Current Fellow

Gretchen Harrison

Gretchen Harrison is a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a master’s degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in Community Development for Social Justice. As an emerging planner, Gretchen is interested in exploring how community-led preservation interventions can strengthen our collective sense of place and belonging, and expand awareness of our nation’s shared, complex history.

As a Division Fellow, Gretchen hopes to further explore the potential of preservation and urban design in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion goals, through research and collaboration.

Learn More About Gretchen...

Current Fellow

Franny McLarty

Franny McLarty is completing her final year as an Urban Planning and Sustainable Development major with a specialization in food systems at Western Washington University. Franny is inspired by cities as powerful spaces to embody stories of the past and the future, to make people feel alive, and to sustain collective human energy. She is especially interested in food as a tangible connector of human and ecological systems and as a representation of many life-sustaining and joyous processes from growing seeds, to knowing soil, to cooking.

As a student and Division Fellow, Franny aims to begin a career in urban planning with an open mind and an eagerness to be a life-long learner. As a skateboarder, she enjoys exploring urban spaces and asking questions about who has been allowed to use certain spaces and why, and how we can use urban spaces creatively.

Learn More About Franny...

Program Goal

Our goal is to promote interest and career development for emerging professionals in the fields of urban planning, design and preservation by providing an opportunity to network with senior leadership professionals and contribute to Division outreach activities.

Program Basics (Updated for 2020-2021 Academic Year)

  • One or more student fellowships are offered each academic year (September 2020-May 2021)
  • Fellows will be paid up to $1,400 (as long as expected hours are met)
  • Fellows will be highlighted in our Division Newsletter and on our web page on the APA website
  • Applications that include demonstrated interest by a faculty member at student’s university will be viewed most favorably.  This need not entail a major time commitment by faculty, but could include guidance for research, suggested contacts for interviews, etc.  While this is not necessary, we welcome more active engagement by faculty as well, such as providing synopses of current personal or university department projects, editorials, proposing webinars, or volunteering for the Division leadership team.


  • Applicant must be a full- or part-time student in a field related to Urban Design or Preservation
  • Applicant must be a member of the Urban Design and Preservation Division
  • Applicant must be able to commit an average of 2-4 hours a week (approximately 70 hours for the academic year) and be able to participate in the monthly Leadership Call (typically held on the second Friday of the month from 2:00-3:00 PM ET)

Potential Tasks and Responsibilities

Applicant must be able to work independently after given basic guidance on tasks. Activities vary semester to semester, but typically Fellows:

  • Work with Division Leaders on updates to newsletter, social media and website, along with other outreach materials as needed.
  • Conduct and/or disseminate research on topics of interest to Division membership. For 2020-21, the focus will be on the intersection between urban design/preservation and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion goals.
  • Assist in Division outreach to academic planning programs and graduate student organizations, along with other membership initiatives.

Application Requirements

  • Two-page (double-spaced) personal statement outlining your academic focus and your reasons for wanting to work with the UDP Division. Please include prior experience with, or potential ideas for, exploring the intersection of urban design/preservation and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion goals.
  • Resume
  • Letter from your school (or other official documentation) confirming you will be enrolled in a planning-related program in academic year 2020-2021.
  • Faculty recommendation letter (can be submitted directly by faculty member, or submitted with application)
  • Optional, but recommended: a brief letter from a faculty member demonstrating interest in engaging with the Division and helping to supervise the candidate during the Fellowship term. (This can be part of the recommendation letter, if appropriate.)

Application period has closed. As this is an annual program, please check back for the next application cycle. Thank you for your interest!

About the Program

The intent of the UDP Fellowship Program is to foster increased interest in the study of, and specialization in, urban design and historic preservation, and the interrelationship between these two areas of planning at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.

Up to two paid fellowships are awarded annually. The term of the fellowship may span anywhere from six months to one year and will include approximately 80 work hours. The fellow will receive a stipend commensurate to the agreed-upon work hours. Fellows conduct their fellowship duties remotely, and report directly to the Division's Executive Committee.