Mercyhurst student wins DTL People's Choice award

DTL Staff| September 27th, 2019

Logan Ford of Mercyhurst University | Image Credit: Photo by Rutan Productions

Logan Ford, a student at Mercyhurst University in Erie, has won the first People's Choice Award given to a citizen mapper by Draw the Lines PA.

Ford finished first among seven candidates in online public balloting that wrapped up this week.  He will win $1,500 for the honor.

A team of students from Abington Heights High School near Scranton - Isabel Holland and Julia Poulson-Houser, finished a close second.

Each one of the seven maps in contention was honored as one of the best in the state at Draw the Lines' awards event Tuesday at the State Capitol in Harrisburg.

Ford's map also was selected by DTL's judging panel as the best among all of those submitted by college students in the spring competition, which attracted 341 entries. He won $5,000 for that.

Holland and Poulson-Houser were honored as statewide runners-up in the youth category, winning $2,500.

The other mappers in contention for the People's Choice Award, all of whom earned other statewide honors, were:

  • Kyle Hines of State College High School.
  • Jack Rosenthal of Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh.
  • Matt Granito of Gettysburg College.
  • Nathaniel Ropski of Erie.
  • Adam Dusen of New Hope, Bucks County.

The online balloting attracted 2,663 validated votes.  People could vote more than once but only once a day.

Here's what our judges in the higher ed category had to say about Ford's map and accompanying personal statement:

"Logan went above and beyond the competition requirements with outstanding metrics, clar and well-executed values and a thoughtful essay that describes the personal impact of gerrymandering on his community. ...  Logan's command of the subject and the mapmaking process was evident."