CREW Network Foundation Awards 15 Scholarships to Women Pursuing Commercial Real Estate Careers

July 24, 2017
Written by: Heidi Warren, CREW Network
2017 scholar Lonna Sedam. Completing a various array of internships from residential real estate practice, development, brokerage, and property management, Sedam has chosen to pursue commercial real estate brokerage

Contact: Heidi Warren, CREW Network

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network Foundation announced today it has selected 12 undergraduate college students and three graduate college students to receive a total of $75,000 in scholarships through the CREW Network Foundation Scholarship Program.

Each scholar will receive $5,000 USD for tuition and books, a paid internship opportunity during the summer of 2018, a CREW Network at-large membership, and a complimentary registration to the 2017 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace to be held in Houston, Texas, Oct. 25-27.

The CREW Network Foundation Scholarship program supports future female leaders as they pursue university-level education that will lead to careers in commercial real estate. Scholarship funds come from the CREW Network Foundation Scholarship Endowment; personal, CREW Network chapter and corporate contributions; and scholarship program partner PGIM Real Estate. This is the 10th year of the CREW Network Foundation Scholarship Program, which has awarded $760,000 in scholarships to date.

"CREW Foundation Scholarships directly support our mission to encourage more young women to pursue careers in commercial real estate,” said Jennifer Carey, CEO of JLC Environmental and Chair of the scholarship committee. “The support we provide through the scholarships enables recipients studying commercial real estate to spend less time on the financial challenges of being a student and more on learning about their areas of interest and specialization, while simultaneously giving them the opportunity to enhance their careers by being a part of the strong organization of experts that is CREW Network."  

The 2017 winners (listed with majors/areas of study) are from colleges and universities throughout North America:

Kayla Aronson

Boca Raton, Fla.
Senior, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Business Administration

Aronson developed her passion for real estate in 2016 when she had the opportunity to work for Wells Fargo in its Commercial Real Estate group in Atlanta and quickly thereafter began immersing herself in the real estate courses offered at Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC. Kayla continued working for Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate this summer in its New York office.

Claire Benken

Cincinnati, Ohio
Junior, University of Cincinnati
Real Estate & Marketing

Benken credits the development and revitalization of her own hometown as the catalyst in fostering her interest in commercial real estate. One of her career goals is working towards acquiring and converting historic buildings and properties to their highest and best use. “For me, great excitement in Cincinnati has come from old buildings with new purposes popping up all over the city,” she said. “I am continuously finding crossovers between the future of this city and the future of my own career.”

Emily Blumenthal

Chicago, Ill.
Graduate, University of Chicago
Business MBA

Blumenthial is a proud daughter of the Southside of Chicago, which inspired her to seek out practical solutions to the complex challenges facing urban communities. Prior to returning to Chicago for graduate school, she spent three years in Washington, DC working as an intern at the White House on the Domestic Policy Council’s Urban Affairs team; for the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program; and the Policy Advisory Group at the Urban Institute. She is pursuing an MBA to leverage the unique strengths of each sector to drive inclusive economic growth and urban development.

Taylor Casey

East Hartford, Conn.
Junior, New York Institute of Technology

A lifelong resident of Connecticut, Casey is an honor student and women’s soccer scholarship athlete at New York Institute of Technology. Having completed four years of internships at four different architecture firms, beginning in her senior year of high school, she is proficient in BIM, 3D Modeling, Cadd, Sketchup, Revit, Creative Cloud, and many other software programs. Her work on hospitality, corporate, financial, educational, healthcare and retail facilities sparked her interest in learning more about real estate development, which drove the direction of these projects.

Kristin (Katie) Cettie Steinberg

Amarillo, Texas
Graduate, University of California - Los Angeles
Urban/Regional Planning 

Cettie Steinberg is passionate about the role of technology in improving commercial real estate finance, analysis, and development. She is the founder of a commercial real estate analytics company, Kondor Analytics, which was selected for the Anderson Venture Accelerator’s inaugural class. She also worked for AECOM Ventures to commercialize modern technologies in the infrastructure and built environment space. Previously, she worked with the XPrize Foundation to develop a prize to spur innovation in green building and construction. “Real estate fascinates me because it encompasses economic, environmental, and social dynamics,” Cettie Steinberg said. “Real estate is a career that enables me to use both the left and right sides of my brain to create lasting impact.”

Madison Cuthbertson

Nashville, Tenn.
Junior, New York University
Real Estate

Cuthbertson says the undergraduate real estate program at NYU is positioning her for success in the fast-paced market in Manhattan as she learns from lauded real estate professors in the heart of the action. Upon graduating in two years, it is her goal to dive into the world of investment analysis or real estate development. She is a zealous urbanite and it is her long-term goal to be at the forefront of the next wave of transformation of cities.

Erica Goldman

Huntington, N.Y.
Senior, Emory University
Real Estate & Finance

Goldman is currently working as a summer financial analyst at Wells Fargo in the Commercial Real Estate group. She attributes her success to the real estate program and faculty at Emory University, her peers and mentors, and the strong women of CREW. Goldman looks forward to pursuing a career on the financial side of real estate working for a bank, investment firm, or broker, and hopes to own and manage her own real estate assets.

Linda Hucko

La Grange, Ill.
Senior, Marquette University
Commercial Real Estate & Accounting

As a collegian, Hucko has interned on the Corporate Finance team at Artisan Partners and in the audit practice of Deloitte & Touche. Currently, she is interning with Ansay Development Corporation gaining experience with market research, construction management and real estate accounting. Following graduation in May 2018, she will be obtaining her CPA license. “Working in the commercial real estate industry allows me to apply my financial skill set in a dynamic marketplace that has the ability to create long-lasting impact on the communities which we live in,” Hucko said.

Crystal Lye

Vancouver, B.C.
Senior, University of British Columbia
Real Estate - Commerce

Lye recently completed an eight-month internship with Bentall Kennedy as an investment management analyst, and is currently interning with JLL as a Capital Markets analyst in Vancouver. Grateful for the support--especially female support--she has received from so many professionals in the industry, one of her goals is to give back to the real estate community. She believes strongly in the CREW Network vision and is excited to become more fully engaged with the organization throughout her career.

Nicole Robertson

Northfield, N.J.
Graduate, University of Pennsylvania

Robertson is pursuing her MBA as a member of The Wharton School's Class of 2019 and has been honored with selection as a Wharton Forté Fellow. Through her exposure to and appreciation for cities like Philadelphia and New York City, to witnessing Washington, DC’s resurgence, her passion for urban redevelopment has consistently grown. Her experience in both public policy mandates and private sector solutions has heightened her sensitivity to both sectors. Robertson hopes to be a leader capable of transforming lives and landscapes through her real estate development and finance career.  

Marie Ruisard

Whitehouse Station, N.J.
Senior, Drexel University

In Drexel’s unique architecture program, students are given the opportunity to work full-time while attending classes toward their degree in the evening. Ruisard has been working as an intern architect with an architecture firm in Philadelphia for over three years, and believes that the skills she has gained in the office are setting her up for a successful early career. She believes strongly in sustainable design. “In my mind, my responsibility for the building does not end when fees are paid and drawings are completed,” Ruisard said. In the future, she hopes to be an architect-as-developer.

Lonna Sedam

Tipp City, Ohio
Senior, University of Cincinnati
Commercial Real Estate

Sedam began her real estate journey practicing residential real estate. Completing a various array of internships from residential real estate practice, development, brokerage, and property management, she has chosen to pursue commercial real estate brokerage. She will also complete two study abroad programs in London and India. Her goal is to facilitate the transition of property ownership in order to build an ecosystem where friends, families, and strangers can interact in a way that creates an environment which is sustainable, and conducive to catalytic start-up ideation.

Breanna Sheeler

Perkiomenville, Pa.
Senior, Philadelphia University

Through work study as a research assistant, Sheeler has established a new master's degree at Philadelphia University (now known as Thomas Jefferson University) in Real Estate Management. She hopes to be one of the first students to complete the new program. Sheeler has kept a keen focus on sustainable design, and intends to establish a practice focusing on adaptive reuse and renovation upon her graduation. “I will renovate to increase efficiency and functionality, and support the economical sustainability of society,” she said. “I will seek innovative responses to real-world issues, and pursue the essential betterment of my community and world.”

Emily Weiland

Imler, Pa.
Senior, Penn State University

Weiland aspires to combine her analytical skills and passion for real estate by working in the commercial real estate industry. She grew up with an interest in the field by watching her grandfather work in construction. She worked as a Banking Services Associate at First National Bank in college and as a Real Estate Banking intern at PNC. She looks forward to meeting and connecting with other women in CREW and taking advantage of new opportunities to propel her CRE career.

Skyler Wilson

Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior, University of Cincinnati
Real Estate

Wilson is majoring in Real Estate at the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business and minoring in Architectural Studies from UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), while also beginning her Masters in Marketing as an undergrad. “I fell in love with real estate at a young age,” Wilson said. “To think that one day I will get to be a part of that change and work in an industry that plays such a large role in our economy is humbling.”

About CREW Network and CREW Network Foundation

CREW Network is the industry's premier business networking organization dedicated to transforming the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally. CREW Network members comprise more than 10,000 professionals globally and represent nearly all disciplines of commercial real estate – every type of expert required to "do the deal." Follow CREW Network on FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube and Instagram, and visit CREW Network at

CREW Network Foundation, incorporated in 1998 as the 501(c)(3), philanthropic arm of CREW Network, continues to stand as the sole foundation dedicating its resources to support the mission of CREW Network while building opportunities for women and girls in commercial real estate.