To view Ethan's, The Informalization of the Financial Sector: The Story of Credit Default Swaps, Subprime Lending, And the Two Regulation Gaps that Caused All of the Problems, click here. The paper was written for the elective class UPP 535, Topics in Economic Development: Planning for the Informal Economy.
What is your academic and work background? What did you do before enrolling in the MUPP program at UIC?
After graduating from the University of Missouri in 2006 with two Bachelor’s in Psychology and English, specializing in creative writing, I worked in several psychology research labs at the University of Chicago and UIC in a clinical trials setting helping people quit cigarettes with a new drug and treatment and studying how people learn new ideas a prototypes.
What attracted you to planning and made you decide you
wanted to be a planner?
From working in academia in research labs I nursed a strong desire to actually make an impact on the world. I’ve always been truly happy in participating in a discussion about the future, what could be done to make the world better, and how to actually get the ideas to the ground. Once I started to learn about the discipline and practice of planning I realized that I’ve been having planning-esque conversations my whole life.
Why did you want to study planning at UIC?
UIC was instantly attractive to me as a progressive and yet practical planning school. One of my best friends is a MUPP graduate and having talked with him about his experiences here at UIC, I knew it was the best place for me.
What are some of the highlights of your time as a student--classes, projects, internships, volunteer involvement?
The Hoch 9 – our 506 Planning Studio course in the Spring of 2011 was the most fun and challenging time I have experienced at UIC. It was very exciting to come together to craft a coastal zone management plan within time and labor constraints. I just hope I won’t have to put in multiple 14 hour work days in a row to get plans finished on time in my future career.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I will be in a major US city, crafting and implementing plans. I would like to be working on innovative sustainability projects addressing environmental concerns while expanding the quality of life for community residents. Being at the heart of plan creation is where I will be most happy and effective. Eventually I would like to gain a higher role up the public policy food chain, where working for a state or federal body I could help more people. I am especially interested in how basic needs like water use or energy consumption, production, and energy grid transfers can impact a region and how to plan for a sustainable future in energy and water.