Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Hometown: Franklin, KY
Minor: Anthropology & Sociology
Concentration: Public Policy & Urban Affairs
Study Abroad: The Philadelphia Program and Aberdeen, Scotland
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Ben & Jerry’s Imagined Whirled Peace
Best Adjective to Describe You: Caring
In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Policy affects everyone. Everyone deserves informed, fair, effective public policy!
What initially drew you to this department? What keeps you coming back?
The Philadelphia Program showed me the importance of effective public policy. Through living and working in an urban setting I saw peoples’ struggles with education, health, prison, housing, and food systems that could be significantly improved through informed policy. My desire to mitigate these social issues keeps me interested and active in learning more about the roots, effects, and potential solutions of urban issues.
What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Be proactive in your learning. Talk to the department chair and myself about finding both classes and off-campus experiences that are specific to your urban and policy interests!
How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
The Public Policy and Urban Affairs Concentration combines my interests in politics, economics, and anthropology/sociology. For me, all three of these disciplines are very important in working for positive social change. This concentration connects my academic interests to my daily urban experiences with individuals and organizations.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
How to truly appreciate people for who they are. Whether it is in the classroom, a StuOrg meeting, or a dorm lounge, I am constantly learning how everyone has different backgrounds, communicates differently, and learns differently. Therefore, above anything, it is important to respect and be open to everyone’s ideas and feelings.
What has been your favorite class at K? Why?
Space, Place, and Landscapes. This class pushed me to think and write more critically, yet also more creatively than I previously had at K. It combined theoretical thinking with off-campus, self-directed, experiential learning which positively changed how I see, interact with, and understand the greater Kalamazoo community.
What is your SIP?
Such a good question! Ask me again later and I’ll have a much better idea! At this point my main goal is to use economic analyses to better understand a social problem.
What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I am still very undecided and open to all possibilities. Currently options that I am considering are Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, graduate school for public policy, working for a non-profit, and/or city management.