Finishing up her studies this fall at the University of Central Florida’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program, Jady Chen has distinguished herself for both her academic and leadership attributes while in that program.

Jady is dedicated to transforming environments to be more sustainable and livable. She has a strong interest in transportation planning and green building. In combining these two to create a greener transportation system, she hopes to transform the planning profession to the next level. In addition to working on her degree in urban and regional planning, she is also completing a certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

A first-generation college student, Jady understands the value of practical experience in addition to academic education. Beyond taking classes, Jady worked as a GIS Teaching Assistant, lecturing, and creating lessons for introductory-level GIS classes. She also worked for the City of Orlando as a sustainability project associate where she participated in a project to assess feasibility of expanding bike paths in the city. She is currently working as a Transportation Planning Intern with Kittleson & Associates.

Jady has also been involved with several campus and professional organizations including the U.S. Green Building Council, WTS Central Florida, Young Professionals in Transportation, and the UCF Urban Knights Planning Association where she has been its president for almost two years.

Additionally, Jady has been the recipient of a number of awards recognizing her academic achievements and leadership potential including the APA Florida minority scholarship (2020), the AASHE Campus Sustainability Student Leadership Award (2020), the VHB Miller Seller Endowed Scholarship (2021), the Frankee Hellinger Memorial Graduate Leadership Scholarship (2021), and the Vince Briones Scholarship (2021). Moreover, at her young age, Jady has already earned the LEED Green Associate Certification.

As Luis Nieves-Ruiz, chair of the Orlando Metro Section, stated in his letter of support: Jady Chen embodies the academic and leadership values that APA Florida should foster in the next generation of planning professionals. If she stays in Florida, I am confident that Jady will be part of the Executive Committee within the next five years. I am personally looking forward to working with her in a professional capacity in the near future .”