Predoctoral Fellow
  • PennDesign Doctoral Fellowship
  • Institute of Education Sciences Predoctoral Training Fellowship
  • Robert S. Birch Travel Fellowship – Society of American City and Regional Planning Historians (2011)
  • Penn Art of Research Competition, Finalist, 2011
  • University of Virginia School of Architecture Foundation Fellowship

Additional Academic Research

  • History of BIDs and their increasing role in infrastructure development and urban planning
  • “Does Downtown Matter Anymore?  The Changing Nature of Downtown in Metropolitan America”
  • “Can Regional Economic Development Work in Main Street Programs?” Master’s Thesis, 2010.  Thesis Committee: Suzanne Morse (Chair), Timothy Beatley, A. Bruce Dotson
  • “What is an Engaged University?  A Study of University Involvement in Community Development”  Co-Authored Paper.  Andreason S., Ray J., Elliot S., Costa R., Coons M.


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