Jessika BreninProgram and Graduation Year: M.A. UEP, M.S. Food and Nutrition Policy and Programs, 2021
Internship or Campus Job: Community Engagement Intern, LiveableStreets Alliance
Research Areas: Food
Extracurricular Involvement: Tufts New Economy
What brought you to UEP? My curiosity to learn and practice how planning can be used to effect change in food systems.
What is your favorite UEP memory? Going to the Schumacher Lectures with the Tufts New Economy group was a great experience -- incredible speakers, deep group reflections, beautiful nature, and community building among our UEP group! Hopefully we can make this an annual tradition.
Anthony BrittProgram and Graduation Year: M.P.P. 2020
Current Position: Associate Director, Commonwealth Corporation
Research Areas: Housing and Community Development, Transportation, Education and Workforce Development
Extracurricular Involvement: Malden Cultural Council, Board Member at Hopewell and Kids In Tech, Big Brother 2.0 Mentor
What brought you to UEP? I initially learned about UEP through my involvement with the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP). After starting a new job and reflecting on my learning journey, I connected with Penn Loh through a mentor and determined that the MPP program was a terrific opportunity to gain new skills, diversify my network, and grow our collective social impact. I appreciate how UEP provides space for community and support for engaged professionals.
How do you plan to use your UEP education on the job? Our curriculum and conversations have helped me explore the interplay between social and economic policies such as access to housing, public transit, and "good" jobs. I will be better positioned to push for systemic strategies and holistic social supports that lead to more equitable outcomes for families and individuals.
Kamari DurleyProgram and Graduation Year: M.A. UEP, 2020
Internship or Campus Job: EGA Environmental Fellow, Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative
Research Areas: Sustainability, Housing and Community Development
What brought you to UEP? I wanted an urban planning program that had a strong focus on policy and social justice. What distinguished UEP was the level of dedication and passion that the faculty and staff showed not only to their respective research but to me as a prospective student. Professors Julian Agyeman, Penn Loh and Barbara Parmenter were very proactive in reaching out and took considerable time out of their busy schedules to speak with me about their research and why Tufts would be a good fit. In comparison to other universities, I felt like I was wanted at UEP. And although I had some very competitive offers on the table, when I visited campus in April 2018, I knew this is where I was supposed to be. A year and a half later, I can honestly say that deciding to come to UEP was one of the best decisions that I have made. I have enjoyed every second of being taught by outstanding faculty and connecting with all of the brilliant minds that comprise our student cohorts.
What is your favorite UEP memory? My favorite UEP memory so far was our Field Projects presentation in May. Although the process was very challenging, the presentation was the culmination of an awesome learning experience for me. I got to work with four great team members and the high level of collaboration and camaraderie made the end result particularly enjoyable. There is no greater feeling than that of a job well done. It was on that date that I felt proud of not only our team's work but also the sheer volume of talented and smart individuals in our program.
Sean HoganProgram and Graduation Year: M.A. UEP, M.A.L.D. 2020
Internship or Campus Job: U.S. Department of State
Research Areas: Sustainability, Housing and Community Development, Water
Extracurricular Involvement: UEP Softball Team
What brought you to UEP? The kind spirited people here.
What is your favorite UEP memory? When I was waiting to give a presentation, all nervous and distracted, a UEPerson came up and fixed my collar and told me to go get them. It's that kind of quiet, constant support that make UEP special.
Annaliese KeimelProgram and Graduation Year: Joint M.S. UEP/Environmental Engineering, 2021
Internship or Campus Job: Research Assistant
Research Areas: Sustainability, Water
Extracurricular Involvement: Eastern Massachusetts Women's Soccer League
What brought you to UEP? The unique joint degree program between UEP and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. The prioritization of serving communities and the opportunity to think about what that really means and how it can be pursued effectively.
How do you plan to use your UEP education on the job? I plan to use my UEP education to inform technical engineering solutions with broader ideas from the policy and planning field. I hope to broaden my understanding on how the two areas of thinking influence one another and can be used together to produce tangible change in reference to environmental issues.
Ellie LochheadProgram and Graduation Year: M.S. Environmental Economics and Urban Planning, 2021
Internship or Campus Job: Research Assistant
Research Areas: Housing and Community Development, Homelessness
What brought you to UEP? The unique joint degree in Economics and Urban Planning, the collaborative nature of the program, and the opportunity to surround myself with other people equally fascinated by cities.
How do you plan to use your UEP education on the job? I hope to use my UEP education to combine both qualitative and quantitative research methods in answering questions about how to prevent evictions, displacement from housing, and homelessness.
Megan MorrowProgram and Graduation Year: M.A. UEP, 2020
Internship or Campus Job: Transportation Intern, Kittelson & Associates, Inc.; Research Assistant, Cities@Tufts; Teaching Assistant, Transportation Planning
Research Areas: Transportation, Sustainability
Extracurricular Involvement: Co-Chair, Student Policy and Planning Association
What brought you to UEP? I was attracted to UEP because of its committed faculty, wide range of courses, and location in the Greater Boston area. The program allowed me to focus on my field of interest while also providing many opportunities to round out my studies with other courses.
What is your favorite UEP memory? Celebrating the department's 45th anniversary with alumni, faculty members, and fellow students!
Nick PittmanProgram and Graduation Year: M.A. UEP, 2020
Internship or Campus Job: Planning and Programs Intern, MassHousing; Research Assistant for Professor Shomon Shamsuddin
Research Areas: Housing and Community Development
Extracurricular Involvement: Tufts New Economy; Board Member, Cambridge-Yerevan Sister City Association
What brought you to UEP? The program's commitment to making sure planners and policymakers hear and value all stories, viewpoints, and lived experiences.
What is your favorite UEP memory? Conducting interviews in five different languages with twenty providers and users of informal childcare in Boston to inform our Field Projects study.
Savannah-Nicole VillalbaProgram and Graduation Year: M.A. UEP, 2020
Internship or Campus Job: Graduate Intern, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
Research Areas: Housing and Community Development, Land Use, GIS
Extracurricular Involvement: Student Representative, American Planning Association- Massachusetts Chapter; East Coast Representative, Latinos and Planning Division of the American Planning Association; Co-Chair, Student Policy and Planning Association
What brought you to UEP? As a Connecticut native, I was looking for a program where I could gain the necessary knowledge and skills to serve as a civil servant in the planning profession. I was drawn to UEP because the program is respected highly due to its distinguished faculty, strong alumni network, and focus on social justice in the urban policy and planning profession.
How do you plan to use your UEP education on the job? I have had the opportunity to take classes that allowed me to refine the skills and knowledge necessary to be a well rounded municipal planner. I feel confident that I will be able to engage with the public, deliver a high quality of work, and be a team player with my coworkers. My UEP education has opened doors and provided me with an invaluable network of peers that I hope to support throughout our professional careers.