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Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics

Elizabeth Reaves

Elizabeth Reaves, M.S. '10, Certificate of Ecological Economics '10

B.A. American University

Areas of interest

food systems, land use, energy, local economies

Thesis Title:

Reconciling theory with action: participation and the community indicator process

Undergraduate and Professional Background:

Prior to becoming a graduate student at UVM I received a BA in International Relations from American University, Washington DC and worked on Capitol Hill as a staff member for Senator Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Returning to Vermont I worked briefly in state government and then accepted a position as Development Director for a small private school and spent two years as the Market Coordinator for the Woodstock Market on the Green. I currently serve as Development Chair for the Pentangle Council on the Arts and I was appointed to the Woodstock Economic Development Commission in 2010. I am also co-manager for one of Woodstock's community gardens and serve as a member of Sustainable Woodstock's Food Policy Action Group. I currently serve as a member of the Finance Committee for Matt Dunne's campaign for Governor of Vermont.

Graduate Courses:

Fall 2008
STAT 211 Statistical Methods I
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
CDAE 354 Microeconomics
CDAE 295 Ecological Economics

Spring 2009
CDAE 326 Community and Economic Development
Qualitative Research Methods
CDAE 351 Quantitative Research Methods
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar

Fall 2009
NR 377 Land Use and Economic Policy
NR 243 GIS
CDAE 392 Graduate Seminar
CDAE 391 Graduate Thesis Research (3 credits)

Spring 2010
NR 385 Measuring Genuine Economic Progress in Iceland
CDAE 391 Graduate Thesis Research (9 credits)

Summer 2010
Biology (to fulfill Ecological Economics Certificate)

Funding Grad School:

I received a research grant to work with the Center for Rural Studies and Smart Growth Vermont to develop an indicator system for Vermont's Designated Downtown Program to use to measure the health of their town.

Certificates Completed:

Ecological Economics

On Customizing Grad School to Fit Personal Interests:

I crafted my grad school experience to do three things: fulfill requirements, support and advance thesis work, and explore topics of interest.

Words of Wisdom to Inquiring/Incoming MS Students:

The reality of a master's program is to provide students with the opportunity to survey interests, further education, and gain valuable research skills. If your expectation is that you leave a MS program as an expert, I expect that you will be disappointed; the CDAE program is not designed to graduate students with a skill set as specific as say an MBA. Students in CDAE need to carve that expertise as they craft their program. The important skills that you go forward with from the CDAE program are the ability to identify, analyze, and create good research. This is the skill that will allow you to leverage your MS experience in the work world or to continue on in a PHD program; it is also the least exciting and most tedious part of the MS process. Life is messy as are the issues that the CDAE student is interested in, which is why the trans-disciplinary nature of CDAE at times can feel incoherent. However, if you are able to see the connections between a class in food policy, economic development, and land use then you are able create cohesion between your classes and that too becomes a skill that you can leverage. The ability to identify complexity in an increasingly complex world is a valuable and important skill.

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