UPPSA takes planning school beyond the classroom.  
We provide opportunities for professional, academic, social, and philanthropic events, and serve as a vehicle for student input into the MUPP program administration.  In a planning program that's one of the largest in the nation, UPPSA helps students connect, interact, and engage. We're always looking for new opportunities, events, and volunteers -- contact us anytime!

Past UPPSA Board Representatives: 

2019-2020 Board Representatives

Sandy Koo

Hometown: Deerfield, IL

Current Neighborhood: Deerfield, IL

Concentration: Economic Development

Planning Interests: Affordable housing, housing policy, better integrting economic development plans with housing strategies

Hobbies: Traveling, reading, trying new restaurants in Chicago

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Originally from Deerfield, a northern suburb of Chicago, Sandy attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio before transferring to UIC to be closer to family and to the city. After graduating in 2005 with a Bachelors in History with a minor in Political Science, she worked in the legal field as a Paralegal and Legal Specialist. She continued her education and completed her Masters in Political Science at UIC in 2018 with a focus on urban politics and urban governance strategies in the affordable housing regime. She interned at the Department of Housing and Urban Development - Office of Community Planning and Development in the summer of 2019 reviewing HUD grant programs and finding ways to integrate them with the department of Labor's WIOA program (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), including strategies to enhance workforce training opportunities. She is a second-year MUPP concentrating on Economic Development with a special focus on real estate development an land use policies. She is hoping her background in political science will contribute to the discussion of planning for more accessible housing by addressing economic concerns that inevitably affect and are affected by housing policy. 

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Anish Tailor
Vice President

Hometown: Dallas, TX
Current Neighborhood: Edgewater
Concentration: Transportation
Planning Interests: Active modes of transport; Environmental and Economic Sustainability; Equity; Urban Design; Placemaking
Hobbies: Biking, Reading, Cooking/Baking; Dancing
Pronouns: he/him/his

Originally from Dallas, Texas, he moved to Chicago in January 2019 after living in Washington DC for eight years. In DC, Anish began a career as an economist conducting financial regulatory policy research for international organizations. Outside of work, he was also a community organizer for the South Asian LGBTQ population for the DC metro area. He spent extended stays in Australia, England, India and Singapore working and conducting research on a variety of projects. In late 2018, Anish switched his career to urban planning because he is interested in re-imagining city streets to fit more active modes of transportation, and in creating developments that fit with the surrounding urban fabric and promote social equity. Anish is currently a first-year MUPP in the transportation concentration; and works as a research assistant in the Urban Transportation Center. Outside of work, Anish enjoys cooking, biking, and is currently in production of an audio documentary series. He resides in Edgewater.

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Jean Paul Manzanarez

Hometown: Rolling Meadows
Current Neighborhood: Arlington Heights
Concentration: Urban Transportation
Planning Interests: Mass public transit advocacy & development, microtransit, sustainable development, & policy improvement for underserved groups and communities
Hobbies: Running, Photography, Reading, Volunteering & Traveling
Pronouns: he/him/his

Jean Paul is a first-year MUPP specializing in Urban Transportation and currently resides in the Northwest Suburb of Arlington Heights. He first completed his Associate of Arts at Harper Community College (Palatine, IL) and transferred to DePaul University where he completed his undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies. He interned this past summer at CSched, a consulting services provider for transit agencies, where he utilized HASTUS software for public transit scheduling based projects and he currently works as a research assistant for the Urban Transportation Center. Jean Paul aims to establish a career in the Chicagoland area where he hopes to make a positive impact in transportation infrastructure for surrounding communities.


Hannah Bader
Alumni Relations Officer

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Current Neighborhood: Ukrainian Village
Concentration: Economic Development
Planning interests: Green Infrastructure, Sustainability, Affordable Housing, Community Revitalization, Public Engagement, Placemaking
Hobbies: Biking, Cooking, Drawing, Yoga, Traveling/Exploring
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hannah grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and earned her Bachelors in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder. After undergrad, she spent two years traveling in Central and South America, teaching, and working at a Landscape Architecture/ Urban Design firm in Cincinnati, Ohio. She spent the past summer as an intern with Teska Associates, in Evanston, assessing and visualizing data, translating information for plans into design layouts and facilitating community engagement events. She is currently a second year in the MUPP program and working with the Office of Sustainability as the CCSE Graduate Assistant. Hannah is excited to continue to learn about engaging communities in shaping their environments and bringing equal access to green space to cities.

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Yaz Tadross
Symposium Co-Coordinator

Hometown: Santa Ana, Ca
Current Neighborhood: Uptown
Concentration: Community Development
Planning Interests: Queer and Reproductive Justice; historic preservation, revitalization, cooperative structures, tiny houses
Hobbies: Walking, writing, exploring, performing, trying new food places, and getting a cup of coffee
Pronouns: she/her/hers/they/them/their

Yaz grew up in Santa Ana, California and received her bachelors in Women’s and Gender Studies at Sonoma State University in the Bay area. She has done organizing in creating spaces for transgender people of color (either art or community spaces) on and off for the past 4 years; in both the bay area and in Jersey City. Currently she is interning at Morten Group, a Diversity, Equity and Consultant group doing community needs assessments and asset building indexes for community based organizations. She is a second year and is a Research Assistant at the Arab American Cultural Center at UIC. She is excited to learn more about community development policy and how it intersects with different types of theory to help transform communities.

Matthew Santagata

Hometown: Stamford, CT
Current Neighborhood: Ukrainian Village/Wicker Park
Concentration: Spatial
Planning Interests: AoT/IoT, Placemaking, Historic Preservation, Public Spaces; Green Infrastructure
Hobbies: Botany, Skateboarding, Chicago’s DIY Music Scene
Pronouns: he/him/his 

Matthew completed his undergrad in Global Studies and History at the University of Vermont. After graduation he served on Bernie Sander’s Senate Staff and later worked on urban policy issues with the Budget Committee. Growing up in the shadow of NYC and having lived in DC, Paris, and Burlington, Matthew developed a deep love for cities and sought to explore that interest through urban planning. Currently, Matthew is an Academic Fellow with Mayor Lightfoot’s office working on a broad range of spatial policy initiatives, including livable streetscapes, riverfront ecology, and congestion prevention. 

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Quinn Kasal
1st Year Student Representative

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Current Neighborhood: Old Town
Concentration: Urban Transportation & Economic Development
Planning Interests: transit, intercity transportation, community revitalization, transit-oriented development, complete, equitable, and walkable streets 
Hobbies: Exploring urban CBDs and neighborhoods, comedy shows, Cubs/Bears, the lakefront, iced coffee & craft beer  
Pronouns: he/him/his

Quinn grew up in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago, and growing up in the city had a profound impact on his development and interests. His childhood doodles were most often new towns planned from scratch, or where new and improved Amtrak lines should go. He wrote a letter to the President of the CTA at age eight with service improvement suggestions. The CTA did not create a “Rainbow Line” as requested, but did send him some cool maps. Undeterred by sprawling, transit-challenged South Florida during his undergrad experience at the University of Miami, Quinn proposed and secured funding for two new shuttle bus routes to off-campus neighborhoods through Student Government. He was also President of his coed business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, and a tour guide. After some time working in DC with startup TransitScreen, he has come full circle to Chicago for the MUPP program. In his free time, Quinn loves taking transit to places he’s rarely been to explore neighborhood vibes, and closely follows the Cubs, Bears, and the latest shows at Second City.

Alex Koerner
Symposium Co-coordinator

Hometown: Bourbonnais, IL
Current Neighborhood: Pilsen
Concentration: Economic Development
Planning interests: Affordable Housing, Land Use & Zoning, Community Development, Economic Development, Sustainability
Hobbies: Dog Walks around the neighborhood, going to the beach, traveling and exploring, hanging with friends and family

Pronouns: he/him/his

Originally from Bourbonnais, Illinois, he moved to Chicago seven years ago to attend undergraduate school and has been here ever since. While he has lived in a variety of neighborhoods throughout the city, he currently lives in Pilsen with his partner, Nate, and dog, Bruce. Upon graduating with a bachelors in urban planning and public affairs (UPA) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), he went on to work as an Americorps VISTA with the City of Gary. The next three years were spent working for the City of Gary’s redevelopment and zoning departments. At Gary, he started the first annual Gary Preservation Tour and secured funding for historic preservation projects in downtown Gary. He also helped run many different city boards including the Board of Zoning Appeals, Plan Commission, and the Historic Preservation Commission. Now that he is back in school obtaining his Masters of Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) degree, he has decided to concentrate on economic development and hopes to continue building up his planning skills. After helping last years Urban Innovation Symposium (UIS), he is excited to co-coordinate the 2020 Urban Innovation Symposium and be a part of the UPPSA team.