Summer 2020

Michelle Castro-Pilar

Michelle Castro-Pilar is a recent graduate from the University of California San Diego. In June of 2020, she completed her bachelor's degree in Urban Studies and Planning with a minor in Environmental Systems. As an emerging planner, Michelle wishes to respond to changing urban environments in order to support the vitality of our existing and future communities.

During her undergraduate career, Michelle was awarded first-place distinction for her capstone research poster at UC San Diego's 30th Annual Urban Expo. Interested in social equity and urban-rural linkages, her capstone thesis addressed the viability of the emergent “agrihood” movement as a model for sustainable living. Her research was concerned with how the culture, marketing, and the rural environment of one agrihood in Orange County aimed to reinvent the idea of sustainable living, however, marketed elements of luxury living whose cost became conducive to attracting a wealthy class of individuals. Motivated to expose the unearthed class tensions that rise from these types of development, Michelle engaged with historical, community, and media perspectives that suggested a certain class privilege existed within the community that limited how individuals were allowed to experience this new model of sustainable living.

See Michelle's Fellowship Work


Julia Marchetti

Julia Marchetti is a dual-degree Master’s Candidate at The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. As a historian and budding urban planner, Julia is concerned with the intersection of equity, environmental justice, collective memory, and place. She is particularly interested the idea of healing through community-led design and preservation interventions. Julia is passionate about meaningful and intentional community engagement. Currently, she is researching how heritage sites may be leveraged for a shared identity on the divided island of Cyprus. 

As an undergraduate, Julia studied Art History and Environmental Studies at Colgate University. Interested in class, gender, and movement through space, she wrote her thesis on the rural cemetery movement and produced a Climate Action Plan for her Environmental Studies capstone, addressing the need for retrofitting Philadelphia’s rowhomes to combat Urban Heat Island Effect. Through her past and current work, Julia has gained experience in preservation, sustainability, communications, the arts, and community and economic development. Frequently wearing multiple hats, Julia feels that the tools she has learned from her various work experiences inform and build upon each other, instead of contradicting one another. Preservation, design, and policy are not separate entities, but elements that must work together to shape our built and social environments.

See Julia's Fellowship Work


Niana Moore

Niana Moore is a student in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is dually concentrating in Design & Development and Community Economic Development and Housing with specific interest in studying the nexus between development and displacement. As an intern for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, she works with the development department on several of their redevelopment and community engagement projects.
Moore grew up in the Washington D.C area, and holds a B.A. in Art with a minor in Art History from the University of Maryland, College Park. As an undergraduate she studied abroad in Istanbul, Turkey, where she had the opportunity to study the rich history of Istanbul through its built environment. 
She hopes to find and implement innovative ways to promote equitable community development via meaningful community design strategies throughout her career, and contributed to such research as a Division Fellow.


Bryan Botello

Bryan Botello is a graduate of the Master in Urban and Regional Planning program at Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region campus. At Virginia Tech, he worked alongside Professor Ralph Buehler as a graduate research assistant on projects related to regional transit associations, bikeshare, and connected and automated vehicles’ impact on cyclists and pedestrians.

Bryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Relations from Austin College. His undergraduate study of history and his experiences living and studying in places like Rabat’s medina in Morocco have shaped his appreciation for architectural and cultural heritage.

Previously, he consulted for the Natural Resources Defense Council and worked as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives, covering transportation and foreign policy. He hopes to use his Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning to transition to a career as a planner, where he feels he can have a more concrete impact on making more equitable and sustainable communities.

As a Division Fellow, Bryan worked with the Communications Team to enhance outreach efforts and with VT Professor Elizabeth Morton to strengthen ties between the Division and university planning programs.


Carla Salehian

Born and raised in San Diego, CA, Carla Salehian received her bachelor's degree from the University of California at San Diego in Urban Studies and Planning. There, she was involved in a series of internships and research project that ranged from "asset mapping" in low-income San Diego neighborhoods with UCSD's Center for Community Well-Being to coordinating a "sustainable solutions bike tour down the Pacific west coast for the Global ARC organization. Carla interned at the County of San Diego Department of Planning and Land Use where she gained experience in project processing and working with applicants at the initial intake counter. In 2014, she was a second-year master's candidate for Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of California, Los Angeles, with a concentration in Design and Development and was interning with the Westwood Village BID in their efforts to design and coordinate the establishment of a parklet program. Carla's research interests include urban design, public space, universal design/accessibility planning, and sustainability. For the Division Fellowship, Carla helped lay the foundation for the Division's case study library, including developing a set of urban design principles to guide the case study development process.


Lauren Trice

Lauren Trice is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she pursued a Master’s degree in City Planning with a concentration in Urban Design. She graduated in 2008 from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Historic Preservation. Before returning to graduate school, Lauren was an architectural historian on the eastern plains of Colorado as well as in the Washington, D.C. region. She also produced a training video series and report to Congress for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Lauren's adventures throughout the United States, Denmark, Jamaica, and Chile, have shaped her interest in community engagement and people-based urbanism.


Yolanda Richards

Yolanda Richards was selected as the 2011 UDP Division Fellow in conjunction with the Planning and Women Division.

Richards's UDP-funded Fellowship duties were focused on her time spent working with youth in the Urbana-Champaign area, and seeking ways to integrate youth into the planning process.

Richards holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego, and at the time of her Fellowship selection, was in the process of completing the last term of a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Prior to serving as the 2011 UDP Division Fellow, Richards worked as an intern for the City of Champaign and as a teaching assistant for the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and served as the Volunteer Civic Engagement Coordinator for the Planners Network.


Sarah Sisser

Sarah Sisser was named the 2010 Division Fellow. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Historic Preservation) from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and a Master’s degree in Community Planning from Auburn University.

Sisser worked on a variety of preservation planning projects as an intern for the Hancock Park District in Findlay, Ohio, the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission, and the City of Auburn Planning Department. She was the 2010 recipient of the Alabama Chapter of the APA's Distinguished Leadership Award for a Planning Student and was recently awarded Auburn University’s Arch R. Winter Scholarship for Excellence in Community Planning. As an army spouse, Sisser has an interest in the utilization of urban design and preservation principles in the planning of military installations to the benefit of military families. Sisser currently resides with her husband near Ft. Benning, Georgia.


Scott Curry

Scott Curry, recipient of a joint Master's degree in Urban Planning and Urban Design from the University of Michigan, was chosen as the 2009 Fellow of the APA Urban Design and Preservation Division.


Maya Haptas

In March 2008, Maya Haptas, a second-year Master’s student in the Historic Preservation program at Cornell University, was chosen as the 2008 Fellow of the APA Urban Design and Preservation Division's Fellowship Program.


Margot Walker

Margot Walker, a graduate of the Pratt Institute, was chosen as the first Fellow of the Urban Design and Preservation Division's Fellowship Program in October 2007.