I relocated to Portland in September of 2012 from Chico, California, where I spent my childhood outdoors and raising animals. My undergraduate career began in Sustainability studies, where I was first introduced to the concept of the three pillars of sustainability: Environment, Society, and Economy. At this time I began to question how our institutions directly impact communities, and how urban development and socio-economic status directly affects one another. During this time I worked as a representative for the Sustainability Resource Center at Butte Community College, where I assisted in creating events that connected students to resources such as environmental education, volunteer opportunities, and community gatherings.
Being drawn to social equity issues, created space, and natural resource preservation, I transferred to Portland State University with the declared major of Community Development. Through the program I have had the opportunity to study a range of subjects pertaining to urban planning, neighborhood preservation, and citizen participation. Exposure to the works of Jane Jacobs and Sherry Arnstein have influenced my perspective of how the realm of urbanism and the social/cultural context intertwine, and recognizing how the planning process needs to be built around the human needs of communities.
After two years, I am greatly settled to my life in the sweet, cool, damp air of the Pacific Northwest. When I’m not on campus, I work part time as a barista at my neighborhood coffee shop where I am close with my coworkers and customers. My free time consists of reading fiction (currently hooked on Haruki Murakami), investing in my artistic skills and learning to embroider (a wonderful lesson in patience), reading music blogs and seeing live shows, and spending time with my friends and the outdoors.
After spending many years working in the foodservice industry, I am highly excited to be interning with Design+Culture Lab, I hope to have the opportunity to build relationships and socialize with other groups within the city, gain and develop stronger skills in the in design research, and to share my experiences with my colleagues.