Scholarship Recipients

The Friends of Planning offers a scholarship annually through the Planning Program Administrator to an entering student who would not otherwise be able to enroll in the Planning Degree Program.  The scholarship provides the opportunity to be matched with a research assistant-ship offered by the UA.

Hannah Wong

Spring 2016 Scholarship Recipient – Hannah Wong

My name is Hannah Wong and I am from Christchurch, New Zealand. I moved to Tucson, Arizona in 2012 when I received an athletic scholarship to play soccer for the University of Arizona. I have always had an interest in buildings and design and therefore chose to pursue my undergraduate degree in architecture. However, I found out quickly that trying to play a college sport as well as studying architecture was not an easy feat. Looking for another academic path, I found the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments degree (SBE). During my time in SBE I found myself developing a passion for affordable housing and sustainable community planning. Based on these interests, my senior capstone project focused on affordable housing in Tucson. My experiences in SBE also led me to apply for the accelerated Masters of Science in Planning degree that the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. I began taking classes towards the Masters of Science in Planning while I was still an undergraduate student.

In the Spring of 2016, I reached out to Will Greenway, a former member of the Friends of Planning member. Will offered an internship position at the Downtown Tucson Partnership. The internship was a great experience for me and I learnt a great deal about Downtown Tucson as well as valuable GIS skills. Although it has been challenging at times juggling being a full time student athlete, completing my undergraduate studies and taking masters level classes I have found the courses and working with the professors at CAPLA very rewarding. I have grown to love Tucson over my 4 years here, and I believe that it has a unique community in which I hope that I will have more opportunities to work with in the near future.

I plan to graduate in May 2017 from the Planning program. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Friends of Planning for all the support they provide for all the students in the planning program at the University of Arizona.

sarah meggison_2015 scholarship

Spring 2015 Scholarship Recipient – Sarah Meggison

My name is Sarah Meggison and I am originally from the northern suburbs of Denver, Colorado.  In 2007, I moved to Bisbee, Arizona and began to discover my passion for community development and city planning.   While living in Bisbee I attended Prescott College’s Low-Residency Adult Degree program, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Community Development.  One of the courses that I created while in the program was an Introduction to Planning with a local planner, and thus kicked off my career in planning.  My first internship was in the City of Bisbee Community Development Department working on a historic survey for the Warren Townsite.  Once graduating Prescott, I decided I wanted to further my education, and looked into the College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture, CAPLA.

I was elected as the president of the Graduate Planning Society at the University of Arizona in the spring of 2014 to serve for the second year of my Master of Science in Planning degree.  As the president, I worked towards creating a collaborative planning studio with both first, and second year planning students as well as the integration of students from landscape architecture and architecture.  I worked hard to recruit 14 planning students to attend the Arizona APA Conference in Yuma, Arizona; where we all learned quite a bit, and networked a good deal with state planners and APA members.

I had two internships while at CAPLA.  The first was during my first year at the City of Tucson Historic Preservation Office.  My task as intern was to coordinate a Sustainable Historic Home Tour where we showcased 7 homes in two historic neighborhoods that have been retrofitted with green features while maintaining the historic integrity.  My second internship was a temporary summer position in Bisbee for Cochise County in the Planning Department.  I was tasked with helping on the Comprehensive Plan update, which included taking photos, editing the document, as well as taking the draft document out on the road to the five major communities of the county.

Studying planning at was a great joy.  It has been an honor to learn and receive support from the Friends of Planning.  I am currently employed in the field at The WLB Group Inc here in Tucson.  I also just started teaching as adjunct faculty at the University in the Sustainable Built Environment Program at CAPLA.


Spring 2014 Scholarship Recipient – Edlin Hernandez

My name is Edlin Hernandez and I was born in Nogales Arizona but I grew up in Mazatlan, Mexico. I received my Bachelor’s of Arts in Architecture from ITESM University at Hermosillo, Mexico; a city in the Sonoran-Desert. I strongly believe that in order to succeed in any professional setting, one must be capable of performing across disciplines. I decided to pursue a degree in the field of Planning because it allows me to expand my knowledge and interest in urban planning, urban design, and architecture. Overall, the sense of responsibility towards my community with regards to its environmental, cultural, socio-economical and spatial needs, is the reason why I decided expand my knowledge from Architecture to Planning. I hope am granted the opportunity to contribute to the healthy development of our society.

During my studies at the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona I was elected as the 2013-2014 Treasurer of the Graduate Planning Society. This has given me the opportunity to interact with students from other colleges and merchants from different states that are trying to reach out the student market. It is an honor to represent my classmates.

I like Tucson and its community. I enjoy very much my work as a student at the University of Arizona (UA). Tucson planners and the planning courses at the UA are in constant interaction. In 2013, I participated as a facilitator for two Design Charrette workshops; the first, was with the Tohono O’odham Nation for its Long Range Plan; and the second, with City of Tucson for the Broadway Boulevard Project. I enjoy being involved with the community and I would like to contribute to Tucson’s future growth. 

More recently, I participated in the 12th Annual ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. The two-week competition involved multidisciplinary teams. My team had members from the planning, architecture, and landscape architecture graduate programs. It was a great opportunity that reflected a real workplace experience.

In May 2014, I will earning a Master’s of Science in Planning. I am ready to launch my career and work for our community. I would like to thank Friends of Planning for their immense support. I appreciate the mentoring and all of the knowledge and experience that they have shared with me and my classmates in the Planning Program at the University of Arizona. 


2011-12 Scholarship Recipient – Garrett Smith

My name is Garrett Smith and I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. I have lived in a number of places including Washington, DC, Bergen, Norway, and most recently I moved to Tucson from London in the United Kingdom. I received my Bachelor’s in Printing from Georgia Southern University and received a Master’s in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. I have been a graphic designer and a graphic artist for the past seven years working in variety of capacities including being an in-house graphic designer for a large big box retailer, a graphic designer at a top engineering university, a freelance graphic designer for a number of top companies and non-profit organizations, a layout artist for a number of British architectural publications, and a teacher of printmaking at an independent art studio in London. While I was comfortably established in the world of graphic arts I awoke one day to realize I wanted to make a longer lasting contribution to the world in which I was living and wanted to work to preserve the natural environment in which we all reside. Instead of designing and convincing people to consume and develop an extrinsic image of themselves I wanted to focus my energy on how to provide people with a better intrinsic view of existence through nature and their interactions with the land. I chose to pursue an MS in Planning at the U of A because of the strong environmental and conservation frameworks as well as being able to get practical planning knowledge and skill sets through classes within the program.

Within the school I have been able to become the national representative for the U of A for the American Planning Association, began work on the organization of a student based PR campaign team for CALA, chosen as a student member of the Xtreme LA event, participated in the National Geographic BioBlitz, and recently attended the 11th Biennial Conference on Research on the Colorado Plateau. Tucson has what seems to be a very involved community of local groups and organizations that have also been a great resource to provide insight into the field of planning and I have gotten an opportunity to work with PAG, the Pima County DOT as a bike ambassador, the Bicycle Advisory Committee, Tucson Downtown Partnership, Living Streets Alliance, Imagine Greater Tucson, Friends of Saguaro Park, and the Tucson chapter of the Sierra Club.

I would like to thank all of the members of Friends of Planning for the wonderful opportunity to be involved in such a great community and for all the help you have provided me in attending the U of A this academic year.

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