Meet Francesca Patricolo. You might recognize her from the 2019 Core Value Awards as her PedPDX: Portland’s Citywide Pedestrian Plan project was recognized as IAP2 USA’s Project of the Year and went on to win IAP2 International’s Project of the Year Award in Sydney, Australia!
Francesca first learned about IAP2 when she was serving in AmeriCorps Central Oregon after undergrad.
“I was responsible for gathering public feedback and shaping it into a plan, but I didn’t have a strategy,” Francesca said. “Fortunately, I found the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation online and immediately used it in my work. I knew after that experience that public participation was my calling in life.”
While attending grad school at the University of Oregon, Francesca saw the IAP2 Cascade Chapter issued a new scholarship opportunity. She immediately applied and was a co-winner.
“I remember reading the scholarship application and thinking “they’re looking for ME!” she said. “It was incredibly validating and made me feel like I could achieve much more.”
Francesca channeled this motivation by spearheading a student group called UOSP2 (University of Oregon Students for Public Participation) and asked the IAP2 Cascade Chapter if the student group president could have a seat on their board. Impressed with Patricolo, they agreed. She called into meetings and stayed engaged. She even presented at the IAP2 North American Conference in Salt Lake City.
“We had a vision for getting university-sponsored IAP2 student groups to start up across the country,” Francesca said. “I started volunteering on the IAP2 USA Communications Committee and Membership Committee to help us develop more connections and services for students and universities.”
She went on to join the IAP2 USA Board of Directors, serving for a three-year term. Her commitment to supporting scholarships and increasing access to training continued to grow. She helped launch a Student Scholarship Task Force and developed the IAP2 USA student scholarship program, as well as launched the first silent auction fundraiser at the North American Conference in Portland.
Additionally, Francesca has served on the International Board, is involved in the Mentor and Ambassador programs, and currently serves as the President of the Cascade Chapter and chapter liaison. She has attended six North American Conferences and two Skills Symposiums and has participated in numerous training courses. Last year she won the first IAP2 Greater Good: Emerging Leader Award. This year she won the IAP2 USA General Project Category, the IAP2 USA Project of the Year Award and is a co-winner of the IAP2 International Project of the Year Award which competes with entries submitted by IAP2 Regions in Australasia, Canada, United States and Members at Large.
“This means the entire universe to me and it goes to show how much a person can learn and grow over the years with access to incredible training and professional development,” Patricolo said. “IAP2 really made me aim high, but also gave me the tools to achieve it.”
The tenth principle in IAP2’s Code of Ethics is Support of the Practice: we will mentor new practitioners in the field and educate decision-makers and the public about the value and use of public participation. Francesca is a shining example of this.
“I’d love to see new practitioners get to have the opportunity to expand their professional universe like I did. Even a small scholarship could spark a huge impact,” she said.
Good P2 starts with you. It starts with people like Francesca. IAP2 USA is committed to growing our scholarship program. Join the movement and help spark the impact.
Join our challenge to double the number of scholarships given by making a tax deductible gift today.