For over a decade, SUAPP has partnered with the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to host a fellowship program for graduate students. The competitive HCD Fellowship Program places highly qualified graduate students with government, nonprofit and community organizations that are leading community development efforts in Memphis. The program supports the important work of community development agencies while enabling the fellows to integrate their coursework into the work of local community development organizations. Profiles of the 2020-21 HCD fellows are below:

Lydia BabcockLydia Babcock, a dual-degree Master’s of Anthropology and Master of Public Health student, worked with United Housing where she explored how programs might be expanded to address housing and health disparities exacerbated by COVID-19. She conducted interviews and surveys with alumni of the homebuyer education program and assisted with grant writing and Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund policy advocacy campaign.

Eslie DjemmalEslie Djemmal is a Master’s of Social Work student with a concentration in children, youth and families. She was placed with Memphis Children’s Health Law Directive (MCHiLD) at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, a collaborative partnership between the University of Memphis Law School, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and Memphis Area Legal Services. Djemmal assisted with case management services to identify housing and assist families with relocation, connected families to rental and income assistance programs, and prepared documentation to prevent unlawful evictions.

Reaghan GoughReaghan Gough, a Master’s of Anthropology student, was a fellow at the Center for Transforming Communities. She assisted with data management and analysis to develop interactive maps of assets, constituents and social networks within neighborhoods. She also worked closely with connectors to help ensure that residents are connected to the right resources and organizations for support.

Thomas GreenThomas Green, a Master’s of Public Administration student, worked with The Works Community Development Corporation in south Memphis. Their focus areas include alleviating food deserts by supporting a farmers’ market and grocer, as well as providing affordable housing, housing repairs and community activities. Green’s work focused on assisting with streamlining data collection and improving database management processes.

Tyson HairrTyson Hairr, a Master’s of City and Regional Planning student, supported Community LIFT with the development of small area plans for the South City and Uptown neighborhoods. His projects have included creating maps to display current conditions in the neighborhoods, evaluating which interventions would be most appropriate and developing implementation plans.

Charles LayneCharles Layne, a Masters of City and Regional Planning student, worked with BLDG Memphis on housing initiatives related to COVID-19 resiliency and recovery efforts. Layne led an advocacy campaign for reinvesting in the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund – which was cut from the municipal budgetas a result of the fiscal impacts of the pandemic.

Suzanna MarshallSuzanna Marshall, a dual-degree graduate student in the Master’s of Anthropology and Master’s of City and Regional Planning programs, worked with the Blight Authority of Memphis to conduct property and policy research. Additionally, she developed the Adopt-A-Lot program that will temporarily activate vacant lots through engaging the communities near them in ways that will benefit the neighborhood overall.

DaNaysia RossDaNaysia Ross, a Master’s of Anthropology student, was placed with the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. In collaboration with 20 local and state partners, Ross managed the Master Home Environmentalists program leading a team to address unhealthy and unsafe housing across the Mid-South.

For more details about research and community engagement in SUAPP, see the 2020-21Annual Report.