Bloustein School News

Bloustein graduate policy practicum class, research associate receive awards at 2011 APA-NJ planning conference

Earlier this month a graduate policy practicum class from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and Bloustein School research associate Dr. Judy Shaw were presented awards by the American Planning Association – New Jersey chapter. Each year APA-NJ recognizes planning initiatives, built projects, individuals and organizations that are at the forefront of planning and design.

Policy studio
Graduate student policy practicum class receives their commendation at the
APA-NJ conference.

The eight-member Bloustein studio class, “Assessing the Impact of Community Development Financial Institutions: Recommendations for New Jersey Community Capital,” was the recipient of the APA-NJ’s Outstanding Student Project Award. The award recognizes outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students that contribute to advances in the field of planning. The students may be from any secondary education institution but the project must be NJ based.

“Impact assessment has become a key component of planning, particularly in the field of community development. This reflects a funder’s growing demand for greater accountability, transparency, and measurable achievements, as well as a community development organization’s desire to ensure that their initiatives meet the needs of their target communities,” said class faculty advisor Dr. Julia Sass Rubin. “But many community development organizations are prevented from measuring their social impact due to scarce resources and limited capacity.  Recognizing this, the students developed easy-to-implement recommendations to enable our client, New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), a nonprofit community development financial institution, to put these ideas into practice with minimal effort.”

The student report offers suggestions for improving the overall process of impact assessment at NJCC, and also provides specific tools for measuring how the organization’s strategic capital investments and foreclosure mitigation efforts are transforming distressed communities throughout the state of New Jersey. It combines best practices observed in case studies of other community development financial institutions and a comprehensive review of the impact assessment literature. As a result, the recommendations outlined in the report go beyond the needs of NJCC to provide a set of best practices for the fields of community development and planning.

Dr. Rubin also noted that the report was finalized in the spring and NJCC has already begun implementing a number of the recommendations, with plans to adopt the others over the next year.  “In fact,” she said, “NJCC was so impressed with the quality of the final product that the organization hired one of the student authors to help oversee the implementation of the report’s recommendations.”

A copy of the report may be found online at the school’s Student Projects page. The students participating on the project included Kristin Crandall, Maria DeFazio, Daniel Kravetz, Jaret Mancinelli, Cara Purcell, Caitlin Salemi, Samantha Swerdloff, and Rrezarta Veseli.

Dr. Judy Shaw
APA-NJ president Charles Latini, Jr., PP, AICP presented
Dr. Judy Shaw her award.

Dr. Judy Shaw, a senior research associate appointed to the Bloustein School’s National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Redevelopment was the recipient of the Elwood “Woody” Jarmer Award for Environmental Achievement. The APA-NJ presents this award to a professional planner, elected official, or citizen planner that has demonstrated exceptional creativity in balancing environmental concerns with the realities of real estate development.

Dr. Shaw manages the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative, a collaborative of government, nonprofit, and businesses engaged in developing a coordinated approach to regional economic and environmental prosperity in the Raritan River basin and serves as a conduit for information, funding and collaboration within the region. This initiative brings key leaders together to establish and implement the policy tools required to create a vibrant regional economy centered on a strong natural resource ethic.

Prior to joining the Bloustein School, Dr. Shaw served a distinguished career in public service with New Jersey state government. Her appointments included the Governor’s Urban Coordinating Council, Deputy Director of the Office of Neighborhood Empowerment, Urban Coordinator for New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and she is the founding Administrator of NJDEP Office of Brownfield Reuse.  She led the NJDEP Task Force on Public Participation for the Site Remediation Program and developed the legislation and regulations necessary to ensure public notification for remediation cases. 

Her professional reputation for service includes terms on both the Environmental Commission and the Planning Board in her hometown of Moorestown, and membership om the Burlington County Agricultural Development Board. She is a member of NJAPA, Society for Women Environmental Professionals, and many regional and national environmental organizations.  She is co-chair of the Rutgers Task Force on the Raritan River, and a member of the Rutgers University Ecological Preserve Advisory Committee.


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