Walking College

Walking College

The Walking College offers participants an opportunity to hone their skills and knowledge around creating vibrant, safe, accessible communities for all. Paired with experienced advocates, fellows learn about the historical underpinnings of the car-centric transportation landscape, the basics of design and policy of non-motorized transportation, and develop essential leadership skills.  


Past student projects:

  • Developed walking school bus programs to promote non-motorized travel to school
  • Created awareness campaigns to raise the profile of walkability challenges and benefits
  • Used the arts to make communities more people-friendly
  • Conducted comprehensive audits to aid in prioritizing improvements
  • Implemented Complete Streets policies

Annual Timeline:

  • New applicant admissions opens in February 
  • Fellowships are awarded in late March
  • Courses run from late April through mid-September
  • In-person gathering are scheduled for late September
  • Final Action Plans are due in mid-October
  • Graduation/diplomacy takes place in December

How to Apply

Applications are now closed

We welcome all candidates that demonstrate a basic understanding of the importance of walkability and a desire to become more effective in advocating for positive change. There are no restrictions on age or professional background and we actively seek out candidates with a diversity of life experiences. 

Requirements:

  • $100 registration fee for accepted fellows (exceptions are made in cases of demonstrated financial hardship)
  • Commitment of 5-10 hours per week
  • Attendance at all group and mentoring sessions
  • Completion of a Walking Action Plan by program closing

For more information about the program application or other questions about the program, contact Walking College Program Manager Emilie Bahr. Email Emilie.

Mentors

Michia Casebier

President, M.G. Tech-Writing, LLC, Cottonwood, AZ

A certified Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Course instructor and a League of American Bicyclists League Cycling Instructor, Michia works as a consultant developing multimodal transportation programs across the U.S. and participated as a Key Informant on America Walks’ Inclusive Planning in Tribal Communities: Engaging People with Disabilities in Designing Safe and Accessible Transportation Systems white paper. 

Deidre Brown

Girl Trek Organizer, Advocate for Education Equity, Community Advocate, St. Louis, MO

Deidre is a founding member and President of the Riverview Gardens Education Foundation which serves the scholars of Riverview Gardens School District in St. Louis, MO. She has a passion for helping people be the best that they can be both academically and physically. She is a 2016 American Walks Walking College Fellow, a Trailnet Walk/Bike Ambassador, serves as Great Rivers Greenway Advisor, and has been a GirlTrek organizer since 2012.

Phil Hanson

MPH, MCRP, Planner II, City of Columbus

Phil is an urban planner for the City of Columbus, and previously worked as the City’s Walking Programs Manager for four years. He was a 2016 Walking College Fellow. As Walking Programs Manager, Phil oversaw the City’s Walk with a Doc and Columbus Art Walk programs, providing safe and enjoyable walking opportunities for Columbus residents. He also led the City’s first application for the Walk Friendly Communities designation, which resulted in a Silver level award.

Jeanne Anthony

Independent Consultant, Washington, DC

Jeanne is a national leader in developing strategies and resources to help communities implement safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, access to key services, and opportunities for older residents to participate in community activities. Previously, as a Senior Project Advisor with AARP’s Livable Communities team, she developed and managed the AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities as well as the Technical Assistance program delivered in partnership with the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute.

Geraldolyn Horton-Harris

Social Equity Consultant, Geraldolyn Horton-Harris & Associates, LLC; Community Advocate, Chicago, IL

Geraldolyn was a 2016 Walking College Fellow. As a neighborhood advocate in Denver, she spearheaded an initiative to revitalize Mestizo Curtis Park, resulting in more than one million dollars in improvements, by managing a partnership including the Trust For Public Land, Denver Parks and Recreation, and Groundwork Denver. Geraldolyn was also a founding staff member of Americorps National Civilian Community Corps (Denver Campus).

Wendy Landman

Board member, America Walks; Executive Director, WalkBoston, Boston, MA

Wendy has served as Executive Director of WalkBoston since 2004. She led the organization’s growth into a statewide advocacy presence and works with leaders in state and municipal government as well as the non-profit community. Ongoing initiatives include technical assistance to municipal staff and local advocates; design review of transportation, smart growth and development projects around the state; and Safe Routes to School programs. Wendy serves on the Board of America Walks and is a member of the Coordinating Committee for the national Every Body Walk! Collaborative.

Mukul Malhotra

Board member, America Walks; Principal and Director of Urban Design, MIG Inc., Berkeley, CA

Mukul has over 15 years of experience in urban design, planning and architecture, with a special interest in streetscape design and the pedestrian experience. A board member with America Walks and Principal and Director of Urban Design with MIG Inc., he is one of the creators of re:Streets – a multi-disciplinary collaboration that explores ways streets could be designed for living, instead of just driving.

Faye Paige Edwards

MBA & MA, Community Health Worker, GirlTrek Team Organizer, St. Louis, MO

Faye was a 2016 Walking College Fellow, where she advocated for the passage of a St. Louis traffic calming ordinance and continues to work to improve walking/biking infrastructure with an equity lens. Faye champions a built environment that promotes physical activity, spreading the joy of intergenerational play, walking and biking to African-American women, and anyone who wants to be active with them.

Ana M. Lucaci

MPH, Walk2Connect Co-op Member-Owner, Made2Walk Founder/Owner, Longmont, CO

Ana is a 2017 graduate of the Walking College and she successfully launched her Walking Action Plan, Made2Walk, into a program educating motorists on how to keep pedestrians safe in traffic and within the built environment. She is a core-owner of Walk2Connect Cooperative and has recently been appointed by the Longmont City Council to serve as a Commissioner on Longmont’s Planning and Zoning Committee.

Lidwien Rahman

Former Oregon Department of Transportation Principal Planner and veteran Board member at Oregon Walks, Portland, OR

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Lidwien has been a land use and transportation planner in Oregon since 1981. She recently retired from the Oregon Department of Transportation where she worked to develop local plans for walkable, bikeable, and transit-supportive compact mixed use neighborhoods. An avid walker, hiker, bicyclist, and traveler, she has been a Board member and Plan and Projects Committee Chair with the advocacy organization Oregon Walks for 15+ years.

Dan Suraci

AICP, Industry leader in bicycle and transit integration; Principal of Urban Cycling Solutions

Dan is a strategic thinker and pragmatic leader with a proven track record of management results across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. As CEO and founder of Urban Cycling Solutions, Dan is a nationally recognized expert on equitable mobility solutions and active connections to transit; working in collaboration with more than 30 transit agencies across the country, Dan led the development of APTA’s national guide for Bicycle and Transit Integration.

Ian Thomas

State and Local Program Director, America Walks

Ian served on the America Walks Board of Directors for seven years, until his appointment as our State and Local Program Director in September 2014. In 2000, he co-founded the PedNet Coalition of Columbia MO, and led the organization as its Executive Director for 13 years. He is a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council.

Heyden Black Walker
(MSCRP, CNU-A)

Director of Planning, Black + Vernon Architecture and Urban Design

Hayden is Director of Planning for Black + Vernooy Architecture and Urban Design. Together with Sinclair Black, she co-founded Reconnect Austin, a community-based call to lower the main lanes of I-35 through downtown Austin, creating a vision of the highway rebuild that reconnects neighborhoods, while providing multi-modal access to jobs, medical facilities, transit, and civic resources. Heyden is a fellow of the National Walking College.


State Walking Colleges

With the generous support of AARP Livable Communities, America Walks is expanding opportunities for community change agents to build capacity, learn about best practices, and develop a network of peer mentors, by rolling out new state Walking College programs.