Forrest Williams connects his student experience to his local government career to develop comprehensive plan

Forrest Williams Community Development DirectorCity of Caldwell, Texasfwilliams@caldwelltx.govOffice: 979.567.3271 EXT. 107Instagram: @caldwelltexasForrest’s LinkedIn Favorite Place Davidson Creek Park is my favorite place in Caldwell, I enjoy taking my dogs on walks in the park and going on a nice run around the park and throughout town. Davidson Creek Park in a 95 acre park in […]

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Amanda Torres plans with resilience in mind following her partnership with Texas A&M’s Texas Target Communities

Amanda Torres, MPA, CFM Senior City Planner,City of Corpus Christi – Planning Division, TexasAmandaT@cctexas.com Favorite Place My favorite places around Corpus Christi and Rockport are its bayfront areas. Both are iconic places loved by locals and tourists alike. Who doesn’t love a water view? How did you first learn about EPIC-N? I learned about EPIC-N […]

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Bonita C. Johnson fosters the integration of environmental justice, climate justice, and equity in EPA programs while mentoring participating US EPA interns

Bonita C. Johnson, MS-MPA is a senior physical scientist in the Water Division of Region 4 in Atlanta,
GA. Bonita has established 58 academic-community partnership projects in EPA Regions 4, 6, and 7
through her service in the EPA College/Underserved Community Partnership Program (CUPP). In 2021,
she completed 24 academic-community partnership projects and provided underserved communities
comprised of approximately 549,963 residents with access to multiple avenues of support from academic
institutions to address environmental, economic, and social issues that impact their quality of life. Her
current portfolio includes facilitating her CUPP initiated collaborative partnership projects for communities
with environment justice concerns in North Port St. Joe, Florida; Africatown, Alabama; and the
Gullah/Geechee Nation of St. Helena Island, South Carolina. These coastal communities share common
issues including storm surges and hurricanes, flooding, uninhabitable houses and businesses, adverse
environmental impacts from industries, air and water quality concerns, erosion and sea level rise, and
loss of economy. Bonita also serves as the Water Division Environmental Justice Co-Lead, and Co-Chair
of the Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice, Regional IWG Committee
that works collaboratively with committee members from federal agencies to promote and implement
innovative and comprehensive solutions to address environmental justice issues; to develop partnerships
with academic institutions to assist in providing long-term technical assistance to overburdened
communities; and to foster a coordinated approach to delivering federal support and technical assistance
to improve local community sustainability. […]

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Jason Sutedja analyzes examples of urban planning, environmental justice, and resilience in the EPIC-N Project Database via the US EPA internship

Jason Sutedja is pursuing a Sociology B.A. and a Public Affairs B.A. at University of California, Los Angeles. Jason is looking forward to expanding my knowledge on sustainable urban planning, environmental justice, and resilience while working alongside EPA Office of Research and Development reviewing and analyzing the EPIC-N Project Database. […]

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Luci Newsom builds features in the EPIC-N Project Database via the US EPA internship

Luci Newsom is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University studying urban planning with a minor in environmental studies. I currently live in Williamsburg, VA, where most of my time is spent working at my internships (one with a private planning firm and this one with the EPA) or doing schoolwork. When I do have free time, I like to do outdoor activities and hang out with friends on my campus. […]

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Laura Martin builds authentic relationships with community partners and EPIC-Network colleagues

Dr. Laura Martin brings nearly 15 years of experience working on poverty alleviation programs at the grassroots and public policy levels. After college, she facilitated service learning trips and managed a community development project in rural Nicaragua. Most recently, Laura worked as a Policy and Research Coordinator at the Texas Association of Community Health Centers, where she analyzed legislation and regulations impacting health centers, and coordinated trainings for a federal grant to conduct CHIP and Medicaid outreach and enrollment in the Rio Grande Valley. As Legislative Director for Texas State Representative Armando Walle, Dr. Martin developed legislation regarding juvenile justice and stemming the high school dropout rate. […]

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Mike Greco connects Minnesota local government agencies with the resources, research, and talent at the University of Minnesota

Mike Greco has more than a decade of experience connecting Minnesota local government agencies with the resources, research, and talent the University of Minnesota has to offer. He has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the U of MN’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, with a specialization in environmental planning and sustainability, and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mike is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, raising chickens, and hiking on the farm he and his wife call home. When he’s not outdoors, you may find him cooking, playing guitar, catching live music, attending local theater, or curling at the Dakota Curling Club in Lakeville. […]

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Dr. Fernando Burga develops community oriented projects that matter alongside UMN students

H. Fernando Burga is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota with a dual appointment at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and University of Minnesota Extension. His research, teaching, and service focus on urban planning, particularly the incorporation of immigrant populations into planning, and urban food systems. Fernando‘s work is informed by three principles: a reflexive inquiry into the ethics of expert knowledge and the use of qualitative research; the application of design to build awareness, harness data, and enable urban planning and public policy advocacy; and a commitment to engage community actors who are disenfranchised from the fields of planning and public policy due to their race, class, and citizenship status. Fernando has a background in architecture, urban design, and urban planning. Before transitioning into academia, Fernando worked on an array of sustainable urbanism projects. His experience includes the designing of Hope VI communities, mixed-use infill developments, transit-oriented developments, and military communities. Following his professional tenure, Fernando obtained his doctorate degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a fellow at the Center for Research on Social Change at UC Berkeley and a lecturer at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and San Jose State University. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Fernando conducted qualitative fieldwork with Latino immigrants to assess the application of planning tools in addressing housing, transportation, education, economic development, and nutrition needs. This project won the 2016 American Planning Association Academic Excellence Award for Northern California and subsequently the California State-wide Award. Currently, Fernando is involved in several planning and food justice related projects in Minnesota. He is also writing a book on Cuban American empowerment and planning in Miami, Florida, under contract by University of Toronto Press. Fernando’s research has been published by Harvard University Press under an anthology sponsored by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, entitled: “On the Spatial Epistemologies of Politics, or how we know Politics through Space: Essays for Design Studies.” […]

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