A decade ago I left my hometown of oil-fueled Midland, Texas for New York City. I studied physics because I had always loved science and wanted to understand more about how the world works. While in New York, I realized I wanted to focus more on how cities work and how people shape them, leading me to planning. My career goals lie at the intersection of analysis, education, and participation.
On one hand, I really enjoy the "science-y" part of city planning. Maps and data can provide diagrams and blueprints showing how the engine of a city functions. But, people are what drive this engine. People give cities a purpose as the stage for their daily lives. That's why I believe that planners must empower, educate, and thoroughly involve residents if they hope to create long-lasting and equitable plans for long-lasting and equitable cities and regions.
I'm currently a Senior Planner for Housing and Neighborhood Planning at Regional Plan Association, focusing on regional issues such as promoting local arts and culture, limiting health disparities, and creating affordable housing. I am also a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, teaching demographic and economic planning methods. My other professional interests include innovative participatory planning, community economic development, environmental justice,and how "big data" is influencing the planning world. At other times I enjoy cooking, crafting, singing, and endlessly searching for decent Tex-Mex in NYC.