Urban & Regional Planning alumna Christina Ignasiak receives 2016 AICP Outstanding Student Award

Christina Ignasiak, a recent Michigan State University graduate who majored in Urban & Regional Planning (URP), was awarded the 2016 AICP Outstanding Student Award by the American Planning Association.

June 7, 2016

Christina Ignasiak, a recent MSU graduate and recipient of the 2016 AICP Outstanding Student Award

Christina Ignasiak, a recent Michigan State University graduate who majored in Urban & Regional Planning (URP), was awarded the 2016 AICP Outstanding Student Award by the American Planning Association.

This award recognizes outstanding achievements in the study of planning by students graduating from Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)-accredited planning programs, such as the URP Program in the School of Planning, Design and Construction. One student is chosen at both the graduate and undergraduate level by each program. To be considered for the award the student must first be nominated via a formal letter from the program lead at their university (Urban & Regional Planning Program in the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction).

Ignasiak was nominated to receive the undergraduate award by a vote of the URP faculty. A student must demonstrate high levels of academic achievement, leadership and commitment to planning to be considered for nomination by the program.

Upon finding out that she was going to receive his award, Ignasiak felt very honored and excited to be part of the AICP, because they hold such a “high standard for excellence.” To her, receiving this award meant that her “work really made a difference.” She said, “If you love what you’re doing and are really passionate about it, people will notice.”

In addition to the AICP award, Ignasiak was also named the Outstanding Senior of URP for 2015-2016 by the College of Social Science.

In 2015, she interned at both the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, where she was involved in planning work for the Redevelopment Ready Communities program; and the Community Relations Coalition in East Lansing. On top of that, Ignasiak did research on the Michigan Municipal League’s PlacePlans and redevelopment opportunities for the Sustainable Built Environment Initiative for Prof. Beyea, an URP specialist and instructor.

Ignasiak is also proud to have completed her capstone project for the Planning Practicum course; her team’s client was the City of Dearborn. Halfway through, she was able to find a grant for the City that was chosen as a $15,000 matching grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, something she considers one of her biggest accomplishments.

Currently, Ignasiak is working at the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, a regional planning organization, doing regional planning work, along with interning at Carlisle and Whortman Associates, a planning firm in Ann Arbor. In the fall, she will pursue a Master’s degree in urban planning from Wayne State University.

Advice she offers for other URP students is to “stay focused on what you are passionate about and remember the reasons why you are in the program to begin with.”

Please join us in congratulating Ignasiak for her achievement!

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