By: Cliff Ellis, PhD, MCRP Program Director


Graduation day at Clemson University was May 7 and ten MCRP students received their diplomas. The May 2016 graduates are William Brewer, Brennan Hansley, Ashley Kale, Ryan Krueger, Brittni Olesen, Austin Rutherford, Thomas Trawick, Ryan Treleven, Allison Wright, and Nelson Yaksic Vera.  Five more students are expected to receive their diplomas in August.


Every year the MCRP Program gives out awards recognizing both academic performance and service to the program. The awards for 2015-2016 are as follows:


American Institute of Certified Planners Award:  Ashley Pruitt

Faculty Award for a Second Year Student:  Brittni Olesen

Citation in City and Regional Planning—Second Year Award:  Natalia Rosario

The Debbie Lieu Memorial Award:  Ariel Promislow

Citation in City and Regional Planning—First Year Award:  Emily Hutchings

Edward L. Falk Citation for Merit:  Samuel Parsons

Marsha Ritzdorf Memorial Diversity Award:  Aubrey Trinidad

McCallum Fellowship: Emily Hutchings


The MCRP Program will have a large incoming class in fall 2016 with approximately 21 new students expected to begin their studies. There will also be the 20 returning students of the second-year class. Brennan Williams will serve as the President of Clemson’s Planning Student Organization for 2016-2017.


During the fall of 2015, as part of the Professional Studio course, the second-year MCRP students completed two neighborhood plans.  Working in conjunction with the Community Development Division of the City of Greenville, the students created plans for the Greater Sullivan and Pleasant Valley neighborhoods covering issues such as infill housing, street design, community facilities, public transit, lighting, traffic calming, bikeways, and community identity.


During the spring semester of 2016, Barry Nocks’ Current Issues in Planning class brought in twelve different planning professionals to discuss their career paths and planning activities.  Both the first-year and second-year MCRP students attended these lectures.  The guest speakers included the following:


Rashida Jeffers-Campbell (Greenville County Redevelopment Authority)

Mark Simmons (Parker Poe Consulting)

Ernie Boughman, AICP (Toole Design Group and President of the SC chapter of APA)

Carol Rhea, FAICP (President of APA)

Cheryl Matheny, FAICP (Matheny-Burns Consultants)

Rick Quinn (Quinn-Satterfield Builders)

Steve Pelissier, AICP (SC Appalachian Council of Governments)

Mark Tollison (County Attorney, Greenville County)

Phil Lindler, AICP (Greenwood City & County Planning Departments)

Brad Wyche (Upstate Forever)

Chris Clausen (Town of Chapin, SC)

Mary Douglas Hirsch, AICP (City of Greenville)


Over the summer, the Clemson MCRP Program will be trying to locate as many Public Service Assistantships (PSA) as possible for the 2016-2017 academic year, primarily in the Upstate counties.  These can be in public planning agencies, consulting firms, or nonprofit organizations.  The PSAs are a great opportunity for planning agencies and firms to provide both professional experience and financial support for Clemson MCRP students, while also advancing planning projects that might not otherwise be staffed.  For more information about the Public Service Assistantships contact Cliff Ellis at