15 Harvard Graduate Students Receive Research Funding & Summer Internships

Harvard students walking on campus

With funding from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, 15 students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) will study and work on a host of pressing issues related to housing and community development this summer.

The Center is funding students through the Gramlich Fellowship in Community and Economic Development, Community Service Fellowships at the GSD, a Fellowship in Housing and Community Development for HKS students, and other sources.

“The pandemic and the national discussions about race and equity have highlighted a host of longstanding housing challenges across the US,” said David Luberoff, Deputy Director of the Center, who oversees its fellowship programs. “I’m thrilled we are able to help talented students bring their skills to organizations around the country so they can assist—and learn from—practitioners and policymakers who are addressing these issues.”

The Gramlich Fellows in Community and Economic Development who will work on research projects overseen by the Joint Center for Housing Studies and NeighborWorks® America are:

  • Melanie Miller, a Master in Urban Planning (MUP) student at GSD, who will research funding and programming strategies used by effective resident services programs.
  • Sharon Welch, a Master in Architecture (MArch) student at GSD, who will examine efforts to promote housing and community development that serves Native Americans in ways that are affordable, effective, and culturally sensitive.

The GSD Community Service Fellows are:

  • Emma Colley, a MUP student, who will work with the Resiliency Planning Team in the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's Office of Neighborhood Strategies.
  • Olivia Howard, an MArch student, who will work with MASS Design Group on a project to expand their work on Fringe Cities into a book scheduled to be published later this year.
  • Zoe Iacovino, a MUP and Master in Public Policy (MPP) student, who will work with Greater Grove Hall Main Streets and the Earthos Institute on the creation of a Green Zone for Boston’s Grove Hall neighborhood.
  • G. Laster, a Master in Landscape Architecture (MLA) student, who will work as a Public Realm and Streetscape Design intern with ReBUILD Metro in Baltimore.
  • Jonathan Lee, a MUP student, who will help the Cambridge Community Development Department’s Economic Development Division build a new state-funded economic recovery program for local businesses.
  • Shannon Slade, a Master in Design Studies (MDes) in Risk and Resiliency student, who will work as a Planning and Development intern in the office of Boston City Councilor Elizabeth Breadon.
  • Arshaya Sood, an MDes in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology student, who will assist with design, research, and planning tasks as well community engagement processes at the Kounkuey Design Initiative in Los Angeles.
  • Whytne Stevens, a MUP student, who will do policy research and community engagement on several projects for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a community development entity that is part of the St. Philip’s School and Community Center in Dallas.

The HKS Fellows in Housing and Community Development are:

  • Benjamin Demers, an MPP/MUP student, who will work in the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development on the creation of three cultural districts in the city: the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District in the South of Market district, the Compton Transgender District in the Tenderloin, and the Castro Leather LGBTQ Cultural District in the Castro Cultural District.
  • Samantha Kahn, an MPP student, who will intern at the Pine Street Inn in Boston where she will organize a mayoral candidate forum focused on homelessness, help with voter registration and outreach, create a dedicated revenue stream for homelessness services, and design a needs assessment survey for Pine Street’s staff and clients.
  • William Sternlicht, an MPP/MBA student, who will intern with the Miami-Dade County Department of Public Housing and Community Development, working on large mixed-use developments that include affordable housing units.
  • Joseph Vogel, an MPP student, who will be a fellow at Interfaith Works, helping to plan the expansion of an existing service center for people who are poor or experiencing homelessness and helping develop a new advocacy agenda focused on equitable economic recovery in the county.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies Summer Research Assistant is:

  • Dixi Wu, an MArch and MDes in Real Estate and the Built Environment student, who will assemble information on how the COVID pandemic and economic downturn impacted housing and households in the six New England states served by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, which will use this information as it develops plans, policies, and programs to support the development of affordable housing, particularly for historically marginalized individuals and communities.

For more information about our fellowships and grants, visit the Student section of our website or contact [email protected].