The Center for the Living City established the Jacobs Fellowship Program in 2006, in honor of Jane Jacobs. This inaugural fellowship was funded through a generous grant from Deutsche Bank. These fellowships are created for individuals to engage in city-building processes of critical importance in maintaining or regaining the strength and resilience of cities. Fellowships occur across disciplines and address the complex, interconnected problems facing cities throughout the world.  


2017 Jane Jacobs Fellow, Jennifer Ottersbach

2017 Jane Jacobs Fellow, Jennifer Ottersbach

Jennifer Ottersbach is a graduating senior at Western Kentucky University, with majors in Recreation Administration and Spanish. She recently completed an internship as a volunteer coordinator for a non-profit park called Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, Kentucky. With a passion for invoking positive change in her community, she has promoted renters’ rights as well as LGBT fairness in her Kentucky hometown. She recently moved to the Seattle area where she teaches skiing to kids on the weekends.

Jennifer has deep roots in Girl Scouting. She was a Girl Scout for 12 years and earned her Gold Award for a project on invasive species education and removal at a local botanical garden. With a special interest in girl empowerment, leadership training, and summer camp programming, she has been seasonally employed by Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana for four years as summer camp staff in which she taught backcountry camping and water sports such as sailing and windsurfing. This employment included two years as the leadership program coordinator, when she taught leadership development, team building, and challenge courses. In 2016 her passion for Girl Scouting took her to the Pacific Northwest, at a Girl Scouts of Western Washington camp, where she trained and supervised summer camp staff.  As an Honors College student, she recently completed a thesis project titled “More Than Cookies: A Study of Trends and Promising Practices in Programming for Older Girl Scouts,” which included the development of a director’s manual for Counselor-in-Training program coordinators.

Jennifer plays roller derby and collects unique birdhouses. After studying abroad for a semester in Costa Rica, she caught the travel bug and hopes to see and appreciate as much of her home country as possible in the coming years. In her spare time, she enjoys cuddling or hiking with her cat, Nora, and reading crime thrillers. 

2017 Fellowship: The jane jacobs observe! Patch


Previous Fellowship Recipients

Ben GauslinJacobs Fellow 2006, City as an organic, urban artifactMr. Gauslin devoted one full year working with housing authorities in New Orleans on affordable housing and neighborhood development efforts in low-income neighborhoods. A graduate of Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Mr. Gauslin worked alongside housing authorities on building and site inspections, developing preliminary designs and budgets for housing and commercial revitalization projects and the development of a pattern book for housing rehabilitation in the New Orleans East neighborhoods.