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Each year DCRP faculty and student body members select exemplary students as recipients of our annual DCRP awards. This year, we are thrilled to announce the five winners of our 2022 DCRP Student Awards!

Weiss Best Colleague Award: Julia Maron

This Weiss Best Colleague Award is selected by the graduating class and awarded to the colleague who has made the biggest positive impact on their classmates in their time at UNC. This year, the honor goes to Julia Maron. Julia’s colleagues say:

“Julia fostered community at DCRP. She was always willing to offer up places to explore since she knew the triangle area well. She was an active participant in DCRP. Julia cares so much about everyone and will go the extra mile to help others.”


Best Teaching Assistant Award: Amanda Ullman

The Best TA Award is awarded by the department’s Masters Students to a PhD student who has served as a TA in their classes and who made the biggest impact on them. This year, they have selected Amanda Ullman. Her nominators said:

“She was always helpful and aided my understanding of difficult concepts. She was also always kind. Amanda patiently, thoroughly, and encouragingly walked us through difficult concepts but equally important is that she provided reminders to prioritize our emotional and personal well-being in the midst of a challenging program and time.”

NC APA Outstanding Student Award: Lauren Prunkl

Lauren Prunkl imageThe NC APA Outstanding Student Award is presented to the student who has excelled academically and professionally. The student will be honored and presented a plaque at the annual NC APA conference. This year’s winner is Lauren Prunkl. Her advisor says:

“Lauren has excelled at DCRP. Not only has she done exceptionally well in her coursework but she has undertaken a MP that integrates housing and transport. Her project is looking at how the lack of transparent eviction records in the court system undermines policy attention to this critical issue in North and South Carolina. She has been recognized by the US Department of Transportation for this work through an Eisenhower Fellowship.”

APA Outstanding Student Award: Marielle Saunders


The APA Outstanding Student Award is awarded to an outstanding graduating MCRP student who has demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, commitment to planning as a career, and community service. This year’s winner is Marielle Saunders.  Her advisor says:

“Marielle committed herself to studying a difficult, yet important question: How do anchor institutions’ procurement decisions affect community development? She has had to adapt to difficult, uncertain circumstances as data availability and cooperating partners have shifted over the past year, and she was also able to weave that experience into a great project.”


Chatterjee Excellence Award: Jen Farris


The Chatterjee Excellence Award is given to a first-year student on the basis of excellence, including academic merit and leadership skills. This year’s winner is Jen Farris
Jen is an excellent student who has demonstrated strong leadership and community interests during her time in the MCRP program. As co-president of Planners’ Forum, Jen has focused on giving students voice in departmental conversations and connecting students.





Congratulations to all of our award recipients and thank you for your contributions to our department!

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