Sallyportal: Madly Blogging Reed

A Rising Star Puts New Fellowship to Good Work

FORWARD LOOKING. Ashlee Fox ’19 won an Evan Rose Fellowship to study the efforts of Milwaukie, Oregon, to revitalize its downtown.

If you ask around campus about rising sophomore Ashlee Fox ’19, it is clear that in a short amount of time she has thoroughly impressed a lot of people. Recently, she was awarded the Evan Rose Fellowship for a 2016 summer research internship to study the efforts of Milwaukie, Oregon, to revitalize its downtown.  

“It's pretty unusual for a freshman to apply and win an award such as this,” says Jolie Griffin, faculty administrative coordinator for the undergraduate research committee. “Ashlee is going to be a student to watch. She's a rising star and everyone who has worked with her has been really impressed—including her sponsor with the city of Milwaukie.”

The fellowship, sponsored in part by Kevan Shokat ’86 and Deborah Kamali ’85, is named in honor of outstanding Reed alumnus Evan Rose ’86, and is one of many opportunities that Reed has for student learning beyond the classroom.

Ashlee, who is an economics major from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is making an impact in both U.S. and tribal government. In high school, she worked on political campaigns and was involved with the Oklahoma Young Democrats. She found she was passionate about “giving a voice to those who are often silenced and underrepresented in politics and government.” As an intern for Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr., she became interested in issues surrounding housing and economic development. “Urban planning determines whether an area becomes revitalized or gentrified, whether communities have a grocery store nearby or food desert, whether a neighborhood experiences success or blight,” Ashlee says.

Working with Community Development Director Alma Flores, Ashlee devised and executed a project examining the revitalization of Milwaukie. “It was an exciting time to work at the City of Milwaukie. The community is currently considering an urban renewal plan, the Portland MSA is experiencing unprecedented growth, and downtown stakeholders are committed and ready to make the district better. With a series of historic changes on the horizon, I had the opportunity to do meaningful work in a community close to my own college.”

Practical insight into the world of economic development and city planning was just one of the valuable outcomes of this experience for Ashlee. She enjoyed interacting with downtown residents, visitors, and business owners. Furthermore, her research showed a surprising amount of common opinion among community members regarding the downtown area. “It was exciting to know that community stakeholders share a common vision for the area.”

As for Ashlee’s vision, she hopes to use her experience and deepening knowledge of municipal government to address issues in tribal communities, including her own.

“After completing the internship, I have thought about how similar strategies could be used in tribal communities. For example, tribal communities often have inadequate access to affordable, healthy groceries. My internship allowed me to learn about a few practical solutions to these systemic problems”


Tags: brilliant students, awards, urban planning