Master of Public Affairs (MPA) with a concentration in Urban and Regional Governance
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
There are several reasons why I chose to attend graduate school at IUPUI. One of the major reasons was the location. After completing undergrad at a college town, it was important for me – as a student of urban policy – to immerse myself educationally in an urban setting. Additionally, the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs has one of the most well regarded academic programs at the graduate level and a renowned faculty working between Bloomington and Indianapolis. To avoid belaboring this list, a final reason why IUPUI was a great graduate school choice for me was the cohort. As an urban center for Indiana and the region, IUPUI serves a diverse range of students (though there are still steps to make everywhere in this regard). This manifests in diverse demographics, experiences, educational backgrounds, hometowns, and much more! The graduate cohort alone at IUPUI provides an important educational opportunity for students to learn inside and outside of the classroom.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
My favorite academic accomplishment since being at IUPUI is not a single project or event. Rather, it has been the ability to work collaboratively with faculty and students to achieve great effort and results. In comparison to getting an assignment and simply regurgitating information, IUPUI and the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs have provided a platform to critically engage in topics and produce individualized projects that dig deeper than an average topical survey course.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
Personally, I am a huge fan of the park system and trails. As someone that enjoys the outdoors, I think Indianapolis is saturated with good park systems, areas for birding, close hiking, and plenty of growing trails. Second to that, Indianapolis also has a surprisingly robust music scene, locally and nationally. With a few great concert venues, Indianapolis’ culture is always progressing.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
As a graduate student at IUPUI, I have had the opportunity to work as a Graduate Assistant for Dr. Eckerd in the O’Neill School. Through this work, we have researched topics ranging from Resiliency Plans across the east cost to the effects of infrastructure change on communities in our present-day cities. Similarly, as a summer position, I got the chance to work as a Research Assistant for Dr. Christian Buerger in the O’Neill School. With Dr. Buerger, I was able to gain skills utilizing software and was introduced to econometrics research. As a final note on faculty collaborations, as an IUPUI graduate student I got the chance to work on real projects with two other faculty members, studying upward mobility amongst youth and hosting a community forum with several other graduate students.
Outside of coursework and assistantships, as a graduate student I serve as the Secretary for the Public Affairs Student Association chapter at the O’Neill School. This position involves increasing the cohesiveness of the graduate cohort within the O’Neill School. It has been a great opportunity to get to meet other students with vastly different backgrounds than my own as we all work toward receiving graduate degrees from similar graduate programs.
A final note on activities – that I find important for all graduate students – has been the rewarding chance to work with local nonprofits in Indianapolis using skills and knowledge gained from my graduate and undergraduate experiences and formal education. By joining these groups as an extracurricular outside of school, work, and family, I have been able to put knowledge to use in helping a couple of organizations in Indianapolis achieve some of their goals and learn an immense amount from them along the way.