Congratulations to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a winner of the American Planning Association’s 2016 Outstanding (Planning Student Organization) PSO Award. This award program provides a means for student groups to share their ideas, learn from one another, and receive recognition (and rewards!) for creative, successful activities.
The student organization was selected for its impressive list of initiatives for its students. First, the Carolina Planning Journal published a print volume in May 2015 around the theme of “Planning for the New Economy.” It also launched a new blog that features student, academic, and practitioner work called Carolina Angles. Carolina Angles publishes twice per week and has already attracted a wide readership of almost 2,000 unique visitors. Second, its inclusion group, Plan for All, hosted twelve events that engaged issues ranging from planning for LGBTQ folks, public engagement best practices, black planning history, hazard planning and equity, and more. The group hosted Durham Mayor Bill Bell for a conversation about race and poverty in September 2015. Plan for All members are also working with faculty to identify gaps in the curriculum relating to race, class, gender, and equity. Third, its Career Development Committee coordinated a number of events and resources to assist students in finding jobs and internships in the field, such as resume workshops and mock interview events. Lastly, its students organized a Fall Break Trip to Atlanta that connected Carolina Planning students with some of Atlanta’s most exciting planners such as planner Ryan Gravel, who dreamed up Atlanta’s Belt Line, Tim Keane, Atlanta’s Planning Commissioner, and Nedra Deadwyler, founder of Civil Bikes.
Students will be honored at the 2016 National Planning Conference in Phoenix. UNC at Chapel Hill will also receive $1,275 in donation from sponsoring APA divisions. The Outstanding PSO Awards will be presented at the APA Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation on Tuesday, April 5thfrom 9:30-10:45am. You and other chapter leaders are welcome to meet with these students in person if you are attending.