Current Student Information
Students in Department of City and Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. It is this diversity and enthusiasm for the discipline that makes our program unique.
Meet some of our students:
MAX BACKLUND (MCMP)
I grew up in Pleasant Grove, Utah. After graduating from BYU with a degree in English Literature, I started law school at the U, and am concurrently earning my Master of City Planning degree. I plan to work in land use and real estate development law, and look forward to the variety of opportunities this degree will afford me after graduation. Outside of school, I like to mountain bike, play golf, and write creative non-fiction.
The first city I fell in love with was Stockholm, Sweden. The city is built on fourteen islands, and I loved to explore the city through its canals and waterways. The old European architecture, next to modern business towers told the story of a city balancing the old and the new in a confined space. It was the first time I stopped missing mountains and starting liking cities.
FLORENCE BUAKU (PhD)
Florence grew up in the Accra, the capital city of Ghana, where she earned her bachelors and post-graduate degrees in Architecture. After a brief visit to London, UK she fell in love with the city and discovered the power of urban design to shape the public realm and shape society. She moved to the University of Michigan to pursue a Master of Urban Design Degree. She then worked with firms in Utah as an Architect and Urban Designer. Her desire to better understand the forces that shape cities led her to pursue a Master of Planning Degree at the University of Utah. She was the recipient of the AICP Outstanding Student Award upon graduating from the Program.
While in the master’s program she could not forget her home country where forces of rapid urbanization and poor planning have resulted in a myriad of urban challenges. She believes that African cities have a great opportunity to develop a unique form of urbanism that reflects the culture, values, and day to day life of the people. To further her research interest in indigenous urbanism, Florence is currently enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Utah. She hopes to highlight the possibilities for this indigenous form of urbanism by focusing on issues of livability within the existing framework of the pedestrian realm, with added layers of the environmental and the socio-economic context of developing countries.
ROGER CHILD (PhD)
Roger has a 30 year work history in the real estate industry. The most recent 17 years are with an international organization with significant real estate needs worldwide. His current assignment is to work with a team that oversees the expansion of these real estate needs. The team identifies preferred locations, acquires the site, entitles the site, and prepares the site for development. Roger’s specific responsibility is to ensure that the organization pays the right price for the right locations. In the past, his responsibilities have consisted of managing an investment portfolio of land which consisted of properly positioning property for disposition as it transitions from agriculture to residential and commercial uses. Managing this transition requires activities in planning, interfacing with municipalities, economic analysis, acquisition of properties, as well as disposition of properties. Outside of his current employer, Roger has worked for architectural firms and real estate developers. This work experience has taught him the value of quality research and planning. With degrees in Finance, Economics, and Masters of Business Administration, Roger has felt the need to expand his education in Planning with a PhD. In addition to his current degrees, Roger has been licensed as a real estate broker, appraiser, and as a certified commercial investment member (CCIM).
MIKE CHRISTENSEN (MCMP)
The summer between my junior and senior years of high school, I had the opportunity to spend a month in Germany as an exchange student. It was the summer of 1994, and I was a young 17-year-old kid from a small town in Idaho. I was impressed by how easy it was to travel by light rail or commuter rail into downtown Frankfurt. Two years later, I returned to Germany to serve a two year mission in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, which is the mostly densely populated area in Europe. During my time there, I travelled almost exclusively using public transportation. My transportation experiences in Germany allowed me to challenge the auto-centric view that I had grown up with in the United States.
In recent years, I have been reading about and researching the relationship between land use and transportation. The sprawl that has dominated the American landscape for the past half century is a threat to our nation’s prosperity. Living in an environment, which requires us to always drive in order to reach our daily destinations, is costing us both economically and in quality of life. As energy becomes increasingly scarce and transportation costs increase, it becomes obvious that big changes are in store. I want to be a part of those changes.
CARL DUKE (PhD)
Carl is Vice President at Suburban Land Reserve. He received degrees in International Relations and Russian from Brigham Young University and a JD/MBA from the University of Utah. He is currently a PhD candidate in the City and Metropolitan Planning program at the U. Prior to joining Suburban Land Reserve, Carl enjoyed three years from 2002-2005 as an associate at Wikstrom Economic and Planning Consultants where he consulted and advised numerous public and private clients on a wide variety of real estate related issues. Since 2005 Carl has managed various projects at SLR and now helps with the strategic direction of each of the company’s assets. His current projects range from brownsfield remediation projects in Salt Lake County, to a 3,355 acre master-planned community in the rapidly growing community of Surprise, Arizona. He is the regional lead for all properties in Florida, Georgia and Arizona, and works with assets at all stages along the entitlement and development lifecycle. He loves the collaborative process of entitlement and the intricate multi-faceted world of real estate transactions. Carl is an associate professor at the University of Utah in the Masters of Real Estate Development (MRED) program. He teaches a course he designed on development due diligence that focuses on the practical steps a buyer of commercial real estate go through to identify risks. Carl is an active member of Urban Land Institute and serves on a national product council. He has been named by Utah Business Magazine as a Top 40 Under Forty in 2012 and as been awarded the Governor’s Quality Growth Award in 2010. Carl also received his CCIM designation in 2009. Carl is the proud father of four beautiful children including a set of twins. When not building communities he enjoys spending time with his family, skiing and working on any construction project he can get his hands on.
ANDREA GARFINKEL-CASTRO (PhD)
Andrea transferred to the University of Utah in 2012, as a 3rd year PhD student. After completing her master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning at Arizona State University with a thesis focusing on the Latino cultural landscape she embarked on an exploration of the relationships between people and place in ASU’s Environmental Social Science PhD program. However, her desire to more directly inform planning education and policy led her to the U’s MPPD program. Andrea’s academic focus is on how culture informs planning practice and education, and contributes to shaping the built environment. She understands planning as a profession shaped primarily by a singular mainstream culture but sees that an already diverse populous coupled with demographics challenge the singularity of this cultural influence. Her work explores the cultural changes facing today’s planners and urbanists, and searches for ways planners can be more culturally inclusive. Her three children are her inspiration; her loving husband is her sustenance. She enjoys gardening, hiking and traveling.
TAM GUY (MCMP)
Tam aims to make it easier for all of us to make sustainable choices. While earning her MBA at the University of Utah, she realized that influencing the form of the built environment interested her more than working in the consumer product goods industry. (Admittedly, CPGs need a lot of work.) Right now, she focuses her coursework and research on the intersection of urban design, planning policy, and development decisions on housing and transportation. She hopes to leverage her leadership, strategy consulting, and design knowledge to help shape our urban spaces into healthy places.
Although most recently from Oregon, Tam experienced various urbanisms across the US as she grew up. She spent her youngest years in the rural hills of southeastern Ohio, a spate in the mountains of Denver, her middle school years in eastern Washington’s Spokane, before finally landing in the Portland Metro area. The combination of the U’s business program and her wife’s family brought her to the mountain urbanism of the Salt Lake area in the fall of 2011. Wherein she found two of the most pleasantly surprising discoveries in Utah—fantastic local coffee roasters and hiking without muddy shoes.
AMIR HAJRASOULIHA (PhD)
Amir was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. After graduating with bachelor of architecture from Shahid Beheshti University and master of urbanism from Tehran University, Amir pursued his professional life as an architect and planner working on urban redevelopment projects, mainly in the metropolitan area of Tehran. Since then, the multidisciplinary field of urban design has become the center of his interest, and still his main question is how urban designers can contribute most for making a good city. He continued his education at the University of Michigan earning the master of urban design. He was a member of the University of Michigan team that won the 2011 ULI/ Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. Joining the Metropolitan Planning, Policy and Design PhD program at the University of Utah has been a great opportunity for him to continue his investigation on the integration of urban form, social issues, aesthetical concerns, and environmental realities. His research topics involve studying the impact of street network morphology on pedestrian activity, the formal typology of American metropolitan areas, and the current trends of university campus transformations. He is adjunct instructor since spring 2012 in City and Metropolitan Department at the University of Utah, teaching Physical Plan Analysis and Urban Design Visualization. He has also been a teacher assistant for different courses such as Urban Design Studio, Urban Theory and Form, and Case Studies of Design and Development.
SHIMA HAMIDI (PhD)
Shima is a third year PhD student and research assistant in the City and Metropolitan Planning Department. She earned her bachelor’s degree in architecture from Shiraz University, Iran, and held a position as research and teaching assistant at Iran University of Science and Technology for two years. During this time, she researched sustainable principles of traditional Persian architecture. The Accomplishment of this project led to new interests in urban design. Shima then moved to Malaysia to do her Master’s degree at the University of Technology, Malaysia. In her final project she focused on urban design qualities of walking environment to optimize the walkability of routes based on the trip’s purpose within the neighborhood. After completing her master, she worked as research associate for almost one year.During her PhD, Shima has been engaged in several projects funded by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), TCRP, and National Institute of Health (NIH). She was participated to developing the sprawl index as the measure of urban at county, urbanized area and metropolitan level. The results are published as a report in NIH website and are anticipated to be published as a book. She has also co-authored three papers out of this project on association of sprawl on public health and traffic fatalities and also a longitudinal analysis of urban form over time. She has also been involved in TCRP H-46 project. The project is designed to analyses vehicle mile travel (VMT) and its association to air quality at urbanized area and household levels. She has co-authored three papers out of this project. In addition to these projects, she has still kept my interests on Urban Design by conducting some research on measuring urban design qualities of walkability for downtown Salt Lake City which is under review for publication and presentation at Transportation Research Board. During the two years of her study, she was fascinated by how all of these projects are directly or indirectly a result of certain patterns of development. It leads her to find her interests in studying urban development patterns (compactness vs. sprawl) in more detail. She thinks the way we shape the built environment not only affects above projects, but also it has many other impacts from transportation outcomes to climate change and even equity and economic resiliency. She would like to study these impacts as well as finding the reasons why some regions sprawl more than others. Shima believes that study at the University of Utah is a great opportunity for her; the friendly environment and having the nation’s top scholars as faculty members in the department as well as having around two of her favorite ski resorts in the world, Alta and Brighton.
HOLLY HILTON (PhD)
Holly is in her fifth year in the Metropolitan Planning, Policy and Design PhD program. Holly earned an MPP with an emphasis in environmental policy, and a BS in Psychology from the University of Utah. She is currently the Policy and Program Manager for the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office where she has worked on such projects as the North Temple Viaduct reconstruct, TIGER Streetcar Funding requests, and research for various policy recommendations. Holly has competed coursework and is working on her qualifying exam and dissertation proposal, she also co-taught Introduction to Urban and Environmental Planning with Bob Farrington for CMP. Her focus is on environmental and water policy and is studying the connection between urban density and water consumption.
JENNIFER J. JOHNSON (MCMP)
“This is the Moment” is the name of a Broadway song, but, to me, a daily mantra. Having completed my “first life” as a writer, marketer, and entrepreneur, I am now at the dawn of my second. No not as an avatar, but as a curious re-imaginer: One interested in leaving the planet better than I entered it, and in marked fashion. Sustainable MegaCities is my self-ascribed study within the CMP program. Starting Spring 2011, I have traveled to China to explore transit, compact development, and splendid mixed-use on college campuses. While there, I had the honor of co-publishing and presenting a paper at an international conference. I have had the opportunity to enjoy class from many of our professors, and with many of you colleagues. This is the Moment!
KEUNTAE KIM (PhD)
Keuntae is a PhD student at the Department of City and Metropolitan Planning, University of Utah. As his academic career, he held his undergraduate degree of architecture at Ajou University, finished his master’s degree in city planning from Seoul National University, and completed another master degree in urban design at School of City and Regional Planning (SCaRP) at Georgia Institute of Technology. While taking master’s courses, he participated in various research projects at Seoul National University such as transit-oriented development and housing management plans for steel company towns (Pohang and Kwangyang POSCO company towns) in Korea. In particular, while participating in Fort McPherson Redevelopment, Atlanta during the urban design studio at Georgia Tech, he developed his academic interest in participatory urban planning and neighborhood redevelopment and wrote his master thesis on the impact of form-based codes and conventional zoning on Fort McPherson Redevelopment, Atlanta. As his professional career, he worked as an assistant research fellow at Korea Research Institute for Human Settlement (KRIHS) for two and half years and participated in the Multifunctional Administrative City (Sejong City, South Korea) Comprehensive Plan before he went to study urban planning in US. After finishing his master’s degree in urban design in 2010, he is working as an assistant research fellow at Architecture and Urban Research Institute (AURI) in Korea and conducting a field research for development of evaluation model for pedestrian environment in Korea. During his doctoral study, he would like to study a scenario-based planning support system for encouraging participation in the planning process and smart growth policy-making through a more evidence-based approach. Now, as a graduate research assistant and original user of Envision Tomorrow Plus (ET+), he is working on documenting the ET+ user manual. Also, he will teach two ET+ training courses – Envision Tomorrow Plus Level 1 and 2 (PROED 851 and 852) – during the Fall semester break.
KATHERINE KITTRELL (PhD)
Katherine is a doctoral candidate in the University of Utah City and Metropolitan Planning program. She is currently working on her dissertation, which analyzes the effect of transit on vacant land prices. Her Master’s of Urban and Environmental Planning thesis, “Phoenix METRO Light Rail: Land Appreciation and Public Policy,” was partially funded by the national Lambda Alpha International Land Economics Foundation, and a version was published in the Transportation Research Record. Kathy’s professional career began with an undergraduate degree in Finance from Arizona State University, and includes over 20 years financial systems analysis and asset management experience. Kathy served on the boards of the La Plata, Colorado Family Centers Coalition, the Durango Colorado Discovery Museum and a Kansas municipal plumbing supply distributor. She currently owns and manages an 8-unit, NAHB green certified student housing community near ASU and light rail. Kathy’s interests include sustainable land use planning, hiking and skiing.
ZACHARIA LEVINE (PhD)
Zacharia is a trasdisciplinary thinker. He holds a B.S. in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of California, Berkeley (’08), and a Masters in City and Metropolitan Planning from the University of Utah (’13). Zacharia is a founding member of the Ecological Planning Center at the University of Utah. The EPC aims to advance the field of planning and design by viewing cites as ecosystems, people as part of nature, and metropolitan areas as complex adaptive bioregions. From this perspective, he hopes to assist in the cocreation of healthy places – for living and non-living entities alike. While he currently focuses on clarifying the intellectual history and foundations of ecological planning, his proposed research topic involves studying and operationalizing the relationships between mental health and urban form. He also co-founded Friends of Red Butte Creek, a student-initiated group that advocates for widespread engagement across all aspects of Red Butte Creek, one of the Intermountain West’s best examples of an urban ecological resource. Zacharia’s research is funded by the iUTAH EPSCoR program, the Global Change and Sustainability Center, and Rio Mesa Center. Off campus, you can find Zacharia riding his mountain bike near Moab, skiing in the Wasatch canyons, floating a western river, or hiking with his family throughout the Colorado Plateau.
SHARID MAHMUD (MCMP)
I grew up in in a small town of Bangladesh in south-east Asia. I spent my childhood there before moving to the capital city of Dhaka in pursuit of getting into my desired school to study. Later I attended the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology where I obtained a Bachelor degree in Urban and Regional Planning. My personal experience of the megacity Dhaka made me interested in planning and development. I am inclined to the transportation side of urban planning. Hence, my undergraduate thesis was on the development of a methodology to define public transportation i.e. bus routes in Dhaka city following the non-existence of any particular methodology to follow in the city. My efforts came to fruition as the thesis was awarded the second best thesis award in that particular session. I have also presented at several conferences on community development and rural economy in the INTCESS-14.
GAIL MEAKINS (PhD)
Gail is a research assistant in her fifth year in the Metropolitan Planning, Policy, and Design PhD program. Gail has a BA in physical education from California State University Sacramento, a MA in physical education from the University of California Berkeley, and a MUP from the University of Utah. Gail spent over 20 years in education as an athletic director, physical education and health teacher and gymnastics and swimming coach at the middle school, high school, and collegiate level including stints at the United States Air Force Academy and Cornell University. She has a certificate in historic preservation and expertise in GIS. Gail is interested in the connection between the built environment and public health specifically physical activity and obesity as well as issues dealing with land use in the West. She worked as a policy analyst for the Salt Lake City Council office, was a member of the Parks and Recreation Board in Park City, UT and was a participant in the first class of Leadership Park City 2000. Gail is an avid runner and enjoys hiking, biking, and swimming. Gail has returned to high school swim coaching as the head coach at Judge Memorial High School.
MATT MILLER (PhD)
Matt is a third year Ph.D student in the department of City and Metropolitan Planning. Matt earned his bachelors from the University of Utah, focusing on urban design and then on growth management. During that time, he interned at Envision Utah, and worked on the ‘Wasatch Choices 2040′ project. He earned his masters degree from the University of Utah in 2007, focusing on housing affordability. During that time, he was a teaching assistant for the “Theory and Ethics in Planning” class. After graduating, he worked as a transportation planner at Wilbur Smith Associates, where he worked on Aviation System Plans in Arizona & New Mexico, the Utah Statewide Travel Model, and transit planning in Ogden, Utah. He wrote the final plan document for the AMPO award winning ‘Envision Missoula’ long range transportation plan for Missoula, Montana. During that time, he maintained a blog at outlooktower.blogspot.com, focusing on transportation and urbanism, and was active in alumni affairs. For the past three years, he has worked as a research assistant at the Metropolitan Research Center, where he uses his skills in GIS and spreadsheet models to analyze and present information for the HUD “Sustainable Communities” and NITC “Do TOD’s make a difference?” grants. He has repeatedly submitted papers to TRB as a co-author, and recently as first author. He co-taught Transportation Analysis Methods in Summer 2013. His interests focus on the relationship between urban form and transportation, with a research focus on transit and transit oriented development. His hobbies include board game design and traveling to major metropolitan cities across the world.
ED MONTERO (MCMP)
I am a native of Venezuela; I moved to Utah 16 years ago and have called it home since. I got my bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics here at the University of Utah. I’ve always have had an affinity with buildings and places and how people interact with their built environment. I am interested in sustainability, historical preservation, open spaces preservation and mobility. I am also interested in implementation of urban planning theories and practices in developing countries and emerging economies, my focus is in South and Central America. I am a family man who enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and home improvement.
KEUNHYUN PARK (PhD)
Keunhyun Park completed his bachelor and master degree in Landscape Architecture at Seoul National University. During that time, he tried to understand the various factors that determine the social, economic, and environmental outcomes of public space development. To expand knowledge of urban policies related to public space and contribute to professional research, he joined the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS) and participated in diverse research projects of urban planning and design from 2010 to 2014. In 2013, he conducted a case study followed by statistical and spatial analyses to determine the accessibility and the functionality of urban linear parks and published the findings in a peer-reviewed journal. Keunhyun believes that while urban design theories such as new urbanism (NU) and transit-oriented development (TOD) emphasize public spaces, they do not fully consider various forms and user types. Thus he expects that through his doctoral research, he will gain a better understanding of how public space is related to both spatial justice and sustainable development.
BRUCE PARKER (PhD)
Bruce Parker, AICP, is the principal of Planning and Development Services, LLC (PDS), a Salt Lake City planning consultancy firm. Bruce possesses broad experience in community planning, development review, and planning administration. As a project manager Bruce has participated in a variety of planning activities including, land use ordinances, mixed use projects, growth management and infrastructure financing initiatives, development agreements, renewable energy projects, and planning for urban, suburban, rural, and resort communities. Bruce has developed collaborative planning agreements for large development projects and has worked with the Utah legislature to make progressive amendments to Utah’s planning laws. He also provides expert witness and litigation support for public and private organizations. Bruce holds a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (Honors)(University of New England, Australia) where he received the Consulting Planners Prize and the Bernard Cunningham Memorial Prize for Academic Achievement, and a Master of City and Metropolitan Planning (Utah), receiving the Student Leadership Award and Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. Bruce has held Executive Committee positions with the Utah Chapter of the American Planning Association and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He presents on various planning issues at local, state, national, and international planning conferences. As a focus of his doctoral studies Bruce is interested in the ability of planning to provide increased affordable housing opportunities and the role community participation can play to enhance public education.
SUSIE PETHERAM (PhD)
Susie Petheram, AICP, is a doctoral candidate in her fourth year with the Metropolitan Planning, Policy, and Design program at the U. Her dissertation research is funded by a National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) fellowship. Susie is analyzing the impacts of the light rail system in Salt Lake County on property values and translating these findings into broader perspectives on planning and policy strategies for building healthy, sustainable transit-supportive communities. Specifically, she is evaluating how the real estate market can help establish light rail station catchment areas that may extend beyond the traditional ‘half-mile circle’ used in transit-oriented development (TOD) planning. A half-mile is generally estimated to be the upper bound of how far a commuter would be willing to walk to access a transit stop.
Susie graduated from Grinnell College with a BA in mathematics, has a master’s degree in planning and a graduate certificate in historic preservation from the University of Utah. She is currently an Associate Principal with CRSA, a planning and design firm in SLC. At CRSA she has served as a project manager and public involvement director since 2002. As a consultant, Susie specializes in the analysis, planning, and design of commercial areas, transit-oriented development, and historic neighborhoods. She also shepherds communities through the creation of context sensitive planning policies that promote sustainable development. A native of Iowa, Susie and her husband moved to Utah 16 years ago. They live in the historic Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City with their two kids, ages 8 and 10. When not engaged in planning research or consulting work, she enjoys various outdoor activities, playing soccer and cooking with her kids, photographing historic buildings, and reading mystery novels.
DAVID PROFFITT (PhD)
David is a second-year doctoral student in the Metropolitan Planning, Policy & Design program. His current projects focus on transportation and climate, including a National Science Foundation grant examining the connection between transportation accessibility and greenhouse-gas emissions, and state laws in California and Oregon designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by reducing vehicle miles traveled. Broadly, David is interested in urban environmental policy, planning responses to climate change, the urban heat island, and sustainable transportation. David holds a Master of Urban & Environmental Planning and a bachelor’s in English literature, both from Arizona State University. Before joining the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Planning, Policy & Design program, David was a Fulbright researcher studying planning strategies to mitigate the urban heat island in Pune, India. He also has experience at the Bureau of Land Management and, in a previous career, worked as a professional journalist for more than a decade.
ROBIN ROTHFEDER (Ecological Planning PhD Fellow)
Robin is a second year PhD student in the Metropolitan Planning, Policy, and Design program, and is the first Ecological Planning Fellow in the Department of City and Metropolitan Planning. He holds an MS in Environmental Humanities (from the University of Utah) and a double major BS in Environmental Sciences and Environmental Economics & Policy (from UC Berkeley). His undergraduate research explored the relationships between basic worldviews, feelings of connectedness with nature, and concrete environmental behaviors. His Master’s research described the environmental, social, political, and economic issues surrounding the prospective heavy oil industry in northeastern Utah. His current research covers two areas: 1) the foundations, definitions, and best practices in the emerging field of Ecological Planning, and 2) the necessary conditions for, and key impediments to, implementing best management practices for water resources in the communities, institutions, and cities of the southwestern US. This work contributes to the Ecological Planning Center and the Metropolitan Water Lab, both housed in CMP. Robin is an avid outdoor enthusiast and a certified yoga instructor, teaching in studios, homes, and spas throughout the Salt Lake Valley. He is excited to be a member of the CMP team and looks forward to his continuing work in the department.
PHILIP STOKER (PhD)
Philip is PhD Candidate in the department of City and Metropolitan Planning. Philip has a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management. He has conducted environmental and social science research internationally, including work with the World Health Organization, Parks Canada, the National Park Service and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. Currently, he is an iUTAH graduate research fellow investigating urban water use.
PRATITI TAGORE (PhD)
Pratiti Tagore was born and educated in the bustling city of Kolkata, India. She completed her undergraduate degree in Architecture from Bengal Engineering & Science University, India, after which she moved to Delhi, where she earned a post-graduate degree in Urban Planning from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. As a final year project, she analyzed the environmental impacts of human activities such as poor sanitation habits, discharge of effluent into water channels, and construction of rapid transit systems on the river beds. She first worked as an Urban Researcher in Chennai, India, and later worked as an Architect and Urban Planner in Kolkata, India. During her time working after graduation, her interests gradually shifted from core architecture to physical infrastructure planning. She believes good infrastructure should be accessible to all regardless of financial ability. Her research interests include development of water and sanitation management systems, along with their design and planning in congruence with transit development.
GUANG TIAN (PhD)
Guang was born and raised in a very small town in mid-China. After high school he started to study and live in the big cities of China, where he experienced the crowds, traffic jams, housing problems, bad air quality, environmental challenges, and other urban issues. For his Masters, he studied GIS (Geographic Information System) software and its applications, as well as spatial analysis. He was involved in some major land use projects and started to think about addressing the urban issues. Fortunately, he was able to enter the PhD program in City & Metropolitan Planning here at the University of Utah. He noticed that most of the big cities of China have much higher density and much more public transportation than US cities, but were still not solving the problems. This motivates him to find the answers in his future study. His current research interests are GIS, programming, planning tools, travel behavior and built environment.
LANCE TYRRELL (MCMP)
In 2010, I graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, and a Minor in Environmental Studies. After graduation, I worked for the City of Logan as an Intern with both the Parks and Recreation Department and the Planning Department, and later for the City of Portland, Oregon as an Urban Design Intern. These experiences helped me realize that my strengths as a designer and planner are seeing the many complexities and connections that make up our cities and environment, and that greater collaboration between the built environment professions is the key to better cities.
This sparked me to return to school for a graduate degree in Urban Planning, with an emphasis in Urban Design. I’m grateful to be at the University of Utah and have had a great experience thus far. I’m excited for the future of Salt Lake City and Utah’s other great cities, and I’m eager to help shape Utah’s future.
In addition to school, I stay busy spending time with my family and my new baby daughter, taking advantage of Utah’s amazing outdoors, photography, and traveling.
ROBERT A. YOUNG (PhD)
Robert returns for his second year in the Ph.D. program in Metropolitan Planning, Policy, and Design this fall. He has authored two books, Historic Preservation Technology (Wily 2008) and Stewardship of the Built Environment: Sustainability, Preservation, and Reuse (Island Press 2012) that embody his research on revitalizing communities. Robert will be broadening his research on stewardship of the built environment by exploring sustainability planning strategies as they pertain to the preservation and reuse of existing buildings at the neighborhood and community scale. He holds three previous graduate degrees: a master of science in historic preservation planning (Eastern Michigan University), a master of business administration (The University of Michigan), and a master of science in architectural engineering (The Pennsylvania State University). A professional engineer and a LEED accredited professional, he has served on several boards of non-profit preservation and community design oriented organizations including ASSIST, the Utah Heritage Foundation, and the Traditional Building Skills Institute. His public service activities include two terms on the Salt Lake City Historic Landmarks Commission (including one year as Chair), a term on the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Authority Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Fisher Mansion Partners Team. His awards and honors include the University of Utah Distinguished Teaching Award, the University of Utah Public Service Professorship, the Utah Heritage Foundation Lucybeth Rampton Award, John R. Park Fellowship, Association for Preservation Technology International College of Fellows, and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He has lived in Salt Lake City for the past 20 years and resides with his wife, Deborah, in the 1904 G. H. Schettler House which they restored in 2001. That restoration won awards from the Salt Lake City Historic Landmarks Commission and Utah Heritage Foundation. He currently is a professor of architecture and the director of the historic preservation program for the College of Architecture + Planning.
CASIMIRA YOUNGER (MCMP)
I have been fortunate enough to live in many cities around the world from Bangkok, Thailand to Christchurch, New Zealand. I found it interesting that I almost never used a car in any of these cities, but the second I arrived home in Clevlenad, Ohio, my Toyota become my ball and chain. I realized that our built environment drastically impacts our decisions related to sustainability. In fact, many of our habits and decisions in regards to transportation, environmental awareness and quality of life are largely made for us by policy makers, community organizers and urban planners. I wanted to be apart of the solution by making more cities around the world more sustainable, healthier and happier places to live.