Urban Fellows Program


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.

Applications are still being accepted for the 2017-2018 academic year.  Go to the “How to Apply” section below to apply.

Upcoming Lectures

The Urban Fellows Lecture Series runs August through April. The fall semester lecture dates are:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 23:
    • 12 p.m. (Optional) – walking tour to Underground Atlanta to prepare for 4:10 p.m. lecture – meet in front of the law school at 85 Park Place
    • 4:10-5:30 p.m. – Kristi Rooks, Founder of Revel, a retail consulting and development firm, Topic:  Transforming Underground Atlanta
  • Thursday, Aug. 31 from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch Included – Health is a Human Right – panel discussion and tour of exhibit
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13 from 4:10-5:30 p.m. – Dr. Dan Immergluck, Professor, Urban Studies Institute at GSU, Topic:  Affordable Housing in Atlanta and the Atlanta Beltline
  • Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 12-1 p.m. – Terry Coniglio, Assistant Director of Social Media, GSU, Topic:  Using Social Media to Build Your Brand
  • Thursday, Sept. 28 from 12-1 p.m. – Joint Lunch Presentation with Environmental Law Society – Panel Discussion about the practice of zoning and land use law with Doug Dillard, Partner, and Jill Arnold, Attorney, Pursley Friese Torgrimson
  • Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 4:10-5:30 p.m. – John Robertson, Senior Policy Advisor and Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Topic:  Wage Growth and Labor Market Conditions
  • Thursday, Oct. 12 from 12-1 p.m. (Law students only optional event) – Tracy Templeton, Topic:  Using LexisNexis in Writing Your Research Papers:  Beyond Case Law
  • Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 11:45-1 p.m. (Optional Event) Knowles Conference Center at College of Law, 85 Park Place – Richard Rothstein, Economic Policy Institute, Book discussion on The Color of Law:  A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America (Liveright Publishing:  May 2, 2017)
  • Thursday, Nov. 2 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Knowles Conference Center at College of Law, 85 Park Place  (Optional event) – Book Discussion and Reception, Market Demand-Based Planning and Permitting, Preventing Excessive Development from Undermining the Economy while Protecting the Property Rights of Existing Development, Panel discussion by the book’s authors:  Arthur C. Nelson, John Travis Marshall, Julian Conrad Juergensmeyer, and James C. Nicholas
  • Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 4:10-5:30 p.m. – Dr. Karen Kruse Thomas, Staff Historian of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Topic:  Discussing her book, Deluxe Jim Crow: Civil Rights and American Health Policy (University of Georgia Press, 2011).
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 Wednesday 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 two credit hours in the fall semester, however the grade will not be registered until the paper is completed in the spring semester. Papers are due in the spring semester, must be of publishable quality, and must meet the writing requirements outlined in the program. Download the writing requirements.
  • Perform Ten Hours of Community Service: Students are required to participate in ten hours of community outreach projects that address urban issues and strengthen communities. Hours must be completed by the end of the spring semester and submitted as instructed.

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. We are still accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic year.  Learn more about the program and apply now.

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.

  • Colt Burnett (J.D. '19)
  • Sigal Carmenate (Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning MCRP '18)
  • Caitlin Correa (J.D. ‘19)
  • Chad Cox (Masters Public Administration '18)
  • Frank DePalo (J.D./MBA '19)
  • Melanie Dieg (Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning MCRP '18)
  • Andyan Diwangkari (Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning MCRP '18)
  • Jason Drouyor (J.D. ’18)
  • Feifan Drouyor (J.D. '18)
  • Audra Durham (J.D. '19)
  • Lauren Fannin (Ph.D. Sociology '18)
  • Jonathan Futrell (LLM ’18)
  • Garrett Groos (J.D. '19)
  • Mary Louise Hirt (Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning MCRP '18)
  • Joowon Jeong (Ph.D. Public Policy ’20)
  • Erin Johnson (Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning MCRP '18)
  • Kently Kelso (J.D. ’18)
  • Brandon Kopp (J.D. ’19)
  • Samantha Lee (Masters of Social Work '18)
  • Breyanna Mikel (Masters of Public Health ’18)
  • Caitlin Mildner (Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning MCRP '18)
  • Samuel Molina (J.D. ’18)
  • Kirill Protasov (Masters of Public Policy ‘18)
  • Logan Stone (J.D. ’19)
  • Sandi Traylor (J.D. '19)
  • Ifeanyi Ukpabi (Ph.D. Sociology '19)
  • Abigail Warren (J.D. ‘19)
  • Casey Wilson (J.D. ‘19)
  • Ashley O’Neil (J.D. ’19)
  • Diego Zorrilla (J.D. ’19)