Three of the students working on research projects this past year are highlighted below.
As a Research Assistant for the City of Adrian, Elizabeth Chon (MPP'20) researched sustainable funding sources for the City's project to deploy the first fully autonomous electric bus system in North America. She had the opportunity to lead the team in the application process for a Federal Transit Administration grant, which required her to learn and write about the technical aspects of the bus system and research the impact of a fixed-route autonomous public transit on local communities. Since Elizabeth is interested in both transportation and finance, this was an incredible opportunity to apply her knowledge in a client-facing setting.
Together with Ford students Monica Pagani (MPP/MSI '20) and Brandan Pierce (MPP '20), Nathan Lindfors (BA '20) worked with the Port of Monroe to assess the economic impact of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policy. The Port had experienced disparate clearance requirements when compared to those of ports under the purview of other CBP field offices. This priced the Port of Monroe out of international containerized trade, impacting the local and regional economy. The team examined the policy's impact through two case studies and economic modeling. The Port used their research to demonstrate to state and federal policymakers these policy challenges and their associated economic impact.
Research assistants Nathan Lindfors, Monica Pagani, and Brandan Pierce (center) present
their findings to their Port of Monroe clients and mentors.
As a research assistant with the Center for Community Based Enterprise, Michael Hegeman (MPP '20) assisted in qualitative background research on legislation that would support the formation of business cooperatives in Detroit and Michigan. Michael continued the work of a fellow Ford student and analyzed similar legislation that had been proposed in other states and cities. Additionally, he interviewed sponsors of six different pieces of legislation on their successes and concerns for their legislation. The final product of the research was a memo of recommendations on how to pass supportive business cooperative legislation based on his interviews and a spreadsheet of the different types of legislation proposed in different states and cities.