About the Jack Robertshaw Fellow
The Jack Robertshaw Fellow is a recognition given to honor one of the Founding Board Members of the Smart Growth Partnership and is awarded to a student or small group of students, who excel(s) in their community development work within any Westmoreland County community. Each recipient receives a scholarship.
2020-2021 Jack Robertshaw Fellow Award
The recipient of the 2020-2021 Jack Robertshaw Fellow Award was Emily Lessman. Emily is a current Mount Pleasant Borough, Pennsylvania resident and attended the Southmoreland School District but finished her high school diploma at Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. After earning her high school diploma, she pursued a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture focused on Soil Science and mix land use management at West Virginia University (WVU).
This Coal & Coke Trail Initiative Plan is assembled for the purpose of the Jack Robertshaw Jr. Fellowship and for the audiences of Smart Growth Partnership of Westmoreland, Coal & Coke Trail Chapter, the communities of Mount Pleasant Borough and Township, East Huntingdon Township and Scottdale Borough, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The purpose is to provide background information, a basic demographic analysis, and an objective with related projects, along with a discussion on next steps for the community to consider meeting the selected Smart Growth Partnership of Westmoreland County principles and the Coal & Coke Trail goal of “Linking Communities & History.” The plan proposes cost effective projects that utilize the surrounding landscape and regional heritage presented on the Coal & Coke Trail corridor. The plan is solely used to present options for the community and stakeholders to implement on and near the trail. The objectives are set to be easily obtainable and backed with information presented in the plan.
The plan contains thirteen sections to provide comprehensive coverage of the communities surrounding the Coal & Coke Trail. Any naming of community and/or stakeholders identified was done through free-source information and public meetings. Any named stakeholder has not given support to Jack Robertshaw Jr. Fellowship unless specifically stated.
2019 Jack Robertshaw Fellow Award
The students developed mapping and analysis of alternative possible routes for the Delmont Community and Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation Westmoreland Heritage Trail (WHT) to eventually fully connect from Trafford to Saltsburg. A missing link for this significant trail corridor has been the area where the WHT would cross PA Route 66 near Delmont.
Community leaders in Delmont envision this trail coming through or connecting to Delmont’s Historic District and connecting to a new Delmont Library and Community Center as a desirable destination.
2018 Jack Robertshaw Fellow Award
Evan Zavada worked with the Scottdale Task Force and Scottdale City Council to study the Business Retention and Expansion in the area. He also worked with the Annie Quinn and the Jacob’s Creek Watershed Association on trail and waterway projects.
2015 Jack Robertshaw Fellow Award
During the course of his independent study, Evan Tobin produced two products — “OPEN Arnold” and “TACTICAL URBANISM: New Kensington Better Block as a Case Study” — that can be used towards further development in both of those cities, and that can be used as a go-to guide for adopting the strategies that he examined in other communities.
2014 Jack Robertshaw Fellow Award
Dana Keith worked with Nick Felice and Jarod Trunzo, successive executive directors for the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program, on developing feasible designs to improve their Main Street, Depot Street and Ligonier Street area of downtown.
Her focus looked at what would be involved in returning Main Street and Depot Streets to two-way traffic or other methods of traffic calming and ways to slow the speed of traffic. She created a 3D model of downtown with traffic calming, a bike lane and a new downtown park where a local business burned down.