2018 Rising Scholar Award
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A Closer Look at Megan Horst,

Rising Scholar Award Winner

The ACSP Rising Scholar Award recognizes early-career scholars who demonstrate strong potential for a meritorious impact on planning scholarship. The inaugural award will be given each year using two alternating categories, which are intended to acknowledge differences in emphasis on research across programs, including time allocated for research and resources available to support research.

The 2018 winner of the Rising Scholar Award (for non-Tier One Programs) is Megan Horst, Portland State University. Horst recently accepted the award at the ACSP Conference in Buffalo, New York.

Megan A. Horst (PhD, AICP) is an Assistant Professor in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her research expertise is in food systems planning, food justice, planning theory, and land use planning that focuses on protecting agricultural land and promoting community food systems. Professor Horst's work has appeared in scholarly publications such as the Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Theory and Practice, Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Human Values, and Journal of Land Use Policy, as well as professional outlets like Planetizen and the Oregon APA Chapter newsletter. She currently serves as chair of the Toulan School's Diversity and Equity Committee and is on the Executive Committee of Portland State University's American Association of University Professors.

Here’s what Horst had to say about winning this prestigious award:

Q: How did you feel upon accepting the award?
A: Delighted and honored.

Q: Who do you want to thank, if anyone?
A: A lot of folks- the people who nominated me, past mentors, current mentors, colleagues, research collaborators, community partners, writing buddies, students, the food systems planning network, anonymous reviewers, activists, etc.

Q: What inspires you about the work for which you won your award?
A: I am especially inspired by community organizers and grassroots activists working on efforts towards more just and sustainable food systems, cities and regions.

Q: What's next?
A: I am working on several papers on food justice in Portland and on changing farmland ownership in Oregon. I also am working on a grant-funded project to catalogue and evaluate alternative access to land strategies for direct market growers.


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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