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Graduate Program in City & Regional Planning

Tonya Sanders

Tonya Sanders Thach, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Graduate Program in City & Regional Planning

Office: CBEIS 317
Phone: 443-885-1860

Curriculum Vitae


B.A., Psychology, Truman State Univeristy with a minor in Spanish
M.A., Community Psychology and Social Change, The Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D., Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago

Years at Morgan: 12 Years


Dr. Sanders Thach is an Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at Morgan State University and a practicing certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners. She has over 17 years of experience teaching, researching, and partnering with local communities to address environmental, housing, transportation, and health disparities.

Dr. Sanders Thach is an expert in designing effective community engagement strategies and in evaluating community-based interventions for sustainability, equity, and inclusion. Her work is centered in lower-income, minority communities that have current and historic disparities that undermine community revitalization. She works with faith-based groups to address environmental injustice, public health, , and affordable housing disparities with these communities.

Her most recent work is with the Baltimore Social Environmental Collaboration to create climate adaptations in vulnerable communities in Baltimore City. This collaborative comprises over 40 researchers representing 12 universities and labs lead by Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Sanders partners with Enterprise Community Partners in teaching congregations in Atlanta and South Florida how to develop affordable housing on their land. She is also engaged with the Community Development Network of Maryland to develop partnerships between community development organizations and healthcare institutions to address social determinants of health in Baltimore City. Lastly, she is working with the Southwest Partners to develop a housing action plan for southwest Baltimore that addresses not only housing needs, but also social services, energy efficiency, and public health.

Dr. Sanders Thach currently serves as Board Chair of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, an environmental education non-profit that assists congregations to become better stewards of creation. She was elected to serve on the board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP)—the national association for planning schools and planning educators. She is also a member of the American Planning Association.

List Of Professional Affiliation(s):

  • American Planning Association (APA)
  • Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP)
  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)

List of Research Interest(s):

  • Faith-based Community Development & Curriculum Development
  • Health and Community Development
  • Community Engagement
  • Climate Adaption

List of Classes Taught:

  • ARCH 445 - Special Topics in Arch and Env. Design II
  • AUBE 820 - Building a Research Portfolio I
  • CREP 501 - Principles and Practices of City and Regional Planning
  • CREP 792 - Thesis Research and Professional Report Preparation
  • CREP 510 - City and Regional Planning Studio I
  • CREP 538 - Neighborhood and Community Development
  • CREP 794 - Professional Project

List of Selected Publication(s):

  • Sen, S., Sanders, T. N., Shin, H., and Hunter, J. (2018). Next generation volume reduction green infrastructure stormwater control measure in support of Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Waters initiative: Final report EPA STAR Grand Award-RD 83555601-0
  • Sanders, T. N. (2017, January 24). Can a faith-based cross-sector partnership be a partnership of equals? [Blog post] Community Revitalization by The Intersector Project. Retrieved from
  • Sanders, T. N. (2016). David and Goliath: Dismantling Inequalities within Faith-based Cross-sector Partnerships. Development in Practice, 26:7, 892-905, DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2016.1210089
  • Sanders, T. (2015). The Hill: Easton's Historic Jewel. Maryland Planner (Spring/Summer), p. 7-10.
  • Sanders, T.N. (2014). Formation of Faith-based Cross-sector Partnerships: A Game Changing Collaboration. International Journal of Community Development, 2 (2), 13-22.

List of Grants and/or Award(s):

  • Department of Energy, “The Baltimore Social-Environmental Collaborative IFL,” Benjamin Zaitchik, Johns Hopkins University, PI; James Hunter, Morgan State University, Co-PI; Tonya Sanders, Morgan State University, Co-PI, et al., September 2022 to Aug 2027, $25,000,000.
  • Center for the Study of Religion and the City grant, “Faith-based Mapping Project,” Tonya Sanders, PI, July 2019 to August 2019, $11,520
  • ASCEND Health-Related Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Small Grant, NIH award #RL5G118972, “Community-Driven Matrices for Sanitation and Cleanliness,” Tonya Sanders, PI, November 2018 to June 2019, $20,000.
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation Grant, Tonya Nashay Sanders, Faculty Collaborator on Planning, “Morgan State University Campus Heritage Preservation Master Plan,” Dale Glenwood Green, PI, Jan. 2016 to Dec. 2017, $110,000
  • City of Cambridge, MD Grant, Tonya Nashay Sanders, Faculty Collaborator on City and Regional Planning, “Pine Street Community Small Area Plan,” Dale Glenwood Green, PI, Jan. 2015 to Dec. 2016, $75,000
  • Environmental Protection Agency Grant, EPA STAR Project #83555601, Tonya Nashay Sanders, Team Member, "Next Generation Volume Reduction Green Infrastructure Stormwater Control Measures in Support of Philadelphia's Green City Clean Waters Initiative," Robert G. Traver, PI Villanova University; Subcontractor Siddhartha Sen, 1 Sep 2013 - 28 Aug 2017, Sub-award $60,000
  • Town of Easton, MD Grant, Tonya Nashay Sanders, Faculty Collaborator on City and Regional Planning, “The Hill Community Small Area Plan,” Dale Glenwood Green, PI, 2014-present, $50,000
  • Morgan State University Summer Grant, "Housing First vs. Treatment First Approach to Homelessness: What Works for Whom?" Tonya Nashay Sanders, PI, Summer 2013, $5,500
  • Civic Leadership Award, Proviso Action Committee (2011)