About Me

Stephanie Frank location portrait at Film Row
Photo by Brandon Parigo

I am an experienced historic preservation planner, educator, editor, and project manager seeking a new position in the public, nonprofit, or private sector where I can utilize my seasoned experience and numerous skills in new ways to make the world a better place. I’m passionate about the stories we tell about the built environment and fascinated by the symbiotic relationship between people and place. I’m a humanist that cares deeply about equity, access, and inclusion.

From August 2013 through May 2021, I was Assistant Professor of Urban Planning + Design in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. An award-winning mentor, I taught courses in planning history, historic preservation, housing, land use planning, and urban studies. I designed and administered the department’s Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation.

My research examines the complexities of corporate power, industrial planning, and urban development in metropolitan America. My long-term project on the film industry’s role in shaping metropolitan Los Angeles investigates the shift in production methods (from fordist to postfordist) on film companies’ land-use decisions from 1920 to 1975. I am working on a grant-funded project to understand the film industry’s role in Kansas City’s urban development through film distribution and exhibition.

I am active member of two the leading planning and urban history organizations. I am a member of the Board of Trustees of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACPRH). Since June 2019, I have been an assistant editor for the Urban History Association’s The Metropole. I have been featured as an Urban History Association Member of the Week on the blog.

I earned my Ph.D. in Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California, my master’s degree in American Studies with a certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland, and my bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of Maryland. While in school, I worked as a historic preservation consultant at firms in Maryland and Los Angeles.

Beyond my academic interests, I’m a news junkie who loves to travel to cities and art museums near and far. I’m always hunting for the perfect burger. And as you might expect from my research interests, before the pandemic, I typically went to the movies every week. I’m looking forward to getting back into the routine soon.