The School of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM) recently honored outstanding professionals, alumni, students, and faculty for their contributions to the school, their communities, and the State of Oregon at the annual PPPM Awards Ceremony. Event attendees included graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, professionals, alumni, PPPM advisory board members, and organizations that work with the honorees.
The event also showcased the new Institute for Policy Research and Engagement (IPRE), an evolution of the former Community Service Center (CSC), and included a panel discussion, plans for IPRE, and stories of impact from applied research and engagement activities.
Outstanding Service to Oregon
The Award for Outstanding Service to Oregon recognizes members of the general public who have given extraordinary service, over an extended period of time, to the state of Oregon. Terry McDonald, Executive Director of St. Vincent DePaul of Lane County, was this year’s recipient.
McDonald has served the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County since 1984. A hands-on visionary leader with degrees in Political Science and History and a Master’s of Education from the University of Oregon, he focuses on affordable housing and economic development projects that create jobs while improving the environment and the community.
His passion is creating avenues out of poverty through a unique kind of reclamation: finding new uses for consumers’ “useless” discards, creating new strategies and community coalitions to deal with old problems, and giving low-income and homeless people a chance to reclaim their dignity through employment and self-sufficiency.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to a graduate of PPPM who has developed a distinguished reputation in his or her chosen field over an extended period. Recipients of the award will generally have received a degree at least 10 years prior to receipt of the award. This year’s recipient, André Le Duc, is the Chief Resilience Officer and Associate Vice President for Safety & Risk Services at the University of Oregon.
In 2016, Le Duc, MCRP '99, became the first higher education Chief Resilience Officer in the country. Prior to his administrative appointments, Le Duc worked at the CSC, where he developed two applied research programs, the Oregon Natural Hazards Work Group and the Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience. These service learning–based programs have been used in all 36 Oregon counties, many municipalities, and the State of Oregon for the development of disaster mitigation plans.
Le Duc has a nationally proven history of working successfully with risk management, public safety, and emergency management professionals, academics, and private-sector representatives on diverse risk and hazard-related projects and policy issues at the local, state, and national levels. Le Duc holds a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the UO and bachelor’s degrees in Geography and Environmental Policy and Planning from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.
Outstanding Recent Alumni
The Distinguished Recent Alumni Award is given to more recent graduates, usually within fewer than 10 years of graduation, who have shown extraordinary success within the period since finishing their UO degree. Amanda West, MPA '09, this year’s recipient, is a member of the Social Ventures team at Mercy Corps.
West brings her experience in social entrepreneurship to the daily management of the Innovation Investment Alliance, a funding and learning partnership between the Skoll Foundation and USAID, supported by Mercy Corps. The Alliance has invested almost $50M in proven, transformative social enterprises to scale their impact and has published a series on how to tackle scaling roadblocks in collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University.
Prior to working at Mercy Corps, Amanda was a co-founder of EcoZoom, a social enterprise and Certified B Corp in the clean energy sector (cookstoves and solar lights for developing countries). In less than five years EcoZoom’s founding team grew the company from $40,000 in initial funding to $10.5M in annual revenue and opened offices in Mexico and Kenya. Amanda also led research for Arc Finance’s initiative to use remittances to finance sustainable energy products.
School Service Awards and Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award
Current PPPM student Michel Nuñez received the award for Outstanding Service to the School by an Undergraduate Student, and Oliver Gaskell received the award for Outstanding Service to the School by a Graduate Student.
Rebecca Lewis, Assistant Professor, received the PPPM Outstanding Teacher of the Year award. The Outstanding Teacher Award is chosen by all PPPM students, in conjunction with a member of the PPPM Advisory Council.
Student Research Poster Award
The awards event also featured individual and team projects by students in the Nonprofit Management, Public Administration, and Community and Regional Planning graduate programs. Attendees had the opportunity to cast ballots for the best research poster.
Master of Public Administration graduate students, Maggie Charles, Kerry Edinger Snodgrass, Kelsey Madsen, and Justin Sandoval received the Student Research Poster Award for their capstone project, “Emerging Transportation Technologies Impact on Parking Demand and Pick-Up and Drop-Off Zones.” Their research project was for the City of Seattle Department of Transportation and the National Institutes for Transportation and Communities (NITC).