2017 Marcia M. Feld Leadership Award
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A Closer Look at Carissa Slotterback

Marcia M. Feld Leadership Award

The ACSP / FWIG  Marica M. Feld Leadership Award recognizes a Faculty Women’s Interest Group (FWIG) colleague for outstanding leadership within the ACSP organization.

The winner of the 2017 ACSP/FWIG Marcia M. Feld Leadership Award is Carissa Slotterback.

"We laud your work to tackle challenging and important issues that women in the planning academy face, notably your work on surveying, analyzing, and promoting improvement in faculty birth and adoption policies. Your nominating letters spoke compellingly of your bravery and determination to bring these issues to the forefront and speak eloquently and persuasively on them. We recognize the lasting contribution you have made by giving leaders tools that they could use to improve equity in their departments.” 
                                                                                      --Award Selection Committee

Slotterback assumed the role of associate dean in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in June 2017. She has been a member of the Humphrey School faculty for 13 years and previously served as director of research engagement in the University of Minnesota’s Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), as well as director of the Resilient Communities Project and Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. Known for her important work on collaborative engagement, Slotterback has initiated and led University-wide efforts to advance cross-disciplinary and engaged education and research. Her research and teaching have focused on public and stakeholder engagement and decision making related to environmental planning, impact assessment, and sustainability. She is actively engaged with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and began her second term as secretary in fall 2017.

Here’s A Closer Look at Slotterback:

Q: How did you feel upon accepting the award?
A: I was so honored to receive acknowledgement from my ACSP peers. I have found my engagement with ACSP over the years to be stimulating and inspiring, and most importantly it has made me feel like I am part of a bigger community working toward common goals. It is a tremendous honor to receive an award from a community that has given me so much support and has been such a big part of my academic and professional life.

Q: Who do you want to thank, if anyone?
A: I am so grateful to be nominated by my University of Minnesota colleague Yingling Fan and to Lois Takahashi and Cheryl Contant for providing letters of support. I am also grateful to FWIG for supporting my nomination for this award and for playing a visible and impactful role in advancing the status of women in the urban planning academy. I am also grateful for the pathbreaking efforts of Marcia Marker Feld and other women leaders in our field.

Q: What inspires you about the work for which you won your award?
A: In the comments I shared in accepting the award, I emphasized the importance of serving our community and our colleagues. I benefitted so much as a doctoral student from the support and welcome that I received from senior women colleagues - they were kind to me and reached out to me on a personal level. Their inclusion of me in this community has been foundational to my continued engagement with ACSP. I am inspired whenever I have the chance to connect with students and early career faculty. We all give so much to our work and to be able to talk about and share our experiences offers perspective and a sense that all of this effort is in support of something bigger than ourselves. In my comments at the FWIG lunch, I encouraged my colleagues to take the time to meet with PhD students and junior colleagues and to actively work to expand our circle and continually reinforce our community.

Q: What's next?
A: I am excited for work in my second term as Secretary of ACSP. I look forward to continued work with ACSP staff to enhance our communication efforts. I also look forward to working with my Governing Board colleagues on critical issues of equity and inclusion, as well as the responsiveness and visibility of ACSP on critical public issues. I am also inspired and challenged in my new leadership role at the University of Minnesota.


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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