USC’s Associated Students of Planning and Development win the highest honor from the American Planning Association
This year, the American Planning Association (APA) has chosen to give the 2019 Outstanding Planning Student Organization Award to the Associated Students of Planning and Development (ASPD) at the USC Price School of Public Policy this year at APA’s National Planning Conference in San Francisco.
“Our board is delighted to receive this recognition, and we hope that is a positive reflection of the hard work our members have invested in their programming this year,” said ASPD co-chair Kristian Castro, who is pursuing dual Master of Planning (MPL) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees.
This year’s award is the highest honor that APA bestows upon Planning Student Organizations. The award recognizes excellence in innovative educational programming, APA engagement and community outreach, and involves a $2,500 cash prize.
“Over the years, ASPD has continuously acted to provide opportunities for planning students to have fun even as they deepen their understanding of the planning profession,” said USC Price Professor David Sloane. “The organization exemplifies what a great student group should be doing—connecting students with professionals, illuminating controversial sights and issues related to the profession, and helping students bond with their cohort and alums.”
ASPD’s innovative educational programming includes a new Urban Crawl Series, which immerses planning studios in diverse neighborhoods such as Little Toyko, Chinatown and Tijuana. ASPD’s flagship community outreach program is the Planning for College series, which introduces local high school students from underserved communities to planning careers. In addition, ASPD regularly hosts a Global Seminar Series, featuring USC faculty members from a range of disciplines discussing topics such as public space and gentrification.
ASPD hopes to further enhance its programming with the award’s $2,500 cash prize. They also hope to earmark some of the prize money to create travel funds for planning students to attend APA conferences. Lastly, they will set aside part of the prize money for the incoming ASPD board.