OU Alumnus Inducted into 2022 AICP Class of Fellows

Michael Southard, a Regional + City Planning alumni and current member of the RCPL Professional Advisory Board, has just been inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)(FAICP)! Being elevated to the American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows is the highest honor the AICP bestows upon a member.

Fellows of AICP are nominated and selected by their peers to recognize and honor their outstanding contributions as a professional planner. According to the AICP, “The outcomes of their individual efforts left demonstrably significant and transformational improvements to the field of planning and the communities they served.” 

Southard currently serves as the Economic Development Director for the Choctaw Nation. He is incredibly passionate about planning and serving the Choctaw Nation. When interviewed for the Gibbs Spotlight, he said, “I absolutely love getting paid to do my hobby. […] You know, I enjoy going to work every day, I enjoy trying to solve problems, trying to help communities and over my career, which is going on 30 years now, I’ve been able to put and build homes in areas that no one was building homes.”

Southard continued, “Now creating an entity that no one in the country has anything similar to. This truly is a passion, this is my hobby, and I happened to make a career out of it. I love the fact that I’m able to give back and improve individuals’ lives; I’m truly blessed to have been able to do what I’ve done.” 

Congratulations to Michael Southard on this well-deserved recognition! 

To read or listen to more from Michael Southard’s interview with the Gibbs Spotlight, click here.