Frescoln Wins Hadzija Award and Impact Award

Kirstin Frescoln

Kirstin Frescoln

UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies researcher Kirstin Frescoln, a doctoral student in city and regional planning, received the 2017 Boka W. Hadzija Award for Distinguished University Service by a Graduate or Professional Student.

The Boka W. Hadzija Award recognizes a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate or professional student with outstanding character, scholarship, leadership and service to the university. Frescoln and other award recipients were recognized at the Chancellor’s Awards Ceremony on April 18, 2017. The Graduate School recognized Frescoln at the 19th Annual Graduate Student Recognition Celebration, held April 20, 2017.

Frescoln works as a research assistant at the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies, where she evaluates programs related to housing and community development. She received a GEAB Impact Award for her evaluation of Charlotte Housing Authority’s work requirements for non-elderly and non-disabled residents and the policy’s effect on family well-being. Her findings indicate that Charlotte’s public housing work policy largely fulfills the housing authority’s goal of enhancing family economic mobility while not harming family well-being. Included in the many stakeholders Frescoln interviewed were residents subject to the Charlotte policy. She interviewed them three times and shared her reports with interviewees to ensure accuracy and gain their perspective on additional questions she should ask.

Frescoln developed and taught a course titled Race, Poverty and Planning, which will be added to the city and regional planning department’s course offerings. She is involved with Plan for All, a student group that strives to increase awareness of social justice issues within the department and the planning profession.

“Kirstin’s research is dedicated to better understanding the barriers to effective social policies that reduce poverty and empower communities,” her nominator said.

She has received certificates in health disparities and in participatory research and is certified in community mediation and meeting facilitation.

Frescoln served in public service positions for more than 16 years before beginning her doctoral studies. She volunteers for the Orange County Dispute Settlement Center and Orange County Justice United.

“She is steadfast in her dedication to social justice,” her nominator wrote. “Her academic research, professional career, volunteerism, church service and obligation to public service all reflect her personal charge to further social justice outcomes. There are few doctoral students who could so passionately pursue real-world impacts both through their research and their everyday engagement with policy and program challenges that affect the lives of their fellow students and fellow North Carolinians.”

Boka W. Hadzija was an award-winning professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy; she established the award in 2000 in honor of her students. Hadzija, who died in 2013, is remembered by students and faculty for her strong mentorship, her generous support of students and her outstanding leadership.

By Deb Saine, The Graduate School

Frescoln Wins Impact Award

The UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School’s annual Graduate Education Advancement Board Impact Awards recognize graduate students for contributions they are making to our state. The longstanding Impact Award recognizes discoveries with a direct impact on our state in the present time. Kirstin Frescoln, UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies researcher and City and Regional Planning doctoral candidate, was one of the Impact Award winners for her work examining the Charlotte Housing Authority’s work requirement policy.

The Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA) is one of eight public housing authorities nationwide that enforces a work requirement for work-able residents. The CHA contracted with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies to conduct a 10-year evaluation of a series of reforms including the work requirement. Frescoln directed research, as a part of the study, to inform policymakers on why and how the work requirements have been implemented, and the policy’s effect on family well-being. Her work and that of the Center is believed to be the only empirical evaluation of public housing work requirements.

Frescoln’s findings indicate that Charlotte’s public housing work policy, which is implemented with case management and employment supports, largely fulfills the CHA’s goal of enhancing family economic mobility. A majority of residents she interviewed said they support the work requirement. Wage employment was found to increase while eviction rates did not, and family well-being was not found to decrease as a result of the policy. Frescoln interviewed housing authority staff from the eight U.S. housing authorities with work requirements, and CHA leadership, managers, front-line staff and residents subject to the work requirement. She interviewed residents subject to the Charlotte policy three times and shared her reports with interviewees to ensure accuracy and gain their perspective on additional questions she should ask.

Frescoln’s findings are critical to state and national policymakers who are considering the potential effectiveness of public housing work requirements and the needs of people living within these communities.

“There is very little research on the effects of work requirements on public housing residents who would lose their housing assistance if they do not work. Kirstin’s dissertation research has the potential to have wide-ranging implications for housing policy and practice in Charlotte and throughout the United States,” said adviser Mai Nguyen, Ph.D.

Local Entrepreneurship Workshop in Italy

On March 13-14, 2017, two representatives from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will take part in a CURS-supported international workshop in Trento, Italy on The Realm of Entrepreneurship: The Local Perspective. The workshop will highlight the nature and role of entrepreneurship in modern developed and emerging economies, and its relation to governments, universities and the nonprofit sector.

Buck Goldstein

Buck Goldstein

It aims to explain the growth and performance of economies and resilience or vulnerability to crisis with an emphasis on innovation processes and patterns at the local level and in small- and medium-sized enterprises.

University Entrepreneur in Residence Buck Goldstein, professor of the practice in the Department of Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill and Researcher Mary Donegan from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Community Capital will attend. Goldstein will present on “Universities as Vehicles for Local Innovation and Economic Development” with Donegan speaking on “Innovation from the Edge: Universities, Entrepreneurship and the Rise of Localism.”

The workshop will take a comparative approach in looking at entrepreneurship and its interplay with governance and the generation of knowledge by focusing on three distinct international cases: a dominant emerging economy (China), a developed independent market economy (United States) and integrated developed market economies – both resilient and vulnerable – within the Eurozone common currency area.

Mary Donegal

Mary Donegan

Partners in this effort include: the DELoS (Development Economics and Local Systems) Ph.D. program, Doctoral School of Social Sciences, Department of Economics and Management and School in Social Sciences, University of Trento; the Department of Economics and Business Sciences, University of Florence; the Department of City & Regional Planning and Center for Urban and Regional Studies, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the School of Economics and Centre for Research of Private Economy, Zhejiang University.

This workshop, at the University of Trento in Italy, is the first of three, to be followed by future events hosted in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Zhejiang, China.

Former CURS Director Jonathan Howes Dies at 78

Jonathan Howes / Photo by Dan Sears, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jonathan Howes / Photo by Dan Sears, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

June 2, 2015

Jonathan Broome Howes, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies from 1970 to 1992, passed away last weekend at the age of 78. He will be remembered as a vibrant, dedicated and compassionate leader and public servant.

In 1959, Jonathan, who was completing his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill, worked at the Center as a research assistant. After graduation, he left Chapel Hill to work at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development but was recruited back to the University by F. Stuart Chapin, Jr., the outgoing director, to lead the Center into a new era of translating research into practice. Jonathan encouraged his staff to apply the Center’s research expertise to the problems facing urban America and to engage with local and state agencies. He led by example, serving as City Council member for the town of Chapel Hill for over a decade, and as a two-term mayor of Chapel Hill, all while continuing his leadership of the Center and teaching at the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning. Continue reading