Scholarship Award Winners

By Tirrell Black, AICP
City of Spokane

Each year through the generosity of the membership, the Washington Chapter honors a planning student at each of the accredited planning programs in the state. This year’s recipients, Jennyfer Mesa at Eastern Washington University and Katie Poppel at the University of Washington, a $3,000 scholarship. Scholarships are awarded based on these criteria: academic excellence, commitment, potential future effectiveness in the field of planning, financial need, and demonstrated interest in planning issues. APA-WA congratulates the winners and looks forward to their contributions to the profession.

Jennyfer Mesa was born in Medellin, Colombia and immigrated to the United States in 1985. Raised in south Florida, as a young girl she became acutely aware of the environment and the need for communities to live in balance with their natural resources. Spending ten years in Mexico, another site of environmental crisis, she traveled the country extensively working in the recycling industry. Since arriving to Washington State in 2011 and enrolling at EWU she has pursued a B.A. in Urban and Regional Planning and has interned in both the Planning Department and the Environmental Programs office for the City of Spokane. In the winter of 2016 she presented her research on current and innovative waste disposal practices in Mexico City at multiple conferences in the U.S. and abroad. Currently she is conducting research and working with Latinos in Central Washington to understand the planning barriers they have faced and help develop processes of placemaking in their communities. After earning her undergraduate degree in 2017, Jennyfer wishes to work with communities in the U.S. and abroad to help them become climate change resilient. 

Katie Poppel is a graduate student at the University of Washington working towards two degrees: Master of Urban Planning and Master of Landscape Architecture. She received a Bachelor of Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati in 2014, with a focus on urban design. Her current research interest is international urban public space design. She is especially interested in how public space systems, informal and formal, are established, planned, and designed with different geographical and cultural contexts. Professionally, Katie has worked with Lake2Bay in Seattle, the City of Chicago, Department of Buildings; Congress for the New Urbanis,; Town of Buena Vista Colorado, Global Site Plans, and The Jerde Partnership. She has also volunteered for the American Planning Association, having served as the national Student Representative Chair along with other volunteer positions at the local, university, state, and national levels. Katie chooses to learn internationally whenever she can and has thus far traveled to Tokyo and Rome just this past year, with many more destinations to come!

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