Rhonda Phillips Named to Prestigious Planning College of Fellows

CHICAGO – Rhonda Phillips, Ph.D., AICP, of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana has achieved the planning profession’s highest honor by being named to the prestigious American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows for her outstanding achievements in urban and regional planning.

Fellowship is granted to planners who have achieved certification through the American Planning Association’s professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and have achieved excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public and community service, and leadership. Invitations to join the College of Fellows come after a thorough nomination and review process, ensuring the candidate has had a positive, long-lasting impact on the planning profession.

“Individuals who make up the College of Fellows are the true leaders of the planning profession,” said AICP President Valerie Hubbard, FAICP. “These individuals have made lasting contributions to the profession and have inspired generations of new planners. They are truly awe-inspiring.”A professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Dean of the Purdue University Honors College, Phillips is a community and economic development planni

ng specialist. Her work with planning and development indicators systems has been applied in communities both in the US and abroad, and she has served as a three-time US Fulbright Scholar, in Northern Ireland and Panama. She is former President of the American Planning Association’s Economic Development Division, and is currentlyPresident of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies. She earned her doctorate in city and regional planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

An alumna of the University of Southern Mississippi (’83 BS Geography and ’86 MS Economic Development), Phillips began her career in planning at USM, where she took courses on the topic in the Geography Department. Years later, she returned as a faculty member in the department to direct the Community Planning and Development program and to teach in the Economic Development Program.

Phillips is one of 61 inductees into this year’s College of Fellows. Inductions are done biennially. This year’s formal induction will take place during APA’s National Planning Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday, April 3. Currently, there are 508 members in the College of Fellows.