I am, like all of the SID participants, a student at the University of Michigan. I am a fifth year, straddling undergrad and graduate studies. My undergraduate degree is in Environmental Psychology, an Independent Concentration that studies the interplay between humans and the environments they inhabit. I am writing a thesis currently in this field; specifically on Common Houses in Cohousing Communities and the architectural factors that contribute to a social vibrancy within these shared spaces. I have spoken with over 40 communities so far, done 28 in-person interviews, and have visited, toured, and/or stayed at a half dozen. I am hoping to get to at least 15-20 before June. I am incredibly engaged in this project and if you are curious at all, just ask – I love to talk about it.
Looking further, I am going on to pursue a Masters in Urban Planning, which I have begun classes towards, but will formally begin in the fall of 2011.
I am interning at Southwestern Detroit Business Association, doing a Streetscape Beautification project. My specific project focuses on benches - and adding these as functional pieces of art designed by local artists to the streetscapes of Vernor and Springwells in SW Detroit.
Personal Interests and Hobbies
It’s funny how our interests and our academics can become so intertwined they’re almost inseparable. I will start with those: I love cities, urban planning, architecture, sociology, and psychology. William Whyte is my idolized urban theorist, and Christopher Alexander my favorite architect. Mix those two with Jane Jacobs and I would like to “grow up” to be that person. Pretty much anything concerning how cities develop or how people behave interests me. Nonacademically speaking, I am a horse lover (and owner), an avid photographer (www.sunnybrookfoto.com), and also enjoy boats, the ocean, softball, reading, writing, scrapbooking, and skiing.