To view Elizabeth's project (co-authored with Emily Sipfle), Index of Local Economic Performance , click here. The paper was written for the required specialization course UPP 531, Economic Development II: Planning.
What is your academic and work background? What did you do before enrolling in the MUPP program at UIC?
Prior to joining the MUPP program, I studied philosophy, classics and the history of math and science at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. Though it doesn’t seem like an obvious fit, a strong background in liberal arts is great preparation for planning, where we’re asked to apply broad concepts like “the public good” to innumerable practical details. Before becoming a MUPP, I traveled and had a number of different jobs, including art gallery installer, admin in an ad agency, US Census enumerator and bike shop clerk.
What attracted you to planning and made you decide you
wanted to be a planner?
I have a strong conviction that the public sector has a role to play in making cities beautiful, useful, safe and exciting places to live. I decided to study planning to gain concrete skills I could bring to bear in making cities the kind of places I know they can be.
Why did you want to study planning at UIC?
I chose UIC to study planning because of its size, its focus on practical skills, and its excellent reputation for scholarship in the pursuit of equity and justice.
What are some of the highlights of your time as a student--classes, projects, internships, volunteer involvement?
Last summer I was a Fellow in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office. The up-close and personal experience of Chicago government was amazing! Also, I got to go to all kinds of amazing places the City owns around town, like the Bears’ locker room and the Jardine Water Purification Plant.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I’d like to be working as an analyst watching out for the public interest.