Dr. Lisa Schweitzer Awarded 2016 Margarita McCoy Award

Price Women and Allies would like to congratulate our faculty advisor, Dr. Lisa Schweitzer, for receiving the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) 2016 Margarita McCoy Award. We are thrilled to see her leadership and accomplished recognized. Congratulations Dr. Schweitzer! 

See the letter below from Dean Knott announcing the award.

Dear Price Community:

Join me in congratulating Dr. Lisa Schweitzer, Associate Professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, for receiving the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) 2016 Margarita McCoy Award. This award is given every other year to a scholar who best advances women in planning at universities through service, teaching, and research.

Colleagues from peer institutions as well as USC faculty nominated Dr. Schweitzer for this award and they noted her exceptional work mentoring junior faculty, her scholarly impact, and innovations such as being among the first scholars to econometrically estimate the equity impacts of toll-road financing.

The nominators pointed to many examples of her research including her work on no-notice evacuations that established that federal and local agency planning, assuming a male-oriented travel pattern, was often blind to the complicated travel patterns and child-care duties that typically fall on women, leading to evacuation plans that disadvantage women, particularly low-income women and women of color.

The ACSP selection committee noted Dr. Schweitzer’s exceptional contributions to research, teaching, and service in the field as well as her scholarship, which consistently highlights gender issues in innovative and sophisticated ways and has consistently been a strong voice for women in planning.

Dr. Schweitzer’s McCoy award follows her 2015 award for the best article in the Journal of the American Planning Association for her work on social media and stigma. In that study, Lisa analyzed over 64,000 Twitter posts, using a methodology that she developed which applied machine learning and text analysis to categorize social media posts into negative and positive comments.  She also uses social media to illustrate that misogynistic and racist opinions exist in relation to core planning functions, and she provides methods and policy suggestions that help illustrate a way forward toward a more just outcome. It is rare in planning to win such competitive awards in back-to-back years.  Dr. Schweitzer has certainly distinguished herself and the Price School through her scholarship and teaching.

In addition, she chaired the ACSP Faculty Women’s Interest Group (FWIG) from 2010-2013, reinvigorating the work and the visibility of that group and organized FWIG’s highly successful 25th-anniversary celebration and established a Facebook page for the group that is among the most thoughtful and active within ACSP.

The McCoy award honors the legacy of Margarita Piel McCoy, who began her professional career in planning in 1959. McCoy, who passed away in April of this year, earned her master’s degree in planning at USC in 1970 and went on to serve as an administrator and faculty member here. In 2008, she received the Price School’s Guardian Award for Alumni Merit for her pioneering work and for serving as a role model and mentor for women entering the planning field and an advocate for women in many different arenas.

Congratulations to Lisa on this well-deserved honor!


Jack H. Knott, Dean


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