I’m long overdue posting here about a couple big announcements in my life.
First and most importantly, last December, Libby and I got engaged. Longtime readers will know her from her occasional cameos among the wonkyness, or of course from real life! When we met at Michigan, we bonded over a shared interest in upside-down maps, and I was astonished to discover she had already read Jane Jacob’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities — in high school! To top it off, today she’s also an even more avid reader of Planning magazine than I am. Clearly, this was meant to be. Currently she is a law student at Harvard, and this summer worked as a legal intern for the ACLU of Michigan, among other things defending freedom of speech. Needless to say I’m extremely excited, and we’re already working on planning a wedding for August 2010 in her hometown of Lapeer, Michigan. I’m incredibly lucky to have found such a wonderful partner.
Second, today will mark my last day at the Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which will be just a few weeks shy from my one-year anniversary there. Working at MAPC has been a fascinating experience, and allowed me to learn about the Boston region through planning data and mapping. Most of all, it let me work with and learn from a dynamic group of professionals, especially my data services colleagues: Holly St. Clair, Tim Reardon, Susan Brunton, and Mariana Arcaya.
I’m leaving to start the PhD program at the M.I.T. Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where I was accepted to the Urban Information Systems program group. I hope to advance my work researching the application of Internet tools to the planning process. DUSP is the largest planning program in the country, and well suited to my interests, so I’m looking forward to beginning my studies there in September.