Faculty & Staff

Associate Professor
Ph.D. Urban and Regional Planning
Florida State University 2000
Areas of interest: Land Use Planning, Housing Policy, Growth Management

My major areas of research interest are: a) housing and community development issues - in particular federal, state and local housing policies and the development of affordable housing; b) growth management, where I am concerned about the benefits and costs of growth management policies and their distribution across different income populations; and c) land, infrastructure and housing market issues in developing countries especially those of South Asia and Latin America. In addition, I am interested in built-form and urban design issues. My teaching interests have much in common with my research interests.

Career Services Coordinator
B.A. Business
Muskingum University

My main focus in the School of Planning and Public Affairs is supporting our graduate students with career assistance. If you are an employer or alum who would like our students to know about an entry level job or internship, please email the information and I will be happy to post it.

I enjoy the different aspects of my job and the people I assist, whether it be students, faculty, or alumni. My professional experience includes working at the University of Iowa on both the academic and medical sides, which has given me extensive knowledge of the University and the Iowa City community. In 2007 I received the university's certificate for completion of the Building Our Global Community program, giving me advanced knowledge of the needs of international students and how to best support them. I enjoy interacting with our international students, learning about their cultures and serving as a community resource for them.

Josh Busard
Adjunct Lecturer
M.S. Urban Planning
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2006
University of Iowa 2015

Josh Busard is the Director of the Johnson County Planning, Development, and Sustainability Department and has more than a decade of land-use planning experience.  Josh’s primary professional interests relate to planning for renewable energy systems, recognizing and utilizing the benefits of natural “green” infrastructure, and sustainable building and land development.  As the Director of the Johnson County Planning, Development, and Sustainability Department, Josh administers the County’s Unified Development Ordinance, Comprehensive Plan, and Building Code.  Josh makes every effort to ensure that the County’s development is environmentally friendly, economical, and socially equitable.   Josh is also an Adjunct Lecturer with the Department of Geographical and Sustainable Sciences and also teaches the Sustainable Development and Green Building Concepts course.

Professor Emeritus
Ph.D. Urban and Regional Planning
University of Michigan 1980
Areas of interest: Community Development, Urban Planning History, Civil Rights and Urban Planning

Chuck Connerly joined the University of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning in 2008 as professor and director. His research has been published in top journals, including the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Planning Education and Research, the Journal of Planning LiteratureHousing Studies, the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of Planning History, and Urban Affairs Quarterly. He wrote the Most Segregated City in America: City Planning and Civil Rights in Birmingham, 1920-1980 (University of Virginia Press, 2005) and co-edited Growth Management in Florida: Planning for Paradise, published by Ashgate Publishing in 2007.

The Most Segregated City was named one of the top 10 planning books in 2006 by Planetizen. In 2007 the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning named the book a recipient of the Paul Davidoff Award, which recognizes an outstanding book publication promoting participatory planning and positive social change, opposing poverty and racism as factors in society and seeking ways to reduce disparities between rich and poor; white and black; men and women. For five years he co-edited the Journal of Planning Education and Research and for nine years he co-edited Housing Studies.

In 2011-2013, Chuck served as President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the national learned society of planning schools, faculty, and students in the US. His most recent book, Green, Fair, and Prosperous:  Paths to a Sustainable Iowa (University of Iowa Press, 2020, September 1) is an assessment (part history, part contemporary analysis) of Iowa's sustainability challenges and responses. It builds on Connerly's work with the community engagement initiative of which he is the principal founder, the UI Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (http://iisc.uiowa.edu/). In 2015, he received the Michael J. Brody award for faculty service presented by the University of Iowa Faculty Senate and the UI Provost's Office.  In 2018, he was presented with the Jay Chatterjee Award for Service by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.

Bart Cramer
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Economic Geography
University of Iowa 2007
Areas of interest: Transportation Economics and Planning, Livable Cities, GIS applications

After a career in exploration with a major international oil company, I returned to academia and completed a Ph.D. in transportation / economic geography, examining the rejuvenation of the North American freight rail industry. I have lived in a number of US cities and also lived and traveled in Western Europe, as well as making business and pleasure trips to Canada (see photo), Mexico, Madagascar and Bolivia. In my teaching I am able to draw on my experiences with a wide variety of developing and developed country conditions, and on varying location and culture-dependent approaches to transportation, energy, and other planning issues.

Administrative Services Coordinator
B.A. Accounting & Business Administration
Javeriana University (Colombia)

As the Administrative Services Coordinator for the School of Planning and Public Affairs, my main role is to serve as the first point of contact and program liaison for the director, faculty, staff, students, alumni and the public in general, and provide administrative support wherever it is needed. I have a B.A in Accounting & Business Administration and my professional experience includes the nonprofit field with emphasis in healthcare, as well as, fundraising, friend-raising and foundation work. I am happy to be a part of the SPPA team at the University of Iowa, as I enjoy interacting with people of different ages, backgrounds and cultures.

Peter Fisher
Professor Emeritus
Ph.D. Economics
University of Wisconsin 1978
Areas of interest: Public Policy Economics, State and Local Economic Development Policy, Poverty and Social Policy, Infrastructure Finance

All of my teaching and research activities share a common foundation in public sector economics and urban economics. My core course Economics for Policy Analysis I is intended to provide those same foundations to planning students. My recent research has focused on critical appraisals of the use of tax incentives as an economic development tool, particularly in enterprise zones; this has complemented my teaching in the area of development finance.A second major interest of mine is how the market system generates income inequality, and how state and local public policies and planning activities are shaped by, and in turn aggravate or alleviate, the problems of poverty and the fragmentation of metropolitan areas by income and race. These issues are a central focus of my course Poverty, Planning and Public Policy. I also believe that students need a solid grounding in analytical techniques. Major portions of my elective courses Community Development Finance and Financing Local Government are devoted to techniques of financial analysis applied to financing businesses in low-income neighborhoods or to problems in financing or pricing urban infrastructure.

Professor Emeritus
Ph.D. Economics
Washington State University 1968
Areas of interest: Transportation Planning

The focus of my teaching and research has been transportation planning. I acquired over a decade of practical experience following the completion of my Ph.D., working in the Planning Division of a state Department of Transportation, and as the deputy executive director for the National Transportation Policy Study Commission. With my experience in producing transport plans, I teach a graduate course on how to develop transportation plans. In Transportation Planning Process, students analyze and evaluate actual air, rail, highway and urban plans and determine what is required to improve current plans. The Transportation Program Seminar Series allows students to explore current topics of interest in transportation.

I have recently been involved with the development of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, a US Department of Transportation bureau which makes accessible a variety of information needed to improve transportation planning and policy making. My international interests include lecturing and grant affiliations in Venezuela, and consulting with Venezuela's ministry and metro rail system. A current focus has been cross-national comparison of transport information, and I am now working on reports covering transportation in Canada, Mexico and Japan.

Adjunct Lecturer
M.Arch. Architecture
Iowa State University 2009
Areas of interest: Graphic Communication

Bob is a lifelong Iowa resident who moved to Iowa City in 2009 to join Neumann Monson Architects. Trained as an architect, Bob maintains a broad knowledge of art and design, and practices as a multi-disciplinary designer. While at Neumann Monson, Bob has contributed to a variety of local projects, such as: The University of Iowa West Campus Transportation Facility, The University of Iowa School of Music, Park@201 mixed-use building and the Packing House in downtown Iowa City, Dubuque Intermodal Campus, and the Ames Intermodal Transportation Facility. In 2008, Bob and his partner Shannon founded zzGassman Design Workshop. Together they have completed graphic and web design projects for: The Berklee College of Music, Draft Journal, Defunct Magazine, Iowa Architect Magazine, and Tombo Studio. Bob has been teaching an array of design courses since 2006. With interests that range from film to music, art to architecture, and planning to product design, his courses reveal that design has a profound impact on the lives of every living thing. From the buttons on our shirts, to the foods that we eat, to the road signs we pass by daily, design is everywhere and may be the single greatest factor that influences the quality of our lives and our world.

Associate Professor of Practice and Director, Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities
M..S. Urban and Regional Planning
University of Iowa 2013

Travis serves as Director of the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities, a community engagement partnership program housed in the School of  Planning and Public Affairs. Travis joined IISC in August 2016 and manages the day-to-day operations of the IISC and works with community partners and University of Iowa faculty, staff and students to facilitate engaged-learning projects that promote economic development, social justice, and sustainability. 

Prior to joining the IISC, Travis led the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organizations in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, worked as a regional planner for the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, and was a successful small business entrepreneur for many years. Travis earned a Master's degree in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Iowa, where he also earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and a secondary teaching certificate. 

Professor and Director
Ph.D. Urban and Regional Planning
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2001
Areas of interest: The interactions between urban populations and their environments, The implementation of local environmental plans, Public participation, The linkages between planning and public health

Lucie studies the effects of toxic sites on local populations and the participation of citizens in environmental planning decision-making processes. Some of her previous research, funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, focused on the effects of Superfund sites on the communities surrounding them. She now works on the evaluation of Community Advisory Boards as participatory mechanisms used for the cleanup of toxic sites.

Since 1998, she has been involved in a New Zealand-based research project on environmental planning processes. The project, titled "Planning Under a Cooperative Mandate," focuses on the implementation of local environmental plans with regard to water quality, urban design, and citizen participation in the planning process. Dr. Laurian is involved in research about the interactions between the planning and public health disciplines. She teaches a "Healthy Cities" class focused on environmental planning and health.

Ashley Monroe
Ashley Monroe
Adjunct Lecturer
Northern Illinois University 2007
Areas of interest: Promoting profession of public service, participatory civic engagement, community and organizational equity

Ashley Monroe is the Assistant City Manager for the City of Iowa City and has over 15 years of experience in public service, including four years in Iowa City. Ashley’s prior roles have included municipal planning, government communications, grants and project management, and sustainability coordination. Her responsibilities as the Assistant City Manager range from budget planning to personnel management and collective bargaining to oversight of the City’s Climate Action and Outreach Office. As part of the City Manager’s Office, Ashley supports everyday operations of city services while simultaneously assisting in implementation of the strategic vision of City Council and the community. Ashley’s instruction focuses on current approaches to public management and leadership from the perspective of an experienced practitioner. Her emphasis on ethical and strategic decision-making, adaptation to today’s challenges and opportunities, and navigating intergovernmental and community relationships provides context for aspiring and current professionals in public organizations.

Nathan Mueller
Adjunct Lecturer
M.S. Urban and Regional Planning
University of Iowa 2013
Areas of interest: Local government zoning administration and land development review

I am the Assistant Director of Planning, Development, and Sustainability for Johnson County, Iowa. Our department oversees review of land development applications (subdivisions, rezoning, etc.); building permits and inspections; and sustainability for the county both internal- and external- facing.

After graduating from the URP program in 2013, I served as Planning & Zoning Director for Clinton County, Iowa for three years before returning to Johnson County. My personal mission in my career is to work to dispel the notion that government bureaucrats are lazy and unhelpful. Land development is a complicated process that even experienced developers still struggle through. My goal in the course I co-teach with Josh Busard is to provide students with a foundation in the application and administration side of planning projects in the hope that they will be ready to provide high-level service and be successful if they choose to pursue local government planning.

Admissions Coordinator
M.S. Higher Education Administration
University of Kansas 2011

As the Admissions Coordinator for the School of Planning and Public Affairs, my role is to recruit, inform, and counsel prospective students on the program and to assist them with the application process. I am an alumna of the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in History. I also have a M.S. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas where I worked with student organizations and leadership programs. My professional background is primarily in higher education fundraising and alumni engagement. Additionally, I advise a student organization on campus and serve on the board of directors for a local nonprofit.

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Ph.D. Public Administration
Syracuse University 2010
Areas of interest: Public Finance, Public Policy

My research interests are in public finance and public policy in various sectors including education, health and transportation in the United States and Vietnam. Recent research has included the fiscal effects of property tax limit repeal and budget referendums on school spending, education finance reform, school quality capitalization, and the benefits and costs of paratransit. In my teaching, I expect students to be active members in all class activities.

Associate Professor and Associate Director
Ph.D. Public Policy
George Mason University 2010
Areas of interest: Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Public Policy Analysis

Haifeng Qian is an associate professor in the School of Planning and Public Affairs (primary) and Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa, where he teaches applied microeconomics, economic development policy, and spatial data analysis. He has published over 20 research articles in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, urban economic development, and science & technology policy. Dr. Qian is an editor of Small Business Economics (a Springer journal), an associate editor of Economic Development Quarterly (a Sage journal), and an associate editor of Regional Studies, Regional Science (a Taylor & Francis journal). He won a few highly competitive research awards, including the Best Conference Paper Award from Urban Affairs Association, the Early Career Grant from Regional Studies Association, and the Charles M. Tiebout Prize from Western Regional Science Association. Dr. Qian holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy (George Mason), an M.S. in Management Science & Engineering (Tsinghua), and a B.S. in Engineering Physics (Tsinghua). 

Associate Professor of Practice
MFA Creative Writing
University of Wisconsin-Madison 2016
Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government 2009
Areas of interest: social policy, homelessness, poverty

Carrie Schuettpelz is an Associate Professor of Practice, focusing primarily on social policy, homelessness, and poverty. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Balance-of-State Continuum of Care, she works with communities across the state to create plans to prevent and end homelessness. She also serves as the Vice President of the Native American Council.

Prior to joining SPPA, Carrie was a homelessness policy advisor in the Obama Administration from 2009-2016. She was a Fulbright Scholar in 2006, which was awarded by the U.S. Department of State to study the East-West divide of the European Union in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is a trained storyteller and teaches digital storytelling at a variety of levels. She is also at work on a nonfiction book about Native identity. She is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

Jim Schwab FAICP
Adjunct Lecturer
M.A. Urban and Regional Planning and Journalism
University of Iowa 1985
Areas of interest: Natural Hazards and Disaster Recovery

Since June 2017, Jim Schwab has been developing a new phase of his life that he describes as his “five-point retirement plan,” which can also be seen as his way of wrapping himself in a combination of activities and undertakings that revolve around his special skills and pet interests. First among them is his plan to craft a two-book series on the 1993 and 2008 Midwest floods. He also has established a consulting business, Jim Schwab Consulting LLC, centered on planning for natural hazards; teaches as adjunct assistant professor at the University of Iowa School of Planning and Public Affairs; maintains a popular active blog, “Home of the Brave,” on his website; and is a frequent public speaker at events nationwide.

In addition, for 2018-2019, Jim is chair-elect of the American Planning Association’s Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division; in 2020-2021, he will then serve a two-year term as its chair.

Until June, Jim worked with the American Planning Association in Chicago as manager of the Hazards Planning Center and also served as co-editor of Zoning Practice, a monthly APA publication. His career reflected his double penchant. At the University of Iowa, he obtained master's degrees in both urban and regional planning and journalism. He has combined these skills in his writing, using the analytical skills of the planner and the narrative skills of the journalist to probe major social, economic, and environmental issues facing American society. He has become very well-known for his expertise in hazard mitigation and disaster recovery. In 2016, Jim was inducted into the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP).

Jim's long list of publications can be found on his website at www.jimschwab.com. Among the most significant are Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation (APA, 2014); and Hazard Mitigation: Integrating Best Practices into Planning, (APA, 2010); in both cases he was project manager, general editor, and a major contributor. Other APA reports of recent years in which he had a major hand have included Planning the Urban Forest (2009); Landslide Hazards and Planning (2005), and Planning for Wildfires (2005), of which he was lead author and project manager. Jim also co-authored The State of Tribal Transportation Programs, a report released in January 2007 by the Transportation Research Board (www.trb.org), the result of a contract with APA to survey tribal planning contacts and assess current transportation programs of American Indian tribal governments.

His signature work as primary author, published in April 1999, was a guidance document for local planners, with contributions of case studies from four other authors, co-published by APA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction. That work served a generation of planners dealing with disaster recovery until the Next Generation update. APA also published his monograph, Planning and Zoning for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, in 1998.

Jim's two books are Raising Less Corn and More Hell: Midwestern Farmers Speak Out (University of Illinois Press, 1988) and Deeper Shades of Green: The Rise of Blue-Collar and Minority Environmentalism in America (Sierra Club Books, 1994). The first was essentially an oral history of the farm protest of the 1980s that challenged widespread farm bankruptcies and liquidations. The second examined the often invisible movement within African-American, Hispanic, and other minority communities, as well as white blue-collar neighborhoods, to fight industrial pollution and protect public health.

He is a past President of the Society of Midland Authors (1997-99), and has served in many capacities including as SMA's membership secretary and vice-president. He is currently SMA treasurer. He is also a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Association of State Floodplain Managers, the American Institute of Certified Planners (a subsidiary of APA), and the Society of Professional Journalists.

You may e-mail Jim Schwab at jimschwabfaicp@outlook.com.

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison 2009
Areas of interest: City Planning for Environment Climate and Energy, Urban-Scale City and Environment Modeling

Scott's research and teaching focus on understanding how urban human and environmental systems respond to changes in technology, policy, land use, and society. He teaches courses on environmental policy, megacities and dynamic systems modeling. Scott uses coupled Earth and human systems models at urban and regional scales to provide actionable forecasts, evaluate sustainable development strategies and inform policies that address the interconnected nature of energy, economic, and environmental issues. He works with local, state, and national agencies to implement integrated environmental forecasting systems and embed them in policies and planning.

Full C.V.

Associate Professor of Instruction
Ph.D. Planning, Policy & Design
University of California, Irvine 2013
Areas of interest: Transportation Planning, Travel Behavior, Active Living, Applied GIS

My current research focuses on understanding how attitudes, perceptions, and habits affect transportation choices, and how these psychological factors interact with urban design to influence travel behavior and physical activity. I am particularly interested in how travel and residential location preferences evolve over time, and how they respond to changes in the built environment, life stage, and social support.

Since 2011, I have collaborated on the Neighborhood Travel and Activity Study (NTAS). The NTAS is the first experimental-control longitudinal study of a major transportation investment in California, and one of very few evaluations of this type conducted nationwide. It examines travel behavior dynamics and physical activity change associated with the opening of the Exposition light rail line in a largely low-income, minority community in south Los Angeles.

Jim Throgmorton
Professor Emeritus
Ph.D. Urban and Regional Planning
University of California LA 1983
Areas of interest: Planning theory, persuasive storytelling, and the rhetorics of planning practice, Planning for sustainable places, History of urban and regional planning, Innovative approaches to resolving conflicts

In my courses and research, I have sought to construct and articulate persuasive visions of what might constitute a just and sustainable future for cities and regions. I have also sought to teach practical and politically-astute ways to understand, address, and potentially resolve the conflicts which inevitably occur when visions conflict. When discussing conflict and its potential resolution through argumentation, negotiation, mediation, and collaborative processes, I drew heavily on my own diverse practical experiences. These included being a planner, a consultant, a researcher, an elected city councilman, and a human rights and environmental advocate.

Conceiving of planning as a process that is simultaneously political and technical, I encouraged students to read and listen actively; that is, to discern how particular planning-related arguments are constructed, how those arguments are linked to larger narratives, and how those narratives often tend to obscure or ignore the potential merits of other arguments and narratives. Given the planner's need to act within a context of differing interests and perspectives, I also taught students how to argue persuasively in the face of questions and counter-claims. To teach these skills well, I found it important to conduct most of my classes as a dialogue between the readings, the students, and myself.

Although I no longer will be teaching in the classroom, I expect to practice what I have taught by working on important issues facing the people of Iowa City, Iowa and the United States.

Samantha Zuhlke
Headshot photo of Samantha Zuhlke
Assistant Professor
PhD Political Science
Texas A&M University 2021
Areas of interest: public policy, nonprofits, environmental politics, spatial statistics, econometrics

Samantha Zuhlke is an Assistant Professor in the School of Planning and Public Affairs. Her research and teaching center on public policy, public administration, and environmental politics. Sam's current research agenda investigates how political forces like social construction and policy feedback shape the U.S. nonprofit sector through partisanship and political competition. More broadly, she is interested in the intersection of geography and political science, including environmental politics, environmental justice, and developing new methods of spatial analysis. Prior to receiving her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, Sam worked at the National Geographic Society from 2010-2016, producing K-12 classroom materials to support geography education. Personal website: www.samanthazuhlke.com