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.

Upcoming Lectures

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

  • Tuesday, January 23 from 12-1 p.m. Room 245 – Romulo Sampaio, Partner, Reis & Sampaio LLP and Professor of Law at FGV in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Topic: Environmental Law in Brazil
  • Wednesday, January 24 from 4:10-5:30 p.m. Room 342 – Sam Shenbaga, Director of Community Development, Atlanta Regional Commission, Topic: A Regional Update
  • Tuesday, February 6 from 12-1 p.m. Room 245 – Hannah Palmer, Author of Flight Path and Urban Designer, Topic:  How Race, Power and Place Shape American Cities
  • Wednesday, February 28 from 4:10-5:30 p.m. Room 342 – Katherine Zitsch, Natural Resources Manager, Atlanta Regional Commission, Topic: A Primer on the Comprehensive Regional Water Management Plan & the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
  • Monday, March 5 from 12-1 p.m. Room 342 – Jack Tsen-Ta Lee, Assistant Professor at Singapore Management University School of Law, Topic: Heritage Preservation in Singapore in the Era of Climate Change
  • Wednesday, March 7 from 4:10-5:30 p.m. Room 342 – Joyce Catrett, Metro Fair Housing Services Inc., Topic: Fair Housing Act 101
  • Tuesday, March 27 from 12-1 p.m. Room 245– Dr. Chris Nelson, Professor of Planning and Real Estate Development, University of Arizona, Topic: TBD
  • Tuesday, April 3 from 12-1 p.m. Room 245 – Claudio Monteiro, Professor of Law, Lisbon University School of Law, Topic: Urban Planning Law in Lisbon
  • Wednesday, April 11 Lunch in Knowles Conference Center – 50 Years of the Fair Housing Act featuring distinguished speaker, Reed Colfax, Partner, Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC
  • Wednesday, April 18 from 12-1 p.m. Room 246 – Urban Fellows End of Year Celebration and Certificates
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 now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 academic year.  The deadline to apply is April 9, 2018.  We are holding an information session on the program on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from noon to 1:00 pm in Room 345 of the College of Law.  

Urban Fellows Program Summary

Urban Fellows Program Application

Questions? Contact Karen Johnston (J.D. '08) at [email protected].

Congratulations to the 2017-18 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)
  • 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)
  • David Hymel (J.D. ’19)
  • 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)
  • Hae Min Lee (J.D. ’19)
  • Breyanna Mikel (Masters of Public Health ’18)
  • Caitlin Mildner (Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning MCRP '18)
  • Samuel Molina (J.D. ’18)
  • Ralph Morrison
  • Kirill Protasov (Masters of Public Policy ‘18)
  • Qudsia Shafiq (J.D. ’18)
  • Logan Stone (J.D. ’19)
  • Sandi Traylor (J.D. '19)
  • Stuart Wallace (J.D. ’19)
  • Abigail Warren (J.D. ‘19)
  • Casey Wilson (J.D. ‘19)
  • Diego Zorrilla (J.D. ’19)