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Emma Gilbert is a Senior Research Assistant and Co-CERI Coordinator at MSU CCED. In May, Emma graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Relations and Policy and a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning. During her undergraduate career, Emma also served as President of Spartan Global Development Fund, a microfinance student and non-profit organization at MSU. This year, Emma is finishing her dual enrollment program in Urban and Regional Planning and will graduate in May 2023 with her master’s degree. Since joining the Center in January 2021, Emma has had the opportunity to explore her interests in community capital, resiliency planning, regional planning, and grant writing. In October of 2021, Emma and Dr. LaMore submitted a $2.6 million dollar proposal to the EDA Community of Practice NOFO titled, “Creating a Community of Practice: 21st Century Economic Development Planning (CEDS+)” in partnership with four other University Centers nationwide. A key goal of the proposal was to create a community of practice between University Centers and Economic Development Districts to transform the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy process to incorporate environmental and social data variables in the traditional economic development data discovery process to help regions characterize and address the resilience, sustainability and social justice issues intertwined in economic development planning.

She has also been a core member of the Ad Hoc University Sustainable Investment Working Group, which is facilitated by the Center in partnership with students and faculty members at MSU. The Working Group has pursued a fact-finding effort on the Board of Trustees’ endowment investment policies and procedures to understand their alignment with the 2021 MSU Strategic and DEI Plans. The group has presented its findings and recommendations to the BOT and will continue to engage other groups on campus on the topic this fall.

While these are only a few highlights of Emma’s life and work, she looks forward to graduation and beginning her career in the community and economic development profession!

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