To view Ana Martha's paper "Chicago Heights, IL: Community Profile" click here. The paper was produced for the required core course UPP 502.
What is your academic and work background? What did you do before enrolling in the MUPP program at UIC?
I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Tamaulipas (Tamaulipas Institute of Higher Education), in Tampico, Mexico. At that time, I had been working for 2 years as an intern in an architecture and urban design firm. After graduation, I continued to work there for another 2 years, until I decided to pursue my Master’s Degree in Urban Planning. After a long process, I got a Fulbright Scholarship and here I am.
What attracted you to planning and made you decide you
wanted to be a planner?
In college, I took a few courses in Urban Theory and Urban Design. In my practice, I have had the opportunity of working in several Urban Design projects. This fueled my eagerness to learn how to plan for cities and develop solutions for the complex problems they present.
Why did you want to study planning at UIC?
The program, the professors, its strong concentration in Economic Development and its location in one of the greatest cities of the world.
What are some of the highlights of your time as a student--classes, projects, internships, volunteer involvement?
My first semester was full of positive surprises. In the beginning, I was nervous about pursuing a graduate degree in a language that is not native to me, but I shared the classroom with a lot of other international students and that was very comforting. This was also great because I got to learn a lot about urban issues from all around the world.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself working in Mexico, in a planning consultancy firm, involved in Economic Development projects. There is a lot of potential for doing great things in my country. Also, I don’t intend to leave architecture all together; after all, it is one of my greatest passions.