Awards & Prizes

Monday, 20 April 2020 15:39

Margaret Bock of West Virginia University to Receive the 20th Annual Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science

Margaret Bock, a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at West Virginia University has been selected as the winner of the Twentieth Annual Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science. The Fellowship will provide a 2020–2021 Academic Year stipend of $30,000 to support Ms. Bock’s dissertation research entitled, “The Road Less Traveled: Economic Analysis of Roads and Highways.”

The research investigates the connection between roads and highways on several aspects of urban and rural locales including commuting, mortality, and mayoral elections. The results of this dissertation will be of wide-ranging interest to regional scientists and policymakers given current interest in the state of infrastructure in the United States, poising Ms. Bock to make several scholarly and practical contributions. Ms. Bock’s doctoral research is supervised by Joshua Hall, Professor and Chair of Economics at West Virginia University.

In addition to selecting the Fellowship recipient, the Selection Committee identified two applicants as meriting special recognition in the 20th Annual Competition:  Melissa Haller, Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), supervised by David Rigby; and Sydney Schreiner, Ph.D. student in Agricultural, Environmental, and Developmental Economics at The Ohio State University, supervised by Mark Partridge.

The 20th competition winner and finalists will be recognized at the awards banquet luncheon of the upcoming November 11–14, 67th North American Meetings of the RSAI in San Diego, California.

The Fellowship is awarded in memory of Dr. Benjamin H. Stevens, an intellectual leader whose selfless devotion to graduate students as teacher, advisor, mentor, and friend continues to have a profound impact on the field of regional science. Fundraising efforts to increase the Fellowship’s endowment are ongoing. Donations should be sent to: The Stevens Fellowship Fund, First Financial Bank, Attn. Trust Department, 1205 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820 USA. Checks should be drawn to The Stevens Fellowship Fund. Donations may also be made by credit card through the NARSC website at

The 2020 Stevens Fellowship Selection Committee is composed of: Elizabeth Mack, Geography, Michigan State University (Chair); Daoqin Tong, Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University; Nicholas Nagle, Geography, University of Tennessee; and Steven Deller, Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Stevens Fellowship Committee administrates the Stevens Fellowship Fund on behalf of the North American Regional Science Council; its members are: Tony Smith, Chair; David Plane, Secretary; Michael Lahr, Treasurer; Janet Kohlhase; and Neil Reid, Executive Director of NARSC.

The Committee thanks the 24 students who entered the competition in 2020, as well as their dissertation supervisors. Faculty at all North American Ph.D. programs related to the interdisciplinary field of Regional Science are encouraged to have their best students apply for the Twenty-First Annual Stevens Graduate Regional Science Fellowship. The winning student’s dissertation research will be supported during the 2021–2022 year with a one-year stipend of $30,000. The application deadline is February 15, 2021. Full submission guidelines will be posted at

April 2020

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The Regional Science Association International (RSAI), founded in 1954, is an international community of scholars interested in the regional impacts of national or global processes of economic and social change.

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