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Harris Webber Graduate Fellowship

About the Fellowship

The Harris Webber Graduate Fellowship is made possible by the generosity of Temple alumnus Harris Webber (CLA, ’65).  The endowment established by Mr. Webber, supplemented by funds from the College of Liberal Arts, provides financial support for an advanced PhD candidate in Geography and Urban Studies to pursue urban research that is applied, requires fieldwork and/or has policy implications.

Mr. Webber is the founder of Harris Webber Ltd, a company involved in the planning, architecture, development and management of retirement communities and health care facilities.  This endowed Fellowship expresses his commitment to the importance of preparing researchers to understand and shape livable, sustainable, socially productive and more equitable metropolitan communities of the future.  That commitment marks his entire professional career as a community planner in many different settings.

Harris Webber Graduate Fellowship Recipients

  • 2016-2017 Sarah Stinard-Kiel and Yoonhee Jung, PhD candidates in Geography and Urban Studies.

Stinard-Kiel’s research will look at a new shift in social services toward ‘trauma-informed care’. She will be looking at how trauma-informed approaches have been gaining traction over the past decade, particularly when it comes to service provisions for youth in disadvantaged urban areas. Her research will examine how practices and discourses around trauma are being deployed by social workers, schools, and government agencies and what kind of broader structural and political impacts they may be having. The research will involve ethnographic fieldwork in Philadelphia and New Orleans to examine how trauma-approaches play out in these two urban contexts. The results of the research will be shared with social service organizations and are likely to impact the future of trauma-informed urban policy.

IMG_1683Jung’s research will examine how urban sustainability is defined, conceptualized, and translated into practice in Seoul, one of the Asian megacities, by observing the processes of the decision-making and practices of two major urban policy, focusing on sustainable urban form and public space. Her research questions center on decision-making processes for urban sustainability policy, asking what factors were crucial for the discourse around urban environmental policy decision-making in Seoul. A mixed method including in-depth interviews and spatial analysis will be used for this research. By examining urban sustainability issues in Asian megacity context, this study will contribute to the development of urban theory on the definition and conceptualization of urban sustainability by adding new perspective from Asian megacities in the current west-oriented literature on urban sustainability. Also, this study will provide a valuable case study of the processes and the effects of urban environmental policy practice for other Asian megacities.


  • 2015-2016 Ritwika Biswas, PhD candidate in Geography and Urban Studies.

RitwikaBiswas’ research will examine the factors that restrict or enhance Indian women’s access to urban spaces and their mobility and therefore their ability to exercise their rights of full citizenship. By examining the issue from a feminist geographic perspective, the research aims to move beyond a focus on fear of crime as limiting women’s mobility to analyze the interconnectedness among various socio-cultural gendered norms, and urban policies and planning that hinder or support women’s mobility. Drawing on qualitative methodology and mapping, the study will take place in the metropolitan city of Kolkata involving women and men aged 18 to 65. The results of the proposed research will likely make important contributions to Indian urban policies and academic debates.


  • 2014-2015 Colleen Hammelman, PhD candidate in Geography and Urban Studies.

HammelmColleenan’s research will examine the coping strategies employed by displaced women in Medellin, Columbia and Latina migrant domestic workers in Washington DC in order to better understand both everyday lived experiences of food insecurity in these environments and the influence of structural processes. Her research questions center on connectivity, asking how food insecurity coping strategies carried out by transnational migrants relate to the connectivity fostered by mobility and social networks. Using a mixed methods research design characterized by the qualitative GIS method of sketch-mapping during in-depth interviews, she asks how food insecurity coping strategies relate to neighborhood and city-wide mobility/immobility; how social networks influence food insecurity coping strategies; and how mobility and social networks support or affect each other.