Amal Muse, Marius Williams are recipients of APA Foundation Scholarships

The APA Foundation Scholarships, offered by the American Planning Association, aim to make the planning profession more accessible to individuals with limited means and to attract the best, brightest, and most talented individuals to the planning profession. The program provides scholarships to students of great merit and from historically underrepresented groups to help make the planning profession more representative of — and therefore more responsive to — the diverse communities it serves.

In 2020, six APA Foundation scholarships were awarded, with two Bloustein School MCRP candidates selected.

Amal Muse

Amal Muse is a first-year Masters of City and Regional Planning student at the Bloustein School, where she is focusing on land use planning.

Amal grew up in the vibrant city of Minneapolis, Minnesota where she received a dual degree in Political Science and Journalism at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is a first-generation college student that is very passionate about creating equitable development.

She worked in various government agencies and lobbying firms where she learned the importance of civic engagement and policy-making. In 2016, she was appointed, by former Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, to the Young Women’s Initiative Cabinet to create policies that decrease gender inequality for young girls across Minnesota. After graduating from college in 2019, Amal studied and conducted qualitative data research on Chinese residents and their experiences with rapid urban development and the environmental impact it will create in various cities in China. She also had the opportunity to study at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she was introduced to geopolitics and environmental justice.

After graduate school, she is hoping to work in environmental planning abroad and focus on environmental impact assessment in East Africa and Asia. In her leisure time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, visiting museums, and spending time with her family. 

Marius Williams

Marius Williams grew up in Brooklyn with his mother, who ran a community garden and put extra effort into teaching him to read and write at home in order to prepare for elementary school and, later, entrance to the selective public middle schools and high schools. He went on to study computer science at Brooklyn Technical High School and Boston University. Upon graduation he briefly worked in technical theatre before joining Accenture’s Boston office to develop business process management software.

In his neighborhood, there were several underused spaces that as a child, he would reimagine as serving different community-oriented uses. Later, while working in software consulting he became inspired to pursue urban planning and design while admiring the hilly urban landscape around a client’s office in Hong Kong. He began to wonder how international planning and design practices might be implemented in the United States.

Currently a dual degree JD/MCRP student, he hopes to use both his technical and consulting background to make a difference in the physical and legal landscapes. At the Bloustein School he is concentrating on international design and development, believing that the practice of both local and international planning and design can reveal and spread innovative best planning practices across regions and cultures. In his free time he enjoys reading, video games, and kyudo.