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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Kurtis Ulrich partnered with University of Minnesota’s EPIC-N program as Ramsey’s city administrator

Kurtis Ulrich is currently City Administrator for the City of Ramsey, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis (population 27,500) serving in this position since 2007. During his career, he served as City Administrator in two other Minnesota suburban communities and as the Assistant Commissioner for Administration at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Prior to city administration, he was in the field of urban planning and economic development. He has a Doctorate in Public Administration from Hamline University, a Masters of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, a Masters of Arts in Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University, and a Bachelors of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota Duluth. […]

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Welcome Max, EPIC-N’s new Event Associate

Max Prestigiacomo is a new addition to the EPIC-N team. Max is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is pursuing a public policy and sociology degree. Max is from Madison, WI, and has been involved in organizing efforts around the Climate Crisis in his community. In September of 2019, Max joined Climate Activists from across the Globe at the United Nations Climate Summit. Before joining EPIC-N and COWS, Max ran for office and won a seat on the Madison Common Council representing most of the campus area. […]

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Welcome Alina Yazek, EPIC-N’s new Communications Associate

Alina Yazek just finished her first year at the University of Chicago. She’s a student-athlete at the U of C participating on their softball team! Alina was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, where she will be spending the summer of 2021. During which, she is interning for COWS and is excited to be doing some work with EPIC-Network to help document the amazing work done by network members. […]

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Welcome Ada Inman, EPIC-N’s new Program Support Coordinator

Ada Inman is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she obtained a degree in Environmental Studies and International Studies along with a certificate in Public Policy. Since graduation, she has started a full-time position with the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), a think-and-do tank that promotes high road solutions to social problems. At COWS, Ada is working as the Communications Manager for ProGov21. Along with her work at COWS, she will also be assisting EPIC-N with outreach and community/program engagement. […]

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Dr. Nuttavikhom (Kay) Phanthuwongpakdee joins EPIC-N as the Asia Program Coordinator to nurture successful expansion and EPIC program growth

Kay is a lecturer at Puey Ungphakorn School of Development Studies at Thammasat University. He is also a deputy director at the SDG Research and Support Programme (SDG Move) and a researcher at the Urban Futures and Policy Research Unit. Kay is a passionate academic researcher and communications professional with experience working with developing communities, regional and national policymakers, and private sector stakeholders in Thailand and Southeast Asia. […]

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Marshall Curry brings experience and expertise to support, grow, and strengthen the EPIC-Network

Marshall Curry joined EPIC-N in September 2017. He manages day-to-day operations, provides support to member programs, board members. Curry lives in his hometown Springfield, Oregon. He received an MPA and MS in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon in 2018 and received his BA in Sociology from Willamette University in 2013. During graduate school, he worked for the Sustainable Cities Institute and Inflexion, managing programs, and assisting executives addressing different aspects of career readiness in higher education and public schools respectively. Prior to graduate school, he managed workforce development programs and volunteer operations at Marion Polk Food Share. His experience supporting nonprofit associations includes serving on the Ford Scholar Alumni Association (2013-2018) board of directors as Vice President and Member-at-Large, preparing a diversity and inclusion report for the American Society of Association Executives, and volunteering with the alumni association for his alma mater. […]

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