Stevens Graduate Fellowship

The Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science was established in 1998 in memory of Dr. Benjamin H. Stevens (1929-1997), an intellectual leader whose selfless devotion to graduate students as teacher, advisor, mentor, and friend continues to have a profound impact on the field of Regional Science. Graduate students enrolled in Ph.D. programs in North America are eligible to compete for the Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in support of their dissertation research in Regional Science.

Faculty at all North American Ph.D. programs are asked to encourage their best students to apply for the 22nd Stevens Graduate Fellowship, which will support the winning student’s dissertation research in the field of Regional Science with a fellowship of $30,000 for the 2022–2023 academic year. The application deadline is February 15, 2022. Full submission guidelines may be found at

Melissa Haller, a Ph.D. candidate in Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles was selected as the winner of the 21st Annual Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science. The Fellowship has been providing a 2021–2022 Academic Year stipend of $30,000 to support Ms. Haller’s dissertation research on “Economic Crises, Knowledge Workers, and the Geography of Economic Recovery.”

Ms. Haller’s research investigates economic decline in large firms across the United States and the consequences of that decline for workers and cities. The results of this dissertation will be of wide-ranging interest to regional scientists and policymakers, especially in the context of the resilience of cities and regions to the economic disruptions and restructurings brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Ms. Haller’s doctoral research is supervised by David Rigby, Professor of Geography at UCLA.

In addition to selecting the Fellowship recipient, the Selection Committee identified two applicants as meriting special recognition as finalists in the 21st Annual Competition: Amelia Pludow, University of California, Santa Barbara, advised by Alan Murray; and Hui Shen, University of Illinois at Chicago, advised by Jane Lin. 

The Committee thanks the 29 students who entered the competition in 2021, as well as their dissertation supervisors.

The 21st competition winner and finalists were recognized at the awards luncheon of the 68th North American Meetings of the RSAI in Denver on November 13, 2021.

The 2021 Stevens Fellowship competition was overseen by a Selection Committee composed of: Daoqin Tong, Arizona State University (Chair); Elizabeth Mack, Michigan State University; Steven Deller, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Nicholas Nagle, University of Tennessee; and Shaoming Cheng, Florida International University. At its 2021 meeting, NARSC Council expressed its gratitude to Elizabeth Mack for her five years of service on the Selection Committee and appointed Heather Stephens, West Virginia University, to replace her, beginning with the 2022 competition.

The Stevens Fellowship Committee administrates the Stevens Fellowship Fund on behalf of the North American Regional Science Council; its members are: Tony Smith, Chair; David Plane, Secretary; Michael Lahr, Treasurer; Janet Kohlhase; and Neil Reid, Executive Director of NARSC.

The Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science has been awarded to the following students:

2000  Michael J. Greenwald (University of California,Irvine; Marlon Boarnet, advisor)

2001  Rachel Franklin (University of Arizona; Brigitte Waldorf, advisor)

2002  Jung Won Son (University of California-Los Angeles; Leobardo Estrada, advisor)

2003  Alison Davis Reum (North Carolina State University; V. Kerry Smith, advisor)

2004  Nicholas Nagle (Univ. of California-Santa Barbara; Stuart H. Sweeney, advisor)

2005  Xiaokun Wang (University of Texas at Austin; Kara Kockelman, advisor)

2006  Joshua Drucker (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Harvey Goldstein

and Edward Feser, advisors)

2007  Alvin Murphy (Duke University; Patrick Bayer, advisor)

2008  Paavo Monkkonen (University of California, Berkeley; David E. Dowall, advisor)

2009  Elizabeth Mack (Indiana University; Tony H. Grubesic, advisor)

2010  Adam Storeygard (Brown University; J. Vernon Henderson, advisor)

2011  Peter Richards (Michigan State University; Robert Walker, advisor)

2012  Ran Wei (Arizona State University; Alan Murray, advisor)

2013  Zhenhua Chen (George Mason University; Kingsley Haynes, advisor)

2014  No award made

2015  Ahmadreza Faghih Imani (McGill University; Naveen Eluru, advisor)

2016  Nick Tsivanidis (University of Chicago; Chang-Tai Hsieh, advisor)

2017 Lindsay E. Relihan (University of Pennsylvania; Gilles Duranton, advisor)

2018 Daniel Crown (The Ohio State University; Mark Partridge, advisor)

2019 Prottoy A. Akbar (University of Pittsburgh, Randall Walsh, advisor)

2020 Margaret Bock (West Virginia University, Joshua Hall, advisor)

2021 Melissa Haller (University of California, Los Angeles, David Rigby, advisor)

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