Urban Fellows Program


Emily McClendon (J.D. '15) is an Urban Fellow and the Daniel J. Curtin Jr. Fellowship for the Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association.
“Many planners fail to grasp the legal roadblocks that stymie sustainable development. I believe that breaking down the silos between the legal and planning professions is the most effective way to facilitate environmental planning in the future.”
Urban Fellow Emily McClendon (J.D. ’15)

The Urban Fellows Program is an interdisciplinary initiative of the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth in the College of Law.  Top graduate students are selected from across Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of City and Regional Planning to study and discuss issues related to urban growth with top decision makers.

Upcoming Lectures:

The Urban Fellows lecture series runs August through April.  We will post the fall 2016 schedule this summer.

As an Urban Fellow, you will be able to:

  • Broaden your awareness about urban and environmental issues by attending the speaker series
  • Build your network of professionals with similar interests
  • Develop cross-disciplinary contacts at Georgia State University and other universities in Atlanta
  • Receive guidance and direction to write a paper of publishable quality and earn course credit
  • Make connections in the community through volunteer opportunities
  • Become privy to job opportunities
  • Boost your resume
  • Qualify for graduate research assistantships sometimes available to Georgia State Law students


Urban Fellows are required to do the following:

  • Attend the Monthly Lecture Series: The program runs August through April, and there are four afternoon lectures per semester (8 total per year) — generally, one afternoon per month from 4:10-5:30 p.m.  Attendance is required to remain in the program. Speakers will address a variety of urban, growth management and environmental issues.
  • Attend Brown Bag Lunches: Brown bag lunches are scheduled throughout the semester. The brown bag lunches are open to non-urban fellows students and faculty across the university. Urban Fellows are expected to attend these lunches.
  • Write a Research Paper: All Urban Fellows are required to write one research paper on an urban affairs issue during their term with the program. GSU Law students will be automatically registered in the paper writing Urban Fellows course (LAW 7494) for one hour in the fall semester and one hour in the spring semester. Papers are due by the end of the spring semester, must be of publishable quality, and must meet the writing requirements outlined in the program. Download the writing requirements.
  • Perform Five Hours of Community Service Each Semester: Students are required to participate in five hours of community outreach projects that address urban issues and strengthen communities each semester. Hours should be submitted to Karen Johnston.

The Urban Fellows Program is sponsored by Georgia State Law's Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth. This interdisciplinary initiative attracts top graduate students from a variety of departments at Georgia State University and Georgia Tech's School of City and Regional Planning. The 2016-2017 Urban Fellows have already been selected.  The next application cycle will be for the 2017-2018 academic year; the call for applications will be in March 2017.

Questions? Contact Karen Johnston (J.D. '08) at kjohnston3@gsu.edu.

Congratulations to the 2016-17 Urban Fellows, who were selected to participate in the program as a result of their academic and professional achievements, level of community service, and interest in urban and environmental issues.

  • Heather Bergman (J.D. ‘18)
  • Chelsey Boatman (J.D. ’18)
  • Kalee Burns (Ph.D. Economics ’19)
  • Joseph Byrum (J.D. ’17)
  • Delia Williams-Carroll (J.D. ’18)
  • David Grant Coyle (J.D./Masters Public Administration ’17)
  • Peter Faile (J.D. ’18)
  • Jonathan Grant (Ph.D. Sociology ’17)
  • George Greenidge Jr. (Ph.D. Sociology ’18)
  • Leanna Greenwood (Ph.D. Sociology ’19)
  • Jarvarus Gresham (J.D. ’18)
  • Erin Haire (J.D. ’18)
  • Thomas Michael Hodell, Jr. (J.D. ’18)
  • Elizabeth Hogan (Masters Public Policy ’17)
  • Brian Jenabzadeh (J.D. ’17)
  • Adam Kaye (J.D. ‘17)
  • Cameron Kline (J.D. ’18)
  • Katie Neel (J.D. ‘17)
  • Nicholas Nesmith (J.D./Masters Public Administration ‘18)
  • Ashley O’Neil (J.D. ’19)
  • Alicia Plemmons (Ph.D. Economics ’18)
  • Andrew Prater (J.D. ’18)
  • Sarah Roche (Ph.D. Sociology ’20)
  • Andrew Smyth (J.D. ‘17)
  • Melissa Sprinkle (J.D. ‘17)
  • Shanae Stover (Ph.D. Sociology ’19)
  • Jake Taylor (J.D. ’17)
  • Dana Tzegaegbe (Masters Public Policy ’17)
  • Yeliann Valle (J.D. ‘17)
  • Chandra Ward (Ph.D. Sociology ’17)
  • Lacey Wheeler (J.D. ‘17)