• Assistant Professor, City & Metropolitan Planning

Current Courses

Fall 2020

  • CMP 6430-001
    Comm Engmnt in Planning
    Location: SFEBB 3170 (SFEBB 3170)

Spring 2020

Professional Organizations

  • American Collegiate Schools of Planning. 03/01/2016 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Planning Association . 03/01/2016 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Planning Association . 03/01/2016 - present. Position : Member.
  • Association of American Geographers . 03/01/2016 - present. Position : Member.
  • Latin American Studies Association . 03/01/2016 - present. Position : Member.
  • Latino(a) Studies Association. 03/01/2016 - present. Position : Member.
  • Planners Network . 03/01/2016 - present. Position : Member.
  • The Puerto Rican Studies Association. 03/01/2016 - present. Position : Member.
  • Urban Affairs Association. 03/01/2016 - present. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

I believe that planning is fundamentally oriented toward practice; therefore, I tailor my approach in the classroom to the unique nature of participatory action research. The field of planning should strive to develop students that are critical thinkers with unique skills that allow them to identify and act upon development issues in their neighborhoods and cities. I also emphasize to my students that it is necessary to engage in projects that create a real-world impact.

Within all of my courses, I am currently testing teaching techniques to develop cultural competency in students. As communities become increasingly diverse, planning practitioners are faced with not only rectifying the effects of past social injustice and mitigating systemic racism, sexism, and classicism, but also addressing new needs to ensure even its most marginalized residents have a high quality of life. This cultural competency curriculum is part of a larger study in collaboration with researchers at Florida State University, California State University-Los Angeles, and New Mexico State University. We have several objectives. First, we aim to enhance the cultural competency of students preparing for public affairs careers by openly discussing issues of diversity in the classroom and by engaging with diverse communities. Second, we seek to demonstrate how cultural learning competency can develop the professional skill sets important for public affairs professionals by constantly reflecting on our actions and interactions with others. Third, we seek to understand how various factors, particularly group dynamics, institutional, and diversity contexts at the university and city levels, influence cultural competency pedagogy. Finally, we aim to understand what influences the capacity of faculty to develop and implement cultural competency curriculum by reflecting and discussing what works and what doesn’t in our own courses. Overall, teaching cultural competency intertwines with my research interest in participatory action research. Promoting equity and social justice remains at the core of urban planning, yet a gap remains between how institutions train planners to work in diverse communities, and the knowledge, awareness, and skills required to become culturally competent practitioners.

During my two years at the University of Utah, I have taught six courses: Community Engagement in Planning, Planning Communication, Westside Studio, ChicagoLAB, Leadership and Community Engagement, and a course at the West Side Leadership Institute (although this last one is a course taught in Spanish for community residents).