Since graduating from UC San Diego in 2005, I have acquired four years of planning and policy advocacy experience with organizations at the local, national, and international level. Additionally, in 2010 I was awarded a master’s degree in urban planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. I previously volunteered and traveled extensively throughout South America and my academic work on sustainability planning in developing regions incl uded placements at the WRI Center for Sustainable Transport in Mumbai, India and the Chinese Academy of Urban Planning and Design in Beijing, China.
In October, 2010, I accepted a position with the consulting firm Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc., and serve as assistant vice president for planning, leading efforts to provide California public school clients with facilities planning, financial advisory, and election services, as well as providing expertise in evaluating 21st century classroom technology infrastructure. I previously worked for over two years as a press secretary and policy adviser for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, managing external relations, authoring federal legislation, and overseeing policy development in transportation, water, land use, and mental health.
Looking back at my UCSD experience, my passions at the intersection of policy, planning, and design really began to coalesce in an academic and research sense when I discovered the USP program. From my early days on campus, I had been very active in student organizations, political movements, and student government. But outside these extra-curricular activities, I wasn't entirely sure that my major in political science captured all of my interests. Then I discovered the USP program and realized it was the missing link in my interests. As a result, classes on urban design, transportation, GIS, and planning theory ultimately led me down the path to the work I'm doing today.
I have fond memories of being heavily involved in campus life - the political shenanigans that ensued during my active involvement in the Associated Students actually served as good training for real-world public policy work, and taking part in the planning and design of the Price Center expansion served as a great emulation of the professional work I do today.
I would also highly recommend participation in the UCDC program as a way of getting a post-UCSD career off to a highly productive start. UCSD students really have an incredible array of resources at their disposal. What's important is that they explore these opportunities and dive deep into whatever interests them. It's an amazing time to have the freedom to work in so many practical areas and develop leadership skills that will be useful throughout life.
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