Meet your Crescent City Shapers officers!

At the general meeting of Crescent City Shapers, held last Wednesday, November 12, 2008, we selected the officers for our fledgling organization. See their profiles below! Get to know them. Talk to them. Tell them what you want for your student organization.


Michael Powers


BIO: Michael grew up in a small town two hours south of St. Louis. Unable to resist the draw of “big city” life, Michael moved to St. Louis after graduating high school to further his education at St. Louis University and further his passion: small business entreprenuerialship. His love for urban areas and desire to improve the quality of life in St. Louis inspired a change of direction: from a high powered business school to a burgeoning “Urban Affairs” undergraduate program. It was in this program that Michael solidified his desire to revitalize “forgotten America”–its irreplaceable and often underappreciated cities. Today, he is finishing his Master’s Degree in UNO’s MURP program and working as a Mayoral Fellow in the City Planning Commission where he is responsible for zoning variances–and, as of late, facilitating the city’s ongoing Master Planning process.

Michael lives in the French Quarter.



Rosie Lacy


Rosie moved to New Orleans after completing her service as a community development Peace Corps volunteer in Western Samoa, South Pacific.  In 2002, Rosie graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Historic Preservation.  She worked in the field of architecture and design for several years before and after her service abroad and currently works for Manning Architects on the Comprehensive Master Plan for the City of New Orleans.  Rosie will be the acting student representative for both the State and New Orleans Metro American Planning Associations.  She will liaise between the student body and these two associations and will update the Crescent City Shapers website on upcoming events and information relevant to APA.  Please contact her if you have any questions or would like to be involved with these organizations.

Rosie lives in Central City.



Ryan Galvin


BIO: Seduced by the warmer climate and good living, Ryan recently moved to New Orleans from Brooklyn. Prior to beginning her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, she worked in housing policy and led a team of policy analysts for the Manhattan Borough President.  Ryan completed her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and African Studies from the University of Virginia in 2003. Ryan attends UNO part-time and works as a Research Analyst for the Bureau of Governmental Research.

Ryan lives in the Marigny.



Melissa Ehlinger


BIO: Melissa grew up in New Orleans, but left the city to attend college at the University of Texas at Austin.  After college, Melissa received her JD from George Washington University in Washington DC.  She was a lawyer for the federal government in DC and then in New York City.  Melissa moved back to New Orleans this August to attend UNO and be a part of New Orleans’ renewal.  She loves all things urban, traveling, reading, and sports.  Melissa organizes the social and fundraising events for the Crescent City Shapers.  Please let her know about fun events around town!

Melissa lives in the Warehouse District.



Nicole McCall



Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Nicole moved to New Orleans and fell in love with the City a decade ago. A dedicated cyclist, she relishes riding through the City’s historic neighborhoods on way to UNO. After completing a dual degree in printmaking and economics at Tulane University in 2001, she worked as a federal economist, in international trade development, and for a local planner. In 2007 she began pursuing her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, first as a part-time student and now as a full-time student. Nicole is identifying speakers for Crescent City Shapers’ Lunch and Learn Program. Please contact her if you would like to invite a speaker to the program or if you would like to present information about your organization or research.

Nicole lives in Algiers Point.



Matthew Mourning


Bio: Matt grew up in a tidy old working class German neighborhood on the South Side of St. Louis, Missouri. Suddenly, around the turn of the most recent century, St. Louis began to bloom after decades of decline. Matt’s own neighborhood rapidly became the country’s largest Bosnian neighborhood. The rest of the city, inured to abandonment and decay, started to come to life by the hand of rehabbers. Matt couldn’t resist the energy of the revitalization and quickly became enamored with his home city, studying every facet of its history, which ultimately led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs at St. Louis University. On August 29, 2005, his plans changed. A service trip brought him (along with CCS President Michael Powers) to New Orleans to assist in the recovery. A couple months later, Matt became a full time resident and a MURP student at UNO with an interest in historic preservation and community development. Though Matt’s heart is now taken by two cities–New Orleans and St. Louis–he maintains a blog about St. Louis preservation from a newfound New Orleans perspective. Check it out at

Matt lives in the French Quarter.



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