URP’s Kotval to be inducted into the College of Fellows of the AICP

Zenia Kotval was selected to receive the one of the planning profession's highest honors: Induction into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

March 10, 2016

Zenia Kotval, PhD, AICP, professor in Urban & Regional Planning at the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction

Zenia Kotval, PhD, AICP, professor in Urban & Regional Planning (URP) at the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC); and director of MSU Extension Urban Collaborators (UC), was selected to receive the one of the planning profession’s highest honors: Induction into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Fellows of AICP receive this honor “for achieving excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public and community service, and leadership.” They must also be planners who have been members of AICP. Those chosen become members of the College of Fellows.

“I am both humbled and delighted with this honor,” Kotval commented about her induction. “To be recognized by my students, peers in academia and the professional community is particularly rewarding, and I am extremely grateful.”

Holly Madill and Mark Wyckoff of the MSU Land Policy Institute were instrumental in helping to put together the submittal package supporting Zenia’s nomination. Wyckoff has been a Fellow of AICP since 2000, the second year of the College of Fellows program. He offered the following comments on the significance of Zenia’s selection.

“Becoming a Fellow of AICP is perhaps the most prestigious honor a professional planner can receive. It recognizes outstanding work over an entire career. Most Fellows selected are more than 55 years of age. In addition to a detailed resume, the entire body of relevant work of a nominee has to be described according to rigorous criteria, and up to 10 letters of support from people familiar with a nominee’s work must be collected and submitted as a part of the package. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there are about 38,000 urban and regional planners in the U.S. About 15,000 of those are people whose education, experience and successful passage of an exam qualify them as members of the AICP. Of those, about 500 were Fellows in 2015, or approximately 3.3% of AICP planners and 1.3 % of all planners. Nominations are accepted only every other year, and approximately 50 are selected each time.” Wyckoff said.

Scott G. Witter, PhD, director of SPDC, is especially proud of Professor Kotval’s accomplishment. “Zenia is the fourth URP faculty member to be an AICP Fellow, while employed or directly affiliated with MSU.”

In addition to Wyckoff, an adjunct professor at SPDC, and Kotval, other MSU URP Fellows include Carl Goldschmidt, PhD, former head of the URP program for several decades who passed away in 2015, and June Thomas, PhD, who taught at URP for many years before moving to the University of Michigan in 2007. Perhaps as many as a half-dozen other Fellows taught at MSU at one point in their career.

Kotval along with 60 other chosen AICP members were nominated by various American Planning Association (APA) Chapters and Divisions. They will be inducted into the College of Fellows of the AICP on Apr. 3, 2016, during APA’s National Planning Conference in Phoenix, AZ.

Please join us in congratulating Kotval on receiving this prestigious honor!

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