CREW Network Foundation Announces 2019 Scholarship Recipients

July 19, 2019
Written by: CREW Network

Contact: Heidi Warren, CREW Network
+ 1 (785) 856-8287

Scholarships to Be Awarded to 20 Female College Students Pursuing Careers in Commercial Real Estate

Lawrence, Kansas, USA (July 18, 2019) – Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network Foundation has selected 20 female college students to receive a total of $100,000 USD in scholarships through the CREW Network Foundation Scholarship Program this year.

The scholarship program supports future female leaders as they pursue university-level education that will lead to careers in commercial real estate. Each student will receive $5,000 USD for tuition and books, a paid internship opportunity during the summer of 2020, a complimentary 18-month CREW Network student membership, and a complimentary registration to the 2019 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace, September 25-27 in Orlando, Florida.

“It is an honor to introduce the talented students and emerging leaders who have been selected as our 2019 scholarship recipients,” said Sharon Herrin, 2019 CREW Network Foundation Chair. “CREW Network’s global reach will provide these women the opportunity to network with experts, develop leadership skills and industry training that will open doors as they begin their careers upon graduation.”

Launched in 2008, the CREW Network Foundation Scholarship program grants scholarships to female students annually. Scholarship funds come from the CREW Network Foundation Scholarship Endowment and personal, CREW Network chapter and corporate contributions. To date, the program has awarded a total of $897,500 USD to 146 female students at 83 universities across 33 states/provinces in the U.S. and Canada.

The 2019 winners, listed with hometowns and majors/areas of study, are from colleges and universities throughout Canada and the U.S.:

Olivia Ahner

Olivia Ahner
Hometown: Albany, New York
Senior | Northeastern University
Focus of study: Environmental Engineering

Ahner is a senior at Northeastern University pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering. She became intertwined with the world of commercial real estate through an internship at Langan Engineering in New York, a land development engineering firm where she rotated through the civil, environmental and geotechnical disciplines. She was fascinated by playing a consulting role at the intersection of environmental science, interdisciplinary cooperation and New York City law.
Coursework and fieldwork alike have given Ahner an understanding of the complexity and importance of land doctoring—whether it be evaluating geological conditions for building a high-rise or remedially acting on historically contaminated land. Ahner will be in Costa Rica for the next six months, where she will study and practice permaculture techniques on a cooperatively-owned farm. After her return to Boston and graduation from Northeastern University in the Spring of 2020, she hopes to synthesize her experiences and find a purpose in city infrastructure sustainability and improvement, whether it be through hard engineering, urban planning or policy.

Zarina Isam Ateig

Zarina Isam Ateig
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Graduate | Harvard University
Focus of study: Real Estate Development

Ateig is a trained architect and PMI certified project manager currently pursuing a master’s degree in Real Estate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has received multiple awards and is on the executive board of several student groups. Ateig is President of AfricaGSD, Events Director of the Harvard Real Estate Development Club and is involved with multiple student-led conferences university wide.

Previously, Ateig worked as a Development Manager at one of the largest real estate developers in the United Arab Emirates with a focus on mixed use and hospitality projects, both locally and internationally. She intends to continue working in real estate development after graduation, with hopes that she could apply all she has learned to develop cities that are more energetic, diverse and equitable. 

Amanda (Mandi) Backhaus

Amanda (Mandi) Backhaus
Hometown: Griswold, Iowa
Senior | University of Nebraska - Omaha
Focus of study: Real Estate and Land Use Economics, Marketing, & Management

Backhaus is Executive Secretary and Social Media Chair for Rho Epsilon Real Estate Fraternity and is also the Executive Secretary of Chi Omega Sorority. She is an active member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Student Marketing Association and American Legion Auxiliary. In February 2019, she passed the national and state real estate exam to earn her salesperson license in Nebraska.
As an intern at The Lerner Company, an Omaha commercial real estate brokerage, she enjoys learning about the industry firsthand. Development, leasing and tenant representation are the areas of specialty that she is most interested in. Upon graduation in May 2020, Backhaus plans to begin working full-time in the commercial real estate field and pair her real estate knowledge with creativity to envision, create and orchestrate the process of development from the beginning to the end.

Brianna Barr

Brianna Barr
Hometown: Lebanon, Indiana
Senior | Ball State University
Focus of Study: Architecture with a minor in Interior Design

Having a background in design has allowed Barr to develop a unique perspective on the commercial real estate industry. Barr is drawn to commercial real estate because it produces the spaces where people interact, learn and grow. The industry has the potential to impact many lives.
Commercial real estate is the platform that allows designers to create the office building of a first-time business owner and watch how the company develops. Designers get to create multi-family apartment complexes, where families thrive, grow and make memories. Architects get the opportunity to design a downtown that reinvigorates local businesses. Barr has seen the impact the industry has through her internship experiences, and she is passionate about cultivating a sense of wholeness and connectedness among communities.

Victoria Bartlett

Victoria Bartlett
Hometown: St. Marys, Ohio
Senior | University of Cincinnati - Lindner College of Business
Focus of study: Real Estate

Bartlett attributes her interest in real estate to her father’s real estate company. Growing up, she saw the excitement and challenges that came with working in the commercial real estate industry. During the fall of her sophomore year, she became an Operations Accounting Intern with North American Properties, a Cincinnati based developer. After a year and a half, she transitioned to working at Macy’s in the company’s Capital Planning Department.
Bartlett will be the President of the UC Real Estate Association during her final year of school. Her involvement in this organization has caused her passion for real estate to flourish. She has participated in trips to Denver and Germany to learn about their real estate markets and is planning to work for a real estate developer. She plans on eventually owning her own real estate development company.   

Dahlia Cohen

Dahlia Cohen
Hometown: Highland Park, Illinois
Senior | University of Michigan - Ross School of Business
Focus of study: Finance and Real Estate

Cohen’s interest in real estate began while she was an intern for a commercial brokerage. She has since worked in development, and most recently, in the Real Estate Banking Group at JP Morgan Chase in Chicago. Additionally, Cohen serves as the Co-President of The Michigan Real Estate Club, where her responsibilities include planning the annual Real Estate Convention, trips to Chicago and New York and educational meetings.
The complexities and analytics of real estate transactions are what drove Cohen to pursue a career in real estate finance. Cohen is looking forward to continuing to create relationships and learning more about the industry during her senior year. She is looking forward to becoming an active member of CREW Chicago upon graduation.

Catherine Creech

Catherine Creech
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Graduate | University of Southern California
Focus of study: Real Estate Development

Creech’s passion for real estate stems from the power of the built environment on the human experience. This passion led her to the practice of architecture, and after several years of working at architecture firms in Los Angeles, she was inspired to play a larger role in the development process.
Creech is currently pursuing a graduate degree in the Dollinger Master of Real Estate Development program at the University of Southern California, where intends to gain the complementary skills and network she needs to become a developer. As a licensed architect in California, her depth of experience spans all phases of project delivery—from entitlements and concept design to project permitting and construction administration. Her experience forms the foundation on which she plans to continue to build a career in real estate.

Lindsey Dinkla

Lindsey Dinkla
Hometown: Massena, Iowa
Senior | University of Northern Iowa
Focus of study: Finance/Real Estate

Dinkla is an honors student at the University of Northern Iowa pursuing degrees in both finance and real estate. In addition to her academics, she also serves as the president of Rho Epsilon, UNI’s real estate student organization. As president, she finds it very important to uplift other women within the organization and help them seek out opportunities in the commercial real estate industry.
Dinkla credits her passion for commercial real estate to valuable industry experience in commercial mortgage underwriting during a 9-month extended internship last year. During this internship, Dinkla discovered that a career in commercial real estate debt is the perfect balance of the analytical and social skills she has developed, and she considers commercial mortgage origination as her ideal career path after graduation. Currently, she works part-time as a valuation management analyst for a commercial real estate research company while completing her final year of undergraduate studies.

Sydney Howard

Sydney Howard
Hometown: Morganville, New Jersey
Senior | University of Pennsylvania
Focus of study: Economic History / Urban Real Estate Development

Howard is a senior majoring in Economic History and double minoring in Urban Real Estate & Development and Modern Middle Eastern Studies. She is currently working as an intern on Blackrock’s Real Estate platform in New York City.
Howard is actively involved in the Wharton Undergraduate Real Estate Club (WUREC) and the Sam Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She began taking real estate courses her sophomore year, developing a passion for the industry through her involvement. Howard has completed two real estate internships in capital markets and acquisitions, respectively. When asked about her long-term goals, Howard sees herself transitioning from commercial real estate acquisitions to development and applying what she has learned in the classroom in real time.

Zoe Lo

Zoe Lo
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Senior | University of Alberta - Alberta School of Business
Focus of study: Commerce

Lo is a fourth-year commerce student majoring in Business Economics and Law with a minor in Finance at the Alberta School of Business, and pursuing a Certificate in Real Estate. Lo’s interest in the real estate industry was garnered through the University of Alberta Real Estate Club, where she has held an executive position for over two years. In this role, she has had the opportunity to network with industry professionals and work closely with the real estate program at the University of Alberta. Lo is actively involved in generating interest in the real estate industry within the student body and bridging the gap between industry professionals and students.
Her enthusiasm for valuations was fostered when she interned at Colliers International during the school year. She intends to work toward an Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute (AACI) designation, as she hopes to pursue a career in valuations.

Emily Lukach

Emily Lukach
Hometown: Bordentown, New Jersey
Senior | Saint Joseph’s University
Focus of Study: Finance / Real Estate Finance

Lukach is a student in the Honors College at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She will graduate in May of 2020 with a degree in Finance and Real Estate Finance.  Lukach is an intern at Stamm Development Group, one of Philadelphia’s leading private development firms. Since joining the team in early 2019, she has worked in all facets of the business, including assisting with the oversight of development and construction, as well as drafting and updating leases and general property management. She assists primarily with identifying and underwriting the company’s prospective acquisitions. In addition to her internship, Lukach is also the Treasurer of the Real Estate Society at Saint Joseph’s University.
The real estate industry is the perfect fit for her dynamic, self-starting and driven personality. Lukach’s educational and career accomplishments show that she is committed to becoming one of the future female leaders in the industry.

Catherine McManus

Catherine McManus
Hometown: Holden, Massachusetts
Graduate | University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Focus of study: Environmental Sciences and Engineering / City and Regional Planning

McManus is pursuing a Masters of City and Regional Planning and a PhD in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina. Her background in civil engineering, focusing on water infrastructure systems both in the US and globally, has helped her develop an interest in the global water crisis, especially as it relates to the social and economic status of women and girls around the world. Her research focuses on ensuring the long-term sustainability of water and sanitation systems. McManus hopes to combine the community-centric planning skills with the technical engineering skills that she will develop through her two degrees to increase access to and quality of water and sanitation infrastructure.

Alexandra Mills

Alexandra Mills
Hometown: Bowie, Maryland
Graduate | University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Focus of study: Real Estate & Entrepreneurship

Mills is a first year MBA student at the University of Michigan and is focusing her studies on real estate and entrepreneurship. Her passion for driving economic development through investment in real estate and small businesses first began when she was an elementary school teacher in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. She found that living in blighted neighborhoods in concentrated poverty inhibited her students’ ability to learn, and she was determined to have an impact in those communities.
Following the end of her teaching career, Mills served on the Impact Investment team of one of the largest urban real estate developments in the country, Port Covington. While serving on the team she led supplier diversity initiatives to support minority and women-owned businesses and collaborated with the leaders of six disinvested neighborhoods on strategic community revitalization efforts. Mills believes that when the well-being of marginalized residents is thoughtfully considered, real estate can change the face of a neighborhood and revive the spirit of a community.

Jessica Murphy

Jessica Murphy
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Graduate | UCLA - Anderson School of Management
Focus of study: MBA, Real Estate and Finance

Following a career as a transportation and construction engineer, Murphy is pursuing her MBA at the UCLA Anderson School of Management with a specialization in real estate and finance to achieve her goal of becoming a commercial real estate developer. At Anderson, she is the Vice President, Built Environment on the Anderson Real Estate Association board. She is passionate about real estate development, urban planning, real estate technology and the impact of transportation innovations on the urban scape.
Murphy feels that development is a multi-disciplinary area of commercial real estate that will allow her to flex both her creative and analytical muscles. She loves working with large project teams and looks forward to collaborating with a variety of project stakeholders – from tradesmen to architects. Murphy aspires to be an executive in an entrepreneurial firm that pushes the envelope on design and delivers landmark projects in the communities they are built.

Julia (Julie) Pettypool

Julia (Julie) Pettypool
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior | Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Focus of study: Finance

Pettypool is majoring in both finance and international studies at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Her interest in real estate ignited when she read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Her mentor gave it to her during an internship, and she has read many real estate books and attended various lectures and networking events since. She is the President of the Real Estate Club and helps other students learn about and network with professionals in the real estate industry. On top of her real estate coursework, Pettypool has completed a real estate development internship with the J.C. Hart Company, Inc. and is currently working in a real estate capital markets internship with HFF, soon to be JLL.
Upon graduation, Pettypool intends to follow her passion for real estate and utilize her knowledge to help build sustainable communities. She is excited to see what the future holds and is grateful to be able to focus her time and energy on her studies with the aid of the CREW Network Foundation Scholarship.

Selina Phan

Selina Phan
Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario 
Senior | University of Western Ontario
Focus of study: Real Estate Development

Phan is a senior double majoring in urban development and business at Western University and the Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario. Her interest in commercial real estate was inspired by a financial feasibility project in her Introduction to Urban Development class at The University of Western Ontario, which led to a summer internship with a real estate developer in the Greater Toronto Area. Throughout the internship, she spent afternoons outside of work with her boss, learning and exploring new urban developments. She has continued to work in development since and has worked on a variety of different asset classes in cities across Canada.

Phan loves the interdisciplinary aspect of real estate development and its ability to have an impact on communities around the world. She hopes to help build sustainable urban developments through the economic, social and environmental lenses.


Katherine Salvatori

Katherine Salvatori
Hometown: Sarasota, Florida
Senior | University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School
Focus of study: Economics, Real Estate, Urban Real Estate & Development, Architectural History

Salvatori is a senior at The Wharton School, where she is pursuing a BS degree in Economics with concentrations in Real Estate and Retail, along with minors in Urban Real Estate and Development and Architectural History. She serves on the Executive Board of the Wharton Undergraduate Real Estate Club as the Director of Membership and Development.  In this leadership role, she is responsible for a great deal of the club’s activities, including Wharton’s participation in real estate case competitions.
Salvatori holds her Real Estate Salesperson license in Florida, Pennsylvania and New York, and recently earned her LEED Green Associate certification. An active student member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, she has earned ICSC’s Specialty Leasing Designation (SLD) credential. Her career goal is to help create and redevelop urban areas, which ultimately will have a positive and direct impact on residents, workers and visitors in these neighborhoods.

Hope Stauffer

Hope Stauffer 
Hometown: Rigby, Idaho 
Junior | Boise State University
Focus of Study: Construction Management 

Stauffer is a junior at Boise State University studying Construction Management. As she continues to learn about the construction industry, Stauffer finds excitement in the possibilities. Classroom education can be such valuable time, but professors and peers have helped to foster the idea that hands-on school projects and getting firsthand experience on a construction site are the perfect additions to classroom education. Learning alongside builders, managers, developers, sellers, architects and engineers is what she enjoys about this industry. As often as she can, Stauffer enjoys talking to people and learning from the qualified individuals in all areas of the industry. Stauffer is excited to start her career and looks forward to networking within this growing field. 

Meghan Taylor-Steshyn

Meghan Taylor-Steshyn
Hometown: Jupiter, Florida
Graduate| Columbia University - Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
Focus of Study: Real Estate Development

Taylor-Steshyn’s interest in commercial real estate first began while studying Interior Design at the University of Florida. After graduating Summa Cum Laude, she moved to Austin, Texas to expand her knowledge of the profession and further engage with the A&D industry. While working in commercial interiors, she had the opportunity to design for nonprofits, law firms and tech companies. The most noteworthy was Oracle’s Waterfront campus, which will total 980,000 SF upon completion of the second phase.
As a graduate candidate at Columbia University’s M.S. Real Estate Development program, she intends to use the skills she has learned to advocate for the development of high quality design on behalf of the end user and their spatial experience. Taylor-Steshyn finds that her design approach lies in understanding the client’s goals and challenges to further define what will make a workplace succeed. She has embarked into development with the same mindset, aiming to empathize with communities to achieve an insightful and successful project. Ultimately, she hopes to work with communities to positively impact urban development and maximize their economic potential.

Luise Winslow

Luise Winslow
Hometown: Boise, Idaho 
Senior | Boise State University
Focus of Study: Civil Engineering

Winslow will be graduating from Boise State University in the spring of 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a minor in Applied Mathematics. Winslow established a curiosity for civil engineering while volunteering to build playgrounds in rural Nepa, where she had an opportunity to create something lasting that sparked her passion for sustainable architecture, intelligent design and practical engineering.

Winslow is seeking opportunities to network, grow and learn through undergraduate research, internships, academics and extracurricular clubs and organizations. She hopes to pursue her master’s degree and begin a career in cultivating communities. She is studying engineering both for the opportunity to create something extraordinary, and to have the skill-set to make a difference in how we envision development.

view past recipients


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