Panel 1

Rabina Bissessar
MPA Student
UCF School of Public Administration
Presentation:
“There Goes the Neighborhood: The Impacts of Common-Interest Developments Upon Municipality Property Values and Tax Collections”
Rabina Bissessar is working toward her Master of Public Administration at the UCF School of Public Administration. She is set to graduate this spring and will continue her education at North Carolina State University this fall. She serves as a graduate assistant for the school and event assisted with the logistics and coordinator of the Public Administration Research Conference. She is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, ASPA’s Section for Women in Public Administration, the Association for Budget and Financial Management, and the Central Florida ASPA chapter, to name a few.

Sarah Larson
Assistant Professor
UCF School of Public Administration
Presentation:
“There Goes the Neighborhood: The Impacts of Common-Interest Developments Upon Municipality Property Values and Tax Collections”
Sarah Larson is an assistant professor of public administration in the School of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida. She received her joint doctorate in public policy from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Political Science at Indiana University. Previously, Larson worked as a senior research associate for the Center for State and Local Finance and the Fiscal Research Center housed in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Her research interests include state and local taxation, revenue tax policy and quantitative methodologies.

Kristina Wright
Community Development Director
City of High Springs, Florida
Presentation: 
“Then and Now: Reducing Inequality, Creating Economic Growth, and Citizen Engagement and Public Participation through Planning Processes in Miami, Florida and Denver, Colorado”
Kristina Wright is the community development director for the City of High Springs, Florida. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in political science, public policy and administration at the University of Florida. Her areas of expertise include political participation, economic development and fiscal impacts, public policy, urban planning and design, cultural theory and form-based codes. She recently presented at the National American Political Science Association Conference, and she is a member of the American Planning Association.

Christopher Hawkins
Associate Professor
UCF School of Public Administration
Presentation: “Planning Processes for Disaster Memorials: Implications for Land Use and Community Engagement”
Chris Hawkins is and associate professor and the director of the urban and regional planning program at the UCF School of Public Administration, where he oversees both the Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning and the Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning. He earned his Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Florida State University. He is the recipient of the 2018 UCF Research Incentive Award, which he also received in 2013. He is a member of the American Planning Association, the American Society for Public Administration, the Urban Affairs Association and the American Political Science Association. He has received grants from both the National Science Foundation and the Department of Agriculture.

Roberta Fennessy
Instructor
UCF School of Public Administration
Presentation: “Planning Processes for Disaster Memorials: Implications for Land Use and Community Engagement”
Roberta Fennessy is a multi-faceted architect and urban planner with strong strategic and project management skills. Her in-depth knowledge of land use laws, zoning regulations, and approvals processes, has made her a key figure in navigating projects and clients through various levels of agency and governmental approvals. She has worked in local government as well as for world-renowned architecture firms RMJM Architects and Planners, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) as a development and planning consultant whose core experience comprises large‐scale, mixed-use, urban redevelopment projects in markets such as New York City, Newark, New Jersey, Denver, Colorado, and the Central Florida Region. While at SOM, she worked on Columbia University’s Manhattanville Campus Plan in West Harlem – successfully navigating the project and client through approvals for the rezoning of 37 acres on Manhattan’s west side. She also led the development of the Newark Broad Street Station District Redevelopment Plan – a 2009 NJ Futures Smart Growth Award recipient.

Xi Huang
Assistant Professor
UCF School of Public Administration
Presentation: “Immigrant Entrepreneurship and Economic Development: A Local Policy Perspective”
Xi Huang is an assistant professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida. She joined the school in 2018 after receiving her Ph.D. from the joint Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology doctoral program in public policy. Her research interests include immigration policy, migrant integration, urban development, and policy analysis and evaluation.

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