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!
2020-2021 Board Representatives
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Current Neighborhood: Wicker Park
Concentration: Community Development
Planning Interests: Housing policy, best practices in alleviating homelessness, re-entry for formerly incarcerated individuals, public participation in the planning process, mapping inequities using GIS
Hobbies: Cooking, biking, reading, exploring local coffee shops
Erin spent much of her childhood aspiring to be an architect, and spent a decent amount of time doodling plans for new cities or reimagined school campuses. She also grew up taking the train and riding the bus, which manifested into an appreciation for the urban environment that stretched into her adult years. While completing her Bachelors of Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota, Erin developed a passion for community engagement in the urban environment. She worked with a number of Minneapolis nonprofits to register community members to vote, increase food access, and facilitate meaningful connection between residents through the arts. Even though Minneapolis still holds a very special place in her heart, Erin was excited to come back home to Chicago to complete her Master’s degree. She hopes to spend her career using her passions to help make the planning process more equitable and accessible for all.
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Current Neighborhood: Old Town
Concentration: Urban Transportation & Economic Development
Planning Interests: Transit, intercity transportation, equitable complete streets, community revitalization, transit-oriented development, real estate development
Hobbies: Exploring urban CBDs and neighborhoods, comedy shows, Cubs/Bears, the lakefront, iced coffee & craft beer
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 campus tour guide. After some time working in DC with startup TransitScreen, he came full circle to Chicago for the MUPP program. In his free time, Quinn loves biking or 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.
Hometown: Westmont, IL
Current Neighborhood: Westmont, IL
Concentration: Environmental Planning
Planning Interests: Climate action & adaptation, water resources, urban agriculture, green infrastructure, urban heat, GIS & visualization
Hobbies: Camping, baking, biking, doing crossword puzzles, making maps
Meg grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, fostering a love-hate relationship with the Metra and giving visiting friends architecture tours of the Loop. She earned her Bachelor’s in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, during which time she fell in love with bicycle infrastructure, the surrounding lakes, and cheese curds (a long-established relationship). After graduating in 2018, Meg spent a year working at the River Alliance of Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy organization based in Madison, and became further invested in the unique water resources of the Midwest. Meg is currently a second-year MUPP, and continues to grow her interest in climate impacts to urban areas. After spending a summer as a research assistant in MPC’s water resources program, she is more interested in stormwater than ever. She believes that cities are uniquely positioned to address the challenges of climate change and hopes to meaningfully contribute to their efforts.
Hometown: Tipp City, OH
Current Neighborhood: Andersonville
Concentration: Community Development
Planning Interests: Housing policy, affordable housing, GIS and visualization, land use, politics, community engagement, equitable planning
Hobbies: Cooking, reading very long fantasy novels, watching comedy, playing Animal Crossing
Liz grew up in the Ohio countryside surrounded by corn fields but was always fascinated by cities. Chicago is her first true love - she visited the city for the first time in high school and knew she had found her home. She studied journalism at Michigan State University and followed that with a Master in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Florida International University in Miami. Much like Quinn, she was unimpressed by the Miami urban experience (so much traffic and driving!), and she finally moved to Chicago after she graduated. For five years, Liz worked in the marketing department of a local commercial general contractor, where she got an inside look into the development, design, and construction process for projects around the city. She joined the MUPP program because she wanted to be more directly involved in the development process and drive decisionmaking and policymaking in a more community-driven manner. She just completed an internship at the Illinois Housing Development Authority and is committed to creating more and better affordable housing and fighting housing discrimination and segregation.
First Year Representative
Hometown: Berwyn, IL
Current Neighborhood: Berwyn, IL
Concentration: Urban Transportation
Planning Interests: Transit, Equitable transit-oriented development, Complete Streets, GIS and democratizing data, Green and grey infrastructure in flood mitigation, Disaster mitigation planning
Hobbies: Exploring cities, Learning about transit systems, Watching comedy shows, Performing improv comedy, board games, finding new local restaurants
While Matthew grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, he gained an appreciation in transit after he left the area to work in Houston, TX. He started working as a GIS Analyst at Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Living in an absence in efficient public transit forced him to appreciate and see how sunbelt cities tackle mobility issues across their expansive and challenging geographies. After a few years working at Rice supporting the Urban Data Platform and urban research in the Houston area, he was excited to take his knowledge of sunbelt development and transit growth to CUPPA to start in the MUPP program. He hopes to build on his professional and academic knowledge since his Bachelor’s from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied political science, geography and GIS. In his free time, Matthew enjoys exploring new cities and neighborhoods, and watching and performing in improv comedy shows.