In March of 2009 I was accepted to CSULA's MSPA program for the Fall 2009 cohort. I completed the program in a little less than 2 years.

Final Papers, Projects, and Notes
:Final Paper: The Application and Role of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in Community Redevelopment (PDF 500kb).
:An interesting word cloud of fifty commonly used words in the Final Paper.
:Final Project: Mapping Street Tree Canopy Growth (PPT 7mb).
:An comprehensive summary/reference guide of the classics of organizational theory and management. I compiled the guide from a great textbook; please see the disclaimer on page 1 (PDF 400kb).
:Final Paper: A Brief Spatial Biography of Pico-Union (PDF 8mb).
    :Final Paper: A mapping project (including photos) of all the Historic-Cultural Monuments (HCMs) within Pico-Union (PDF 7mb).
    :Word cloud of paper.



From fall 1997 through spring 2000 I attended the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Upon applying to UCI, I was not completely clear about my desired course of study, but the "Environmental Analysis and Design" major (offered through the School of Social Ecology) seemed an appropriate and interesting fusion of urban planning and ecology. With the benefit of hindsight, I believe it was a "fast-track" curriculum for creating a pool of planning assistants (mainly for large Orange County developers); I expected an in-depth and responsible environmental education, but perhaps my expectations were too high.

I was very fortunate to learn from, and work with, UCI's Dr. Peter Bowler - an admirably accomplished professor and Ecological Restorationist. His specialties include conserving open space and protecting/repairing/restoring Coastal Sage Scrub communities. Much of his work has diverted bulldozers away from sacred native plant communities across Orange County - sometimes literally just in front of the wrecking machines. And when he was not able to deter development away from these critical habitats, he ensured that appropriate and responsible mitigation steps occurred.

In addition to his projects, research, and teaching, Dr. Bowler is the Director of the UCI Arboretum and Herbarium, and also serves as the UC Natural Reserve System Academic Coordinator for both the San Joaquin Fresh Water Marsh Reserve, and the Burns Pinyon Ridge Reserve.

I worked for Dr. Bowler as a Teaching Assistant for his Limnology and Freshwater Biology course in 1999 and his Environmental Ethics course in 2000. I was also fortunate to work for Dr. Bowler and Dr. William "Bill" Bretz throughout my last 2 years at UCI - leading student and public tours of the San Joaquin Marsh, assisting at the UCI Arboretum, and performing work on many native plant/exotic eradication projects.

While at UCI, I triple minored, but I only completed two of the three. I completed the Urban and Regional Planning minor well as the Global Sustainability minor. I attempted the Digital Arts minor, but ran out of time. My overall course load by quarter, GPA, and award details are above, and my transcript listing individual courses is here.


Course Load PCC

From fall 1996 through summer 1997 I attended Pasadena City College. My sole goal was to fulfill the IGETC - the general requirements that would allow me to transfer to a UC or CSU. My overall course load by semester and GPA is listed above, and my PCC transcript is available here.

I worked full-time at a Pasadena hotel (front desk and customer service), co-managed simballrec, and attended PCC on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was fortunate to be living in Altadena, which offers quick access to the San Gabriel Mountains. I hiked and walked whenever I had a couple hours to spare. Chaney Trail and Eaton Canyon will always feel like home.



Course Load SCCC

From winter 1992/93 through fall 1993 I attended Sullivan County Community College. I was working in customer service at the time, so it seemed like a good idea to get a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. My overall course load by semester and GPA is listed above, and my SCCC transcript is available here.

While at SCCC I worked at two famous and historic Catskills Resorts, the "Browns" and the "Concord". Both, sadly, are no longer operating as hotels. The overall economic decline that the Catskills region has endured for the last 2 decades caught up to even the largest of resorts, taking away the the boating on Kiamesha Lake and the indoor/outdoor ice rinks of the Concord in 1998. Without gaming, the Catskills will need to continue to find ways to re-invent themselves and their economy.

I left the program to move to Los Angeles in late January 1994, just after the Northridge earthquake.


From: 9/1991 - 10/1992
College: Brooklyn College
Degree: None

From fall 1991 through fall 1992 I attended Brooklyn College. I was not excited about going to school directly from High School, and felt like the CUNY system was extremely rigid. Freshmen had little to no opportunity to take any electives and their core curriculum seemed entirely inflexible and remedial.

I was working full-time, co-managing a Haagen Dazs ice cream parlor, and, somewhat regrettably, my lack of enthusiasm for school led to a less-than-stellar performance.


From: 9/1988 - 6/1991
High School: Abraham Lincoln High School
Degree: Diploma

I graduated Abraham Lincoln High School in 1991. It is on the cusp of Coney Island (Brooklyn, New York) and is very well known for its basketball and football programs (not necessarily for its academics).

I was an average student, mostly focused on my advancement to Eagle Scout (attained 1990) and helping to run Troop 521.

I was raised within a 30-minute walk from Lincoln, near Avenue U and Coney Island Avenue. Growing up in that very dense, mostly low-income community was probably the best thing for me. I grew up with other children from more countries than I can recall, but certainly remember close friends that were Puerto Rican, Korean, African American, Italian, Irish, Chinese, Russian, Jewish, and Jamaican.

I believe the diversity of the "Ave. U" community, the melting-pot environment of my schooling, and the values instilled by my mother and the Boy Scouts directly propagated my desires for community cohesion, my understanding of the necessity of cultural diversity, my appreciation of open space, and my desire to assist in municipal service delivery (especially within densely populated inner city cores).

CSULA Diploma CSULA Transcript UCI Diploma UCI Transcript