I joined the University District Community Development Association (UDCDA) in the summer of 2015 as the Director of Community Development & Planning. Based out of the organization's housing office located at 995 Kensington Avenue, I plan, coordinate, implement, and monitor projects focused on housing rehabilitation, commercial corridor revitalization, and community capacity building in Buffalo’s Northeast communities.
Prior to this, I served the University at Buffalo Regional Institute in various capacities related to research, public engagement, participatory planning, graphic design and communications. At UBRI since 2010, first as a Graduate Assistant and transitioning to full-time staff in 2012, I extended my skills and expertise in urban planning and community development to One Region Forward, the Larkin District Master Plan Update, Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Areas, and Buffalo Green Code.
I am also the founding volunteer of the University Heights Tool Library—a non-profit tool lending library in Buffalo—where, in addition to managing operations, fundraising and marketing, we develop low-cost, high-impact neighborhood projects in collaboration with community groups and students. My time as a grassroots activist has helped inform my planning process and drive for meaningful community engagement through non-traditional avenues like mobile technology and social networking. Prior to joining UBRI, I was a Business Development Intern at Buffalo Niagara Partnership performing research on various industry sectors; and a Legal Department and Refugee Liaison at VIVE La Cara, assisting newly arriving refugees with immigration procedures.
I hold Bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Linguistics from the University at Buffalo, and a Master’s in Urban Planning also from UB, where I was part of the team that received the APA NY Upstate Chapter Outstanding Student Studio Project Award (2012). I am a native of Western New York and currently lives in the University Heights neighborhood of Buffalo. Building off of experiences in the office and out in the community, I am a firm believer that with hard work and positivity, a group of people can make a difference.