A changing of the Guard….

A big thank you to last year’s Executive Committee—their efforts, accomplishments, and contributions to the Crescent City Shapers have set this year’s officers up for success.  The new officers are looking forward to taking the lead in providing Crescent City Shaper members with educational, social, professional, and community service opportunities.  Find out a little more about the new Executive Committee and please feel free to reach out to them with your ideas, feedback, and suggestions throughout the school year.

STATE APA LIAISON: Rosie Green Ballinger

Rosie Green Ballinger is a second year MURP student concentrating in Land Use/Environment. She grew up in a tiny (pop. 2,400) town in southeast Michigan, and headed south after high school to Berea, Kentucky. There she attended Berea College and graduated with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Peace and Social Justice Studies. As a Fellow with the Entrepreneurship for the Public Good program at Berea, Rosie interned at the NewCities Institute in Lexington, Ky. It was then that she decided to study urban and regional planning. She followed her husband to New Orleans when he moved here in 2007 and enrolled at the University of New Orleans. Rosie is seriously in love with this city and enjoys almost everything about it, especially its festivals and sporting events.


My name is Keely Loyce Hill and I am an undergraduate student in the Urban Studies program.  I am a sophomore transfer student with a small amount of experience in the urban studies/planning areas but that experience is constantly growing.  I’m glad that I have the opportunity to work with the graduate planning students through the CSS and I really want to make some great volunteer opportunities available to all students while they are living in New Orleans.  I’m here to learn and to help others do the same so if you have any ideas or any questions regarding the CSS or urban studies in general please feel free to reach out to me.


Raised in the swamps of Florida, Angela moved up north after college to live the dream of unheated, dirty lofts in gritty urban neighborhoods.  She did this and thirteen years only to decide to leave it all behind to return south to get her PhD in Urban Studies.  While living in Chicago she worked in the Education Department of the American Planning Association, got her Masters Degree in Communication, thrift shopped, discovered the joys of giving her entire paycheck to Whole Foods, and biked every inch of the city.  Seven years after her first snowfall, Angela moved to New York where she took advantage of the million and one opportunities by re-inventing herself yearly.  She worked in the fashion industry, film, and publishing.  She misses the car services, bridges, and Bodega cats but is excited to be in New Orleans.

PRESIDENT: Alexis Leventhal

Alexis moved to the fair city of New Orleans in the summer of 2007 to work in the city’s public schools as a special education teacher with Teach for America.  Alexis quickly came to realize that, although she adored her students, teaching was not her life’s calling.  Inspired by the rebuilding efforts across the city and drawing upon her undergraduate background (a BA in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Haverford College), Alexis entered the MURP program in the fall of 2008.   With her Teach for America commitment fulfilled, Alexis is now a full-time 2ndyear MURP student concentrating in Land Use and Environmental Planning.   As the Crescent City Shaper (CCS) President, she hopes to draw upon the passion, intelligence, and diversity of her fellow CCS members to create a host of meaningful and fun activities.  To this end, Alexis welcomes input and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.


LaVita Tuff is a native of Atlanta, Georgia brought to New Orleans because of her love for the city and the people here. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at The Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. While there she competed on the world renowned Forensics Team and served as an officer on the executive board for Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity. She has a love for her community and shows this through her mentoring program, Just Save One which focuses on teaching children the importance of an education and how to be healthier individuals. She currently serves as the Community Outreach officer and is taking ideas from everyone about what can be done to make a difference around New Orleans.


Bridget lives by the credo, “variety is the spice of life”. And what spicier city exists than New Orleans? Although it has taken her many years to finally settle here, her roots are deeply embedded in the South. Born in Baton Rouge she moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, Dallas, Texas, and back to Baton Rouge for undergraduate work in Anthropology at Louisiana State University. In college she studied and worked in the field of archaeology, learning the nuances of Louisiana history and culture. After graduating from Louisiana State University, she moved to New Orleans to pursue a career in teaching. Always a student at heart, she realized there was more for her to learn. She is currently enrolled in her first year of the MURP program and would like to focus on land use and urban design.



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