In 2007, the house in which I was born and raised was taken by the government in order to build a freeway overpass. It was at this point I realized, in a very intimate way, the consequences of poor planning and how the decisions made by the planning department have far-reaching consequences, in sometimes devastating ways. Four years later, sitting in an Urban Geography class, I had a moment of epiphany when I realized that I wanted to be involved in the process that created healthy, vibrant communities.
I am anticipating graduation in December 2011 summa cum laude with a B.S. in Professional Writing and a minor in Land Use Planning. I am currently working on several projects that utilize my writing and editorial skills along with my interest in urban environments. I have been interning at the Hannon Library for the last year, researching and writing architectural and gallery tours for the Southern Oregon University campus. Also, I am working with Associate Professor Pat Acklin on a publication for the City of Ashland of a field study we have conducted on historic vernacular housing.
My academic goal is to pursue my Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning in order to research urban issues and to educate the community on solutions to these problems. From my experience in growing up in a sprawling, blighted community, I have developed an interest in urban renewal, sustainable development and urban design. I want to be involved in community planning that establishes a “sense of place” because I believe that well-planned public spaces serve an essential function in civic life.
Dr. John Richards, Professor of Geography
Pat Acklin, Associate Professor of Geography
SOU McNair Scholars Journal Spring 2012 – Vol. 8
2011 McNair Scholar Symposium
|Presentation: Does Residential Access to Public Space Contribute to Higher Levels of Social Capital? (PDF)|