Announcing the 2020 Alumni Award for Excellence Winner: Susan WoodJun 17, 2020
The College of Architecture and Planning would like to congratulate CAP alumna Susan Wood, who has been awarded the CU Denver 2020 Alumni Award for Excellence. Susan has been and continues to be an incredible part of our community. Involved and driven, Susan has contributed countless hours to bettering our communities and bolstering the education of MURP students.
Susan, AICP, earned her MURP degree from CU Denver in 1998 after working as a geologist. In her 21-year planning career, Susan has excelled in her work and has admirably serviced the field through leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels, and for CU Denver.
As a land use planner, she has worked for Greenwood Village, Jefferson County, and as the supervisor for Douglas County’s Long Range Planning. Currently, Susan serves as a Planning Project Manager in the FasTracks Environmental Resource Group at RTD and as the Planning Project Manager for the Southeast and Southwest Rail extensions. She has gained recognition for her work conducting environmental assessments of regional transit projects and is well respected throughout Colorado.
Susan is extremely generous with her time and highly committed to the field’s goals to promote equity, improve quality of life, and protect the environment. Her leadership roles are extensive and ongoing, including for the Colorado Chapter and the National of the American Planning Association (APA), the field’s professional organization. She was the President of the Colorado Chapter of the APA for several years and continues to serve on its legislative committee. Nationally, she is on the National Chapter’s Council, the Legislative and Policy Committee, the Social Equity Task Force, and the American Institute of Certified Planner’s (AICP) Membership Standards Committee. AICP is the official body for accrediting planning master’s programs (including CU Denver’s) and for certifying professional planners. As a Legislative and Policy committee member, she volunteered to co-lead the creation of the APA’s first policy guide on planning for equity. This was a landmark achievement given the complexity of the issue and the breadth of the planning field, from transportation and housing to community development and environmental management. She led this extensive effort for several years, overseeing multiple contributing authors and taking the drafts through several layers of contentious reviews before achieving unanimous adoption by the delegate assembly.
Susan also engages several times each year with CU Denver by sharing her time, talent, and connections with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism (CCS), the alumni association, and students. She served for three years on the MURP Alumni Association (MURPAA) board and continues to attend MURPAA events. Annually, she serves on an expert alumni panel for the MURP program preview day, a vital recruitment effort. Susan also connects current students and alumni with career opportunities at RTD as an annual job shadowing host. She has organized student tours of RTD’s operations. She also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Plan4Health project, a joint grant-funded project with the College of Architecture and Planning’s CCSU and the CO APA.
Again, congratulations Susan, and thank you for everything you do for our community.