GSPIA faculty members awarded for top-notch urban affairs research

April 15, 2022

At the 50th annual Urban Affairs Association Conference, held in Washington, DC, GSPIA's Dean Carissa Slotterback, Associate Professor Sabina Deitrick, and incoming faculty member Rashad Williams were recognized for their scholarship and dedication to shaping the future of urban research. 

The Urban Affairs Association (UAA) is an international professional organization for urban scholars, researchers, and public service providers who are dedicated to engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life.

Dr. Carissa Slotterback, Dean of GSPIA, and her colleague Dr. Ryan Allen (University of Minnesota) were selected as the recipients of the 2022 Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs Award for their article, “Building immigrant engagement practice in urban planning: The case of Somali refugees in the Twin Cities," (volume 43). 

Dr. Carissa Slotterback and Dr. Ryan Allen hold their awards.

In their paper, authors Slotterback and Allen explore the potential pitfalls of community engagement in immigrant communities. Using the interviews of planning practitioners and Somali refugees, a lack of understanding is revealed by planners of the refugees' circumstances.  

Ultimately, planners achieved successful participation when they met the Somali community where they were and understood the cultural nuances that limited participation. 

The UAA awards committee lauded the paper for offering many opportunities to improve practice and "the potential for broad application of these concepts across multiple academic and practitioner disciplines and beyond the government-immigrant relationship to encompass any government-group interaction." 

Also celebrated at the conference, Associate Professor Dr. Sabina Deitrick was named to the UAA Distinguished Service Honor Roll, which recognizes the most impactful leaders who have contributed outstanding service to the association. 

Dr. Sabina Dietrick at the UAA Conference

Earlier in the day, Deitrick led reflections on four decades of urban scholarship as a moderator for "The Journal of Urban Affairs" panel. She is the co-editor of the recently published When Fracking Comes to Town (Cornell University Press), with GSPIA Associate Professor Ilia Murtazashvili. 

Finally, incoming faculty member Rashad Williams received the 2022 UAA Emerging Scholar Award, given to a promising early career researcher whose work demonstrates a commitment to rigorous and impactful research and service. 

Rashad Williams holds his award.

The UAA awards committee recognized his dissertation, “Twin Cities, Split Politics: Reparations and the Politics of Recognition and Redistribution,” which uses a comparative case study approach to examine two cities at the center of the international protest movement following the murder of George Floyd but have ended up at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of approaches to racial justice. 

Williams, a Ph.D. candidate studying black political thought and urban planning at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, will be bringing his expertise on race and social justice in public policy to GSPIA in 2022-2023.