Hometown: Los Angeles
Education Background: B.A., History and Global Health, Northwestern University, 2008
How did you get interested in your field? When I moved to Chicago for my undergraduate degree, I became very interested in the function of cities. In looking at the development of cities, I realized that I wanted to play a part in improving quality of life for city dwellers.
What was your background prior to coming to PennDesign? In college, I interned with the Housing Planner for the City of Evanston, IL. After I graduated from Northwestern, I worked for a small city just north of Chicago (Waukegan, IL) in their Redevelopment Office, focusing on Master Plan implementation, public outreach and land use planning.
Why did you choose Penn? In terms of the Planning Program, Penn is one of the only schools that has a dedicated urban design concentration, so that was a huge selling point for me. The Landscape Architecture program at Penn provides me with the opportunity to focus on urban issues as they relate to landscape architecture, while giving me the tools to build a strong design foundation. Having a chance to do a dual degree is also a great selling point for PennDesign.
What has been your favorite class so far? In Planning, it’s a tie between Property Development, and my Spring 2012 Studio, Transit Oriented Development in Philadelphia. Both of those planning classes provided me with practical knowledge that I continue to use. In Landscape Architecture, a tie between Transfiguration: Projects For the North Philadelphia Waterfront and Digital Modeling. Both of these classes expanded my understanding of Landscape Architecture, giving me a chance to design both small and large scale interventions in an urban setting.
What are you learning right now that will help you in the future? I am learning an extraordinary amount both inside and outside of the classroom, everything from computer programs, to design process, to working collaboratively, to time management.
What do you like best about Philadelphia? It’s a walkable city that is also affordable, it’s a great place to go to graduate school.
What kinds of activities and/or organizations are you involved in? I like to get involved in design competitions, and have done the Urban Land Institute Urban Design Competition for two out of my three years at Penn.
What are your career ambitions? I would like to focus on designing urban spaces at all scales, from a small garden to an urban district. Engaging the public in the design process is also one of my primary career goals.
You can contact Jillian at email@example.com.