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Lia Chabot ’21 is a Recipient of
Chancellor’s Award for Public
Engagement and Scholarship
Honors Senior, Lia Chabot ’21, is one of two students named 2021 recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship. Chabot, who is an economics and citizenship and civic engagement major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, is also interning with the City of Syracuse Department of Neighborhood and Business Development. In that role, she has developed a parcel-level residential vacancy prediction model for the city’s Division of Code Enforcement. She is also a research assistant in the Maxwell X Lab, conducting independent exploratory data analysis and presenting findings on a weekly basis.
Her task with the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development was to use cutting-edge machine learning techniques to build a model for finding individual properties that are or are soon likely to be vacant for long periods of time. Vacant properties often fall into disrepair, reduce property values and become fire hazards and magnets for crime. The city’s traditional methods of finding vacant properties are labor intensive and expensive, and are believed to find only about one in seven of the vacant properties actually in the city. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) methods have the potential to make the process far more efficient and effective.
“Lia did a remarkable job of going far beyond the training she received in her courses to build a sophisticated model for the city that predicts vacancy risk.” Peter Wilcoxen, professor of public administration and international affairs in the Maxwell School.
The Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship nominating committee included Pamela Heintz, associate vice president and director of the Shaw Center (co-chair); Cydney Johnson, vice president for community engagement and government relations (co-chair); Nicholas Armstrong, director of research and evaluation in the Institute for Veterans and Military Families; Santiago Hernandez, undergraduate representative; Huey Hsiao, associate director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs; Brian Konkol, dean of Hendricks Chapel; Carla Ramirez, coordinator for literacy at the Shaw Center; and Sujeiry Santos, undergraduate representative.