Karla and Mai at the Capstone

In their final year in the program, students must submit a final project of professional quality on a topic in their area of specialization. This master’s project serves to demonstrate the student’s capabilities in his/her area and his/her readiness for professional practice. Completed in the student’s second year of the program, this is an individual project.

Each spring Alumni, local employers, affiliated centers, campus community, and friends of the department are all invited to attend the Capstone Poster Social where students created posters to share their research

Best Master’s Project was awarded to Bobby Funk, Economic Development Planning Specialization
Opportunity Zones and Community Development: Harnessing a Tax Benefit for Public Goals

Abstract: This project looks at the new Opportunity Zone tax benefit and analyzes North Carolina’s zone designations from a market-condition perspective. Because Opportunity Zones rely on private equity, this project helps practitioners better understand the underlying conditions of given zones based on long and short-term investment patterns. These patterns predict future investments and the relative investment risk considered from a private equity perspective, all affecting the potential economic returns from Opportunity Zone investments. Better understanding these conditions will help community development practitioners understand their leverage in public-oriented real estate development opportunities; helping set clearer financial expectations to achieve public goals. (Large poster image)


Bobby FunckFunck Capstone Poster


People’s Choice Award Master’s Project was awarded to Karla Jimenez-Magdaleno, Land Use and Environmental Planning (Dual Degree: Public Health)
Disrupted: An Exploration of Eviction and Health in Durham, NC

Abstract: In Durham, NC, concerns about evictions have come to the forefront as the city deliberates over the strategies to address an increasingly unaffordable housing market. Though eviction filings have decreased over the past five years, Durham County still had over 10,000 filings in 2017. However, not all of eviction filings were for non-payment of rent or lease violations. We’re calling these no-fault evictions. No-fault evictions are an understudied segment of evictions in Durham, which are occurring behind a national narrative focused on non-payment of rent. Community development practitioners lack an understanding of how the eviction process specifically affects physical and mental health, and how the “no fault” factor moderates the eviction-health pathway. Grounded in contextual background and a literature review, this project showcases portraits of two tenants relying on Section 8 voucher who experienced a no-fault eviction judgment, and depicts changes in their health. Tenants experienced new occurrences of depression, heart conditions, rapid weight loss, and exacerbations of existing health conditions. The goals of this project are to share the stories of evictions and health with the Durham community and to initiate efforts dedicated to addressing evictions. The findings of project are available at DurhamDisrupted.com. (Large poster image)

Karla pictured with Mai NguyenKara's Capstone poster

(Karla Jimenez-Magdaleno pictured with advisor is Dr. Mai Thi Nguyen)

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