News & Press: University Member News

Westfield State University Hires New Faculty

Thursday, June 15, 2017  
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The Department of Geography and Regional Planning at Westfield State University welcome Dr. Alina Gross to our faculty. Dr. Gross has a PhD in Planning (UMass 2014), a Master of Regional Planning (UMass 2008) and a BA in Sociology from Connecticut College (2006). Her university teaching experience started at UMass and after graduation she continued teaching at several schools in Massachusetts including WSU.

Her professional experience is extensive in Massachusetts and elsewhere, working for the Center for Economic Development (UMass) and then in several local communities including Montgomery, Sudbury, Northampton, Greenfield and most recently Holyoke. She is currently a Development Project Associate at The Community Builders, a non-profit developer in Northampton. There Dr. Gross has led efforts to link affordable housing with funding opportunities in several urban redevelopment projects in the Pioneer Valley.

Dr. Gross has also been active in the American Planning Association with the Community Planning Assistance Teams where she engaged citizens in public participation for neighborhood revitalization efforts. She has presented her research at multiple conferences including the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Planning Conference, International Association for Public Participation North American Conference and the Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Values Conference.


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.