From 2009-2016 the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, in cooperation with The Louis Berger Group, Inc., collaborated to create a graduate internship/fellowship program that enabled Bloustein School Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) students to be considered for a comprehensive fellowship award and earn internship credit while taking on a professional experience internship at one of the leading consulting organizations in the country.
The Louis Berger Group strives to meet the needs of the communities it serves by working with clients to address current and upcoming issues related to key areas, both domestic and international. Areas of focus include environmental services, construction, transit, highways and bridges, aviation, and energy, as well as other planning, policy, and management activities. This program provided students the opportunity to complete and fund their educational experiences, and at the same time perform professional work with The Louis Berger Group under the direction of the organization’s senior level management in one of its
To learn more about Louis Berger, visit the organization’s website at www.louisberger.com.
A native New Yorker, Andrew Balmer has long had a passion for cities and transportation. His experience riding the city’s subway system laid the early groundwork for his interest in public transit, while his enthusiasm for cities has been informed by extensive domestic and international travel opportunities.
As an undergraduate architecture student at Columbia University, Andrew learned to appreciate the role of design in the planning realm. During that time, he also developed a deeper connection to the city he lived in by relying on a bicycle as his primary mode of transportation. As he became more attuned to matters of urban transportation planning, he began attending local community board meetings, at which he spoke publicly in favor of livable streets improvements and connected with like-minded advocates. He volunteered with Transportation Alternatives and Bike New York, conducting both editorial research and on-the-street outreach and education. Through an internship position with the Upper West Side Streets Renaissance, Andrew coordinated a comprehensive campaign to identify and gain political support for new bicycle rack sites in the neighborhood. While working on the CityBench program during an internship with the New York City Department of Transportation, he helped to coordinate the installation of street benches throughout the city.
This last internship was during a particularly exciting time for the NYC DOT, which was undertaking a wholesale rethinking of the city’s streets. As the agency installed protected bike lanes, pedestrian refuges islands, and other people-friendly amenities to the streetscape, Andrew was inspired by the power of transportation infrastructure to shape the city into a safer, healthier, and more inviting place. He is eager to embark on a career in planning that is informed by the lessons and best practices learned from the NYC DOT and from other progressive and innovative planning organizations.
Prior to attending graduate school, Andrew spent several years in the theater industry as a lighting and video technician, during which time he worked on four different touring productions that brought him (and his bicycle) to over sixty U.S. cities. He later drew upon both his theater experience and his architecture background while working as an assistant lighting designer at Focus Lighting, a New York-based architectural lighting design firm. Andrew credits these experiences with strengthening his design sensibilities, which he hopes to engage during his planning career.
Born and raised in Goiânia, Brazil, Leonardo comes to Louis Berger as part of the Urban Renewal Program of the city of Colón, Panamá, after an entrepreneurial trajectory in his home country. With a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from Universidade Federal de Goiás, Leonardo’s relationship with urban planning began during Brazil’s urban development in the 1990’s.
During his undergraduate career, Leonardo sought to end harmful real estate and infrastructure development in his hometown by applying his expertise in GIS and remote sensing to aid Goiânia’s communities. He also worked with community organizations and waste pickers’ cooperatives to ensure that development proposals accounted for environmental externalities in development sites.
In order to better understand cities in a global context, Leonardo attained two competitive scholarships to undertake academic and professional activities abroad. In the U.S. he was a Visiting Scholar through the CAPES/FIPSE Urban Planning and Sustainability Consortium, working closely with the city of San Fernando, California, to develop a community-based urban design project. In the United Kingdom, Leonardo spent one year at the University of Birmingham as a Visiting Scientist as part of the Science Without Borders Program funded by the Brazilian government.
Leonardo’s efforts culminated in the establishment of his own environmental consultancy via a business incubator program in Brazil, which focused on cost-effective solutions for municipalities with the goal of securing environmental justice in urban development. Through the use of open source software and imagery obtained via unmanned aerial vehicles, he spent three years working with local governments and state agencies to enact change and promote planning initiatives bound by strong ethical principles.
Leonardo is currently pursuing a Master’s in City and Regional Planning at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with a dual concentration in Transportation and Environmental Planning. He is also the co-chair for the International Development Interest Group (IDIG) at Rutgers University.
Growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Luke Hansen was fortunate to spend much of his childhood traveling. While attending St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, where he majored in political science and business, Luke studied abroad in Australia. This experience intensified his passion for traveling and transformed him from a typical tourist into someone who enjoyed becoming fully immersed in local cultures. During his travels, he also began to understand how urban design and transportation systems affect the economic success of cities, and how improvements to both can generate positive gains. These experiences were extremely influential in Luke’s life and eventually led him down his current career path.
Following college, Luke attended law school at the University of North Dakota, where he received Order of the Coif distinction for finishing in the top 10% of his graduating class. He served as a judicial law clerk in Bismarck, North Dakota, before joining a law firm in Longview, Washington, as an associate attorney. Realizing he enjoyed being in the courtroom, Luke became a criminal prosecutor in Olympia, Washington, where, in addition to his duties in the traditional court system, he represented the State of Washington in Veterans Court and Drug Court. The environments of these specialty courts revealed to Luke that he prefers, and his skills would be better utilized in, a collaborative field. A move to New York offered Luke the opportunity to find such a field, while combining his love of traveling and interest in improving cities; urban planning proved to be the perfect fit.
In 2015, Luke entered the Master of City and Regional Planning program, with a concentration in Housing and Real Estate, at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He has found urban planning, and especially real estate development, to be perfect extensions of his legal experience because laws and legal process play such an integral role in those fields. Luke plans on bringing together his urban planning and legal knowledge by utilizing small-scale development to restore neighborhoods, especially those with historic properties, so citizens will have a renewed sense of pride in their communities.
Equally comfortable in a big city or rural area, Chloe Strasser grew up in two very different cultures –California and Southern Africa. Daily, she saw the consequences of poor urban planning decisions while living in Lusaka, Zambia, whether it was a community grappling with extreme poverty or inadequate water and sanitation, traffic congestion, lack of affordable housing, or environmental degradation.
As a teenager, she volunteered with disadvantaged children in South Africa and Zambia, witnessing firsthand the plight of vulnerable children, AIDS orphans, and the role that safe play has in psycho-social development. Her high school International Baccalaureate Independent project revolved around the matter of play and vulnerable children, designing and supervising the construction of two large playgrounds in Lusaka, Zambia so she could give back to the community she called home. Her work included hiring a construction team, designing the structures, financial budgeting, and procuring materials. Overwhelmed by seeing disadvantaged children enjoying these completed projects, Chloe began to see her calling in purpose-built infrastructure.
After graduating high school, she attending the University of California–Irvine where she received dual degrees in urban studies and public health policy. She interned in the Washington, DC office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, where she completed research for the legislative representative for international policy in areas such as hunger, women’s rights, and HIV and advocated for sustained and strengthened funding for comprehensive HIV and AIDS programs. Chloe also participated in international research on malaria incidence under the supervision of a public health faculty member, and assisted with geospatial data entry and map creation for reports to the Lutheran Malaria Program. She later joined a land entitlement agency, where she reviewed financial spread sheets, researched prospective development sites, determined property eligibility, and prepared zoning summaries.
She worked for a brief period as a grant writer for the economic development department of a city in LA county, where she conducted site surveys, worked with engineers to create project estimates, and secured funding for various projects. All of these experiences influenced her to further her technical skills and knowledge related to city planning. At the Bloustein School, she is concentrating in international planning and public health while also working towards a geographic information system (GIS) certificate. This last semester she took an independent study course where she gained the ability to plan reliable sanitation and water supply systems that utilize local resources and human capital congruent with local customs.
Channing Bickford grew up in northern Vermont where he developed a philosophy of service to the community. He attended Marlboro College in southern Vermont, studying with the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies which was followed by an independent study abroad . While in Beijing he worked with Future Generations China to plan, promote, carry out and solicit corporate donations for the “Green Long March,” a nation-wide youth conservation movement. In 2008 he graduated with honors from Marlboro College receiving a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and concentrating in Chinese environmental development as well as green architecture.
After graduation, Channing returned to Beijing where he earned a CELTA language teaching certification and a Level 4 HSK Chinese Language Proficiency Certification. He lived in Beijing for five years, working as a language and communications instructor at various schools and companies. This ranged from teaching PhD candidates at Peking Union Medical College and foreign-bound high school students at Beijing Number 101 High School international program. In Beijing Channing continued his commitment to service, teaching at the Xin Xin Migrant School and volunteering as a photographic image technician with Operation Smile Handan mission.
In 2014 Channing left China to pursue the MCRP at the Bloustein School, where he has dual concentrations in environment and physical planning and in transportation planning. He has continued his commitment to service while at the Bloustein School, co-founding the “Spokes Education” bicycle safety program for disadvantaged youth in New Brunswick, and working to start a student-led service group to strengthen ties to the community. Channing is currently working as a ferry policy intern at the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance in New York City.
Jonathan Castaneda comes to Louis Berger following a professional trajectory in government and nonprofit management, including two stints in federal executive departments and two in federal legislative offices. A first-generation American of Cuban and Colombian descent and a lifelong resident of West New York, NJ, he has been shaped by the experiences of his family, his neighbors and his community. Growing up in an environment of socioeconomic uncertainty, immigration disputes and security issues, his academic and professional aspirations to improve the quality of life and the socioeconomic opportunities for his family and his community were defined from an early age.
Jonathan graduated from Seton Hall University’s John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations with a B.S. in Diplomacy and International Relations. He focused his research on democratization and the effects of security and inequality on electoral behavior in Latin America. He later earned a Master of Public Administration with honors from the same institution, with a concentration in Leadership, Governance, and Policy.
He interned for Asociación Tepeyac de Nueva York, where he lobbied New York State legislators for passage of NY Dream Act legislation. While working toward his undergraduate degree, Jonathan assisted in the district office of U.S. Congressman Albio Sires, working with constituents, local organizations, and local officials in the district to gauge policy saliency and seek ways to efficiently provide services to the community. Shortly after, Jonathan was selected by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute as one of 14 Public Policy Fellows from around the country, and the only representative from New Jersey. There, Jonathan worked as an Export Control Policy Fellow at the Bureau of Industry and Security at the U.S. Department of Commerce with Under Secretary Hirschhorn and his dedicated team on reforming the export control system under President Obama’s Export Control Initiative. He also had the distinct opportunity to work with Senator Robert Menendez as the Hispanic Affairs Fellow, working with the Senator’s communications and legislative team on policy that had the potential to impact the 55 million Hispanic/Latinos who reside in the United States. More recently, Jonathan has complemented his full-time academic studies with the mission of locating, screening and re-housing the homeless Veteran population in Bergen and Hudson counties on behalf of North Hudson Community Action Corporation. Jonathan is pursuing his Masters in City and Regional Planning with concentrations in Transportation Planning and International/Regional Development, on track to graduating in May 2016.
Born in Minsk, Belarus and raised in Brooklyn, Roman Titov embarked on the American dream upon graduating from SUNY Farmingdale with a dual bachelor’s degree in architecture and construction management. While professionally engaged in the construction contracting industry, specializing in capital infrastructure projects, including streetscapes and pedestrian improvements, Roman played a project management role on two unique contracts, Imagination Playground and Bushwick Inlet Park.
Imagination Playground is an innovative recreational park and landmark for children, which was built within the historic South Street Seaport district of Manhattan. This project featured an opening day ceremony with the former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the international magazine Time Out has selected it as one of the best playgrounds in New York City. Bushwick Inlet Park is a LEED Platinum-certified park and headquarters for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. It is located on the redeveloped industrial waterfront of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and has been branded as one of the Top Ten Green Projects for 2014 by the American Institute of Architects.
In 2012 Roman’s professional career came to an intermission upon being awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for graduate study in Canada, where he achieved a Master of Science degree in civil engineering with a specialization in project management from the University of Calgary. The decision to pursue a second graduate degree in city and regional planning was justified by a goal to ground his management, engineering, and architectural background in a growing and associated field that serves a higher social purpose.
Born and raised in New York, Ai was always drawn to the dynamism of cities and diverse cultures. But it wasn’t just cities—her childhood experiences of summers in the rural villages of Japan left lasting impressions of how people and communities can learn to live sustainably. Having had the opportunity to grow up in New York, study in Moscow and Maine, and live and work in Kyoto and Vancouver, she became inspired to learn more about cities’ physical infrastructure systems, particularly transportation networks and streetscapes, which determine a community’s economic viability and livability.Together with her interests in sustainable living, her studies now focus on transit-oriented development and environmental planning using GIS and data analysis.
Ai draws from a multidisciplinary background. She attended Colby College as a Posse scholar and majored in International Relations and East Asian Studies. She wrote an undergraduate senior honors thesis on the socioeconomic impacts of local food in Japan based upon her year-long study abroad experience in Kyoto. She graduated from Colby with a Leila M. Forster Leadership Award and an Honors in East Asian Studies.
Ai has experience in international sales and management. She served as a team leader for a multi-national serviced office company, where she oversaw a portfolio of nearly 10 million yen per annum with clients that included Japanese, Australian, and American businesses. In her role, she supervised a team, coordinated networking events for clients, and managed a floor of service and tenancy contracts. This past year, Ai worked for the Bloustein School’s Environmental Analysis and Communications Research Group, where she authored a report on the risks of climate change for socially vulnerable populations in New Jersey. She currently works for the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority under their Enterprise Asset Management department with the Division of Car Equipment on component serialization and database management. She has been assigned to the Paris office, where she will be working on LBG’s Port Lekki project in Nigeria.
A native of the Loma Hermosa (“Beautiful Bump”) section of Buenos Aires, Guadalupe Gutierrez-Escribano first understood the possibilities of urban planning following her own childhood and young adult experiences. While working with a local non-profit before her final year of college, she was shocked to discover the sheer numbers of people living in impoverished slum areas without access to clean water and food. While trying to understand how politics and increased access to education could compel change, she attended a conference at the University of Buenos Aires that set her thoughts in a new direction, discovering that first and foremost infrastructure planning—changing the city itself— was before cultural and social stagnation could be addressed. At the Bloustein School Guadalupe’s focus is in both infrastructure planning and methods. Her primary interests are in the design of transportation networks, social housing strategies, providing systems for potable water, energy and waste management, and the development of community facilities, with the understanding that the design of such would not be possible without a comprehensive analysis of the factors that impact urban areas. Her professional goal is to improve social mobility, and the resulting human and economic development, through the renovation of urban areas in impoverished regions of the developing world, primarily in Latin America. Guadalupe was assigned to the company’s Panama City office to work on the Involuntary Resettlement Project for Chan II. Panama is going through an energy crisis, which led the nation’s leaders to decide to build two dams –Chan I and Chan II –on Changuinola, the largest river in Bocas del Toro Province of Panama. Both dams will inundate a large area in the rain forest, an area where indigenous groups of the Gnabe people live. Exclusively involved in this project, Guadalupe was appointed to design the survey instrument, an algorithm to measure the communities’ vulnerability levels and relocation preferences.
Katharine Magiera credits three specific opportunities as having profoundly shaped her perspective as a planner. While participating in a study abroad program with the Council on International Exchange (CIEE) in Tokyo, Japan she lived with a local family in central Tokyo for 6 months, where she was immersed in the culture and language on a daily basis. In addition to taking an intensive language course, she also studied international economics and modern Japanese fiction at the prestigious Sophia University. Later, As part of a 10-month senior thesis project as an undergraduate at Barnard, she became interested in working on innovative, large-scale projects in a professional setting while researching her findings on Dubai’s (United Arab Emirates) planned infrastructure and industrial developments since oil discovery in the mid-1960s. And just prior to enrolling at EJB, she left a 4-year career in the financial sector to spend time in Pompidou, France as a volunteer with Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), during which time she learned the basics of working in an agricultural environment. Having experienced traveling in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, she was fascinated with the intersection of makeshift and planned transportation infrastructure in cities with extreme density, while noting that developing cities must focus on extending and rebuilding existing transit networks to improve urban mobility to consider critical environmental, socioeconomic, and technical issues. Working for LBG’s Transport Economics Group out of the Paris office, she is involved with three projects: an infrastructure assessment in Burkina Faso, which has an uneven road system and faces additional development; a major traffic study in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (DR) where she is conducting an analysis on how the country’s socioeconomic situation and tourism industry have influenced current traffic conditions, and how these factors are projected to change over the next 20 years; and a project helping to map the private sector investor network in Africa.
After graduating from Brown University with dual concentrations in economics and international relations, Patrick Salemme worked for Merrill Lynch, where he supported a top team of institutional financial advisors and worked to improve internal business processes. He later joined their Supply Chain Executive Board, where he was responsible for research project management, including development of plug-and-play tools and the publication of annual research findings in demand planning and supply chain management. Before enrolling at the Bloustein School/Rutgers Business School joint MCRP/MBA program he interned at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Watershed Management, where he helped build a mathematical model to help the DEP allocate Clean Water Act funds more efficiently, as well as with the Regional Planning and Development office of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where he was able to contribute to ongoing research on macroeconomic drivers of transportation. With the knowledge that much of the world lacks the physical, institutional, and social infrastructure to empower individuals to create a future that is better for their children, his interest in economic development has crystallized into belief in the transformative power of physical infrastructure and the crucial role of private firms in making tomorrow a better place. His ultimate career aspiration is to work in a consultant role to help clients to frame and understand the service offerings that will help solve the complex problems of growth. He is currently supporting LBG’s Integrated Development Division as a Senior Analyst leading the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) portfolio. In this position, Patrick is responsible for the development of LBG’s proposal document for DMIC’s next major Request for Proposal (RFP), a 165 square kilometer greenfield mixed-use city project known as the Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana Investment Region (KBNIR), which will incorporate extensive non-motorized transport and mass transit as well as IT infrastructure for “smart” city management.
Ruchi Shrivastava earned her architecture degree from India’s Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, during which time she interned at several architecture and construction practices in India. She went on to work with several leading architecture and construction firms in Bangalore, India, assisting senior architects in design development and creating construction documents for residential, commercial and interiors projects as well as a multinational company with global presence and a wide range of projects and services in engineering, design, procurement and construction. Working with international professionals who studied and worked on projects abroad helped her acknowledge that global exposure gives a different perspective towards design, planning, and the construction process, and that architecture, planning, and construction cannot be practiced in isolation from the other. Having a long time dream of attaining her education abroad, her goal is to specialize in transportation and environmental planning and earn a certificate in GIS in order to address the future challenges in urban context related to transportation, infrastructure and environment. Ruchi is involved in transportation and infrastructure planning projects in LBG’s Mumbai office.. She is working on the Navi Mumbai Metro Line 1, which is a rapid transit rail project being constructed in Navi Mumbai. She has also been involved in the Juhu Vile Parle Depot (JVPD) junction improvement project which plans to improve the JVPD junction in order to reduce traffic congestion and avert the over-crowded JVPD junction in Mumbai.
Medha Dixit grew up in the small town of Mathura, India, where engineering and medicine were the prominent areas of academic exposure. She was encouraged by her parents, both academics, to explore other areas and developed an interest in urban planning. Having traveled internationally to many places including Australia and France, Medha gained an appreciation and understanding of diverse environments as well as an interest in the differences in policies, urban environments, lifestyles and cultures affecting planning practices. Medha’s interest in
the Berger fellowship came from her desire to work in fragile, post conflict and developing nations. As part of her fellowship, she is excited for the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of working in Kuwait on a Traffic Study project which will contribute greatly towards her major in transportation planning. She previously earned a bachelor of architecture and a master of urban design from India as well as a diploma in urban development from France. She is hopeful that her previous experience working as an architect, research consultant and urban designer in India, combined with the new fellowship opportunities, will further her perspective that a holistic and multidisciplinary
approach is vital to all planning and development projects within built or natural environments. With her interest in transportation planning, Medha will assist LBG officials who are working with the Kuwait Ministry of Public Works to upgrade Jahra Road and Jamal Nasser Road, the two main arterial roads leading to downtown Kuwait City.
Allison Fahey completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana University–Bloomington, where she received a bachelor of arts in Communication and Culture and a minor in Tourism Management. Having fond memories of the walkability and bikeability of Bloomington, she realized that seeing people out on the streets “out and about”provided a sense of place and community. Her choice to further her study in urban planning came following a move to California, where she again discovered the livability of the town of Coronado, a pedestrian-friendly town that encouraged a healthy and enjoyable way of life and inspired community involvement. Allison moved to the East Coast to join the Bloustein School’s MCRP program while also taking a job with Louis Berger’s proposal team, using her communications skills to help draft materials for proposals, qualification packages and client presentations. There she received an up-close-and-personal view of the technical side of urban planning and how urban planning professionals work to create livable and sustainable communities through design, rehabilitation and improvement of environments such as infrastructure, transportation corridors, utilities and housing. Allison’s goals are to encourage positive change by developing an understanding of how the facets of a community are interconnected and to help others by implementing changes that ensure a better life for all residents. While in Paris, Allison will be working alongside Louis Berger staff to improve Program Management methodology (schedules, budget follow-up, information-sharing, among others) based on her experience with U.S. transportation projects.
Rewa Marathe is a native of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India. She enrolled in the Bloustein School’s urban planning program following her work and study in architecture in Indore, India and spent five years as an undergraduate working to understand the complex nature of people and their interactions with the buildings they design and work in; she came to Bloustein with the intention of gaining a better understanding of built environments. Her interest in planning is geared toward active design for the general public, in particular furthering how the use of public transportation and urban design can promote human-powered modes of transportation that support healthier lifestyles. While at EJB she has worked with the school’s Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center on the Sustainable Communities grant project, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In this capacity she has gained insight into planning processes and issues in the U.S. and in New Jersey in particular. She has also been working for Rutgers Center for Green Building, mapping occupant responses for buildings participating in Post Occupancy Building Evaluations. She brings both international architectural experience and cultural sensitivity to the planning process as well as the goal of assisting on projects that will improve a community’s physical, social, and economic infrastructure. In Qatar, Rewa will be working alongside Louis Berger staff in overseeing the continued development of Education City, which aims to combine world renowned educational institutions with social, commercial and cultural facilities and integrating the development with the historical sites in the area. With her interest in physical planning and architectural background, Education City is the ideal project for her.
Elizabeth Shulman is dedicated to utilizing planning as a way to improve the world. She experienced firsthand how poverty and poor planning affected people’s lives in a six-week post-high school trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. She chose to attend the University of Southern California and work toward a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management and Planning as a step toward reinforcing her idea that all places should be developed sustainably. After college she spent a year in Israel and the West Bank where she interned for a non-profit organization, which brought Israeli and Palestinian youth together. There she observed the lack of interest in creating a solid transportation infrastructure that would connect these two areas of conflict. While earning her master’s degree Elizabeth interned with both Morris and Passaic County through the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, learning tools of how a region’s government struggles to meet the demands of its residents while trying to maintain a sustainable and environmentally responsible area. While in Paris, Elizabeth will be working alongside a team of Louis Berger port specialists to provide transaction advisory service relating to a major port privatization program in Brazil.
David Koch’s areas of interest include transportation in the realm of rail and mass transit, post-conflict management, and natural resource management. Before his arrival at the Bloustein School, David spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Macedonia, where he was made aware of both the challenges and successes surrounding international development. He became involved in several small-scale, grant funded development projects successfully aimed at helping the local community and worked with local English teachers to improve teaching methods, curriculum implementation, and extracurricular activities in his community’s primary and secondary schools. As part of the Berger fellowship, David hopes to gain stronger understanding of the planning, financing, implementation, and monitoring involved in the creation of successful international projects that produce real benefits for the communities that they are designed to help. David will spend time in the Louis Berger Group’s Paris, France office before heading to Cameroon, where Berger is involved with construction of a deepwater port in the coastal city of Kribi. David will assist the project’s team leader to complete the port’s design review.
Matthew Kusy has developed a passion and enthusiasm for making a difference in communities through economic development and intelligent planning. While living in Philadelphia, Matthew’s interest in planning grew through his involvement with the city’s Green 2015 Action Plan, the Central Delaware Riverfront Plan, and the Philadelphia 2035 Comprehensive Plan. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at Cornell University, Matthew had the opportunity to work on sustainable transit-oriented development projects designed to increase the quality of life for local residents and spur economic development in neighboring regions. Matthew looks to gain a better understanding of the global problems facing much of society today, and to help create planning solutions that will reduce disparities between different societal classes while reaching across global borders. With his interest in economic growth and development and physical planning, Matthew will be assisting Louis Berger Group engineers currently working with the Kuwait Ministry of Public Works to upgrade several main arterial roads feeding traffic into the downtown area of Kuwait City.
Areej Sabzwari is hoping to combine her undergraduate education and work experience as an architect with planning knowledge and apply both locally and internationally, using strategies that will impact not just a building but a city or a country. As a junior architect working with a firm specializing in educational facilities in the tri-state area, and previously as an intern at Madison Square Garden for the MSG Arena Transformation, she developed an attachment that was more than just the design of form but more with how a city functions as a whole. While earning her master’s degree Areej is concentrating in land use and comprehensive planning, and believes that her diverse ethnic background provides her with a unique planning perspective. Having lived in three countries, she has come to understand that planning exists in every aspect of life, and would like to become part of a project that affects the development of a city from a different perspective. In Qatar, Areej will be working with Louis Berger staff in overseeing construction of Education City, which aims to combine the development of world renowned educational institutions with social, commercial, and cultural facilities and integrating the development with the historical sites in the area. Having a passion for design and physical development, Education City is the ideal project for her.
Joshua Wilcox’s work monitoring and evaluating HIV/AIDS care and treatment programs developed his interest in planning. Because human health is linked with the built environment, basic infrastructure issues must be addressed in order to achieve improved health outcomes. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Inhambane province in Mozambique, he learned that many patients were unable to continue treatment due to economic and infrastructure problems—long traveling distances, unpaved roads, and poor or non-existent public transportation caused patients to miss two days of work and food just to receive follow up care—highlighting the need to plan for and development critical infrastructure. Joshua has focused his studies in the area of GIS, believing that this can revolutionize spatial awareness and highlight the interplay of seemingly disparate factors such as transportation routes, income levels, and disease indices in the neighborhoods ,cities, and regions where we live and work. Joshua will be involved in the development of a feasibility study for the refurbishment, upgrading and development of sanitation and drainage systems in Mozambique and assist with the design of a low-cost sanitation implementation program, taking into account environmental and socio-economic aspects of the local communities.
David Burgy’s interest in the Berger Fellowship came out of a desire to help close the infrastructure gap between developed and developing countries. This gap, he believes, is responsible for much of the unhealthy and unsanitary living conditions for many people around the world. As an MCRP at the Bloustein School, he has an interest in sustainable cities, coordinated transportation systems, small-scale agriculture, and community organizing. He is also a research assistant at the Rutgers Center for Green Building, where he helps generate reports on green building strategies to inform public and private sectors about innovative solutions. David is a graduate of Swarthmore College, where he earned a BS in engineering and a BA in political science. He participated in two summer fellowships, the first performing an environmental study on the ground- and surface-water near a wastewater treatment plant in Maryland, the second conducting experiments to determine how to remove bacteria from urban stormwater runoff. He is interested in working on projects involving transportation infrasttucture expansion and water supply and sewerage planning, drawing upon his technical background to help him achieve his professional goal of assisting with sustainable infrastructure planning in developing nations. With a background in engineering and interests in transportation planning and infrastructure in the developing world, David is an ideal fit for the company’s transportation projects in Mumbai, India.
Michael Cassidy maintains a strong belief in actively involving community members in the planning and design of public projects. He contends that through paricipating in preliminary research, technical design, and plan implementation, community members will develop a heightened degree of self-sufficiency. Michael believes that community enrichment improves the sustainability of public efforts, and as a part of his fellowship would like to help apply the Berger Group’s commitment to involving communities in the
planning process. Michael graduated from the Rutgers University College of Engineering with a bachelors of science in civil
engineering, and obtained his professional engineering license in 2009. Since graduating from Rutgers he has focused on serving both the private and public sectors through engineering, surveying, and construction. As the assistant to the City Engineer in Union City, NJ, he has a strong background in capital improvement projects, including transportation infrastructure and recreation facilities, as well as experience in private residential, nonresidential, and mixed-use development. Michael will join Berger’s Mauritius office this summer on the expansion of the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport passenger terminal.
Kristin Crandall is a dual MCRP/MPP student at the Bloustein School, where she is focusing on community and economic development. After earning a BA in International Affairs from Lewis and Clark College in 2003, Kristin continued living in Portland, Oregon, where she spent six years working on Multnomah County’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative system reform efforts, teaching GED at Mt. Hood Community College, and collaborating on a variety of other community-
based initiatives. Experiencing many of the challenges of engaging communities in advocacy work, building public/private partnerships, and developing and implementing policies around complex urban issues inspired Kristin to pursue a graduate education in urban planning and public policy. Kristin has a strong interest in learning about effective methods of project management, outcome tracking and evaluation, and successful collaborative strategies for improving the way systems
function. Last summer, Kristin served as a Wachovia Housing Scholar with the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey where she applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS) skills to help advance state community development policy efforts. A fluent Spanish speaker, Kristin will assist Berger’s Costa Rica team with preparation of air traffic forecasts and financial feasibility analysis models as part of LBG’s Route Promotion Project with the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.
The global nature of the internship opportunity of the Berger Fellowship is of great interest to Katherine Nosker, especially as relates to projects associated with sustainability, planning, and community development. Katherine was a sociology major at The College of New Jersey, where she studiedhow and why people behave the way they do.The theoretical background of sociology provided a useful base from which to transition to the more applied field of planning. Her concentration in the community development program as part of the Bloustein School’s MCRP program stems from projects she worked on as a Research Associate at Regional Plan Association of New York, advocating for transportation equity, researching how community land trusts are taxed, and contributing to research on how to improve the functionality and capacity of the New York region’s airports. She also served in a volunteer capacity for the transportation committee and “green team” committee for South Orange, NJ, working with the parking authority to improve functionality and ridership rates of the local jitney and assisting the township’s sustainability certification in the Sustainable Jersey program. Katherine is also an intern at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at the Bloustein School, assisting with the center’s work creating performance measures for the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets policy. As part of her fellowship, Katherine is interested in working on projects related to international sustainability planning. Katherine will join the USAID-funded Growth with Equity in Mindanao project in the Philippines to help supervise a large, field-based impact assessment of the Computer Literacy and Internet Connection Program.
Rebecca Gerber is an MCRP student at the Bloustein School, where she is focusing on housing and community development. Prior to arriving at Rutgers, she worked on economic development and neighborhood improvement projects for two Business Improvement Districts in New York City: the Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc., in Lower Manhattan, and the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Rebecca also spent a year living in Jerusalem, Israel where she served as an intern for The Jerusalem Foundation, an organization that has funded many of the city’s largest infrastructure projects, cultural centers, and educational institutions.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Rebecca has always been interested in the development of cities and the diversity of urban life. She received a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College in 2003, majoring in Urban Studies with a concentration in History. After living in Manhattan and Caldwell, N.J. for several years, Rebecca has recently relocated to the Philadelphia area.
As a Louis Berger Group Fellow, Rebecca will spend the summer of 2010 living and working in Davao City, the Philippines, a rapidly developing city located on the eastern coast of Mindanao, the Philippines’ southernmost island. She will be working with the Workforce Development team of the Berger Group’s Growth Equity in Mindanao (GEM) program, which seeks to prepare under-served populations in the region for better employment opportunities. Rebecca is grateful for the opportunity to obtain valuable international planning experience in the Philippines this summer, and looks forward to developing a better understanding of the development and equity challenges currently facing Southeast Asia.
Patrick Jensen, a first-year MCRP embodies the “Jersey Roots, Global Reach” spirit of Rutgers. Patrick was born in New Brunswick, N.J.; raised in Sayreville, N.J.; and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science in 2004 from Rutgers University. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Patrick spent four and a half years working for JPMorgan Chase as part of a global software development team on a website that was used by clients throughout the world.
During his time at JPMorgan Chase, Patrick worked in New York, N.Y. and Columbus, Oh. When he was not working he spent time visiting a diverse array of North American cities, which inspired him to return to school for a degree in urban planning. Since enrolling at the Bloustein School, he has focused his studies on how urban design can encourage increases in walking, cycling, and transit usage in cities and the benefits that result from increases in these economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable forms of transportation.
During his Berger internship, Patrick will be spending the summer in Mauritius, an island nation off of the east coast of Africa, where he will be doing program management work on a project to expand the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. Patrick is looking forward to applying the skills and knowledge he gained in New Jersey to projects of international importance.
Steve Michejda is an MCRP student originally from Berkeley Heights, N.J. He completed a Bachelors of Arts in Metropolitan Studies through the Individualized Concentration Program at the University of Michigan. In addition to two summer internships at NJ Transit, Steve has worked at Radin Consulting, Inc. where he prepared National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation for public transit projects. Following his collegiate experience he spent four years in the Washington, D.C. area as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyst at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in the US Department of Defense.
Having traveled to more than twenty countries in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, Steve views himself as a world citizen ready to share the vision of Berger Group and “produce a positive contribution to society.” Fascinated by how people interact with the built environment both domestically and internationally, he is focusing his studies on real estate, housing, and physical planning with the prospect of working on projects that can improve the quality of life and foster a sense of community.
Steve’s fellowship will provide him the opportunity to work in San Jose, Costa Rica on projects pertaining to airline capacity modeling, such as the Airline Route Development Project for the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT).
David Stanek is an MCRP focusing on international development and physical/environmental planning. In addition to being a full-time student, David currently works for the School’s Center for Urban Policy Research as a graduate associate and is a member of the Rutgers Association for Planning and Policy Students executive board.
Born and raised in Byram Township, N.J., David studied both music composition and international relations as an undergraduate at Lehigh University. Exploring his interests in international development, he moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked for the non-profit U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Accustomed to suburban living, it was in Washington that David discovered his appreciation for cities – the conveniences and opportunities they afford as well as the complexities and challenges they present.
In the beginning of 2008, David traveled to Mauritania where he studied Arabic for eight months. Upon returning to the U.S. (and back to New Jersey), he worked as a second grade teacher’s aide before beginning his studies at the Bloustein School.
David will work at the Berger Group’s international headquarters in Washington, D.C. on the Inma Agribusiness Program in Iraq, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Inma, which means “growth” in Arabic, is a comprehensive program aimed at improving the livelihoods of Iraqi farmers and bolstering Iraq’s agriculture industry. With this opportunity, David hopes to gain a valuable perspective on the development industry and discover the potential for forward-looking planners to serve an international constituency.