New York State Canal Recreationway Plan Update

Project Description

In the fall semester of 2014, the Masters of Regional Planning Studio at State University of New York at Albany offered its services to the NYS Canal Corporation to assist in the update of the 1995 NYS Canal Recreationway Plan. Students interviewed Canal System stakeholders, held a public input meeting, and completed an opportunity analysis that was presented to the Canal Corporation at the end of the semester. My specific contributions to the project included two stakeholder interviews, facilitation of a small group discussion at the public input meeting, and substantial contributions to the content of all three reports.

Completed in 1825 and hailed as one of the greatest engineering triumphs of the 19th century, the Erie Canal was responsible for rapidly expanding trade and industrialization in the United States prior to the advent of the railroads. Well beyond its commercial heyday but still near and dear to the hearts of all New Yorkers, the Canal System is now being utilized and marketed as both a commercial passage and a recreationway for boaters, hikers, cyclists, and cultural heritage tourists alike.

Albany Interpretive Plan

Project Description

In 2010, New York State (NYS) parks and historic sites were being threatened with closure and additional historic sites and museums local to Albany were suffering from under-utilization and financial instability. In response, 12 cultural and historical organizations from local, county and state levels came together to form the group Partners for Albany Stories (PASt) in an effort to collaboratively develop an integrated, unified, historical narrative and marketing strategy designed to engage both tourists and local residents in Albany’s unique and significant 400 years of history and development. In 2012, PASt worked with consulting scholars to develop the overarching themes of Albany’s history. Shortly afterwards, the Partners held eight focus groups consisting of over 100 diverse participants for input into the identified themes for the plan. PASt also conducted extensive outreach to local and state politicians and business leaders, resulting in the formation of a Heritage Tourism Working Group with the City of Albany.

In the summer of 2014, I was paired with another graduate student in the Public History program at SUNY Albany and given the task of analyzing and contributing to previous research done on model projects and initiatives, compiling and analyzing input from the focus groups, conducting research pertaining to audience development and tourism, as well as generating recommendations for future partnerships. At the end of the summer, Ben and I presented the Partners with an 89 page report of our findings. My primary contributions to the report include the introduction, research and analysis of model projects, audience development, and overall layout and formatting.

Vision 2025 Strategic Plan for Multifamily Programs

Project Description

In 2013-2014, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) Multifamily Programs underwent a strategic planning process. Three working groups were asked to take on one goal for the department and determine objectives, stakeholders and a timeline for that goal. As an intern, I was responsible for consolidating the timelines identified for each group to make one master schedule and for combining stakeholder spreadsheets into one master spreadsheet for the final plan. I worked in close contact with the Director of Energy Programs and Senior Program Manager to draft and format the final document.

2012 Summer Challenge Trip for Teens with Visual Impairment

Project Description

In 2012, I took responsibility for planning, coordinating and leading a five day/four night summer challenge trip for a group of nine teens with visual impairment, ages 13-18. That summer, I and a team of three volunteers took the group on a train from St. Louis to Chicago. We stayed at a hostel downtown and spent our days riding public transit to various activities throughout the city including kayaking the Chicago River, learning to sail, touring historic train stations with a blind gentleman who worked for the METRA, exploring a tactile private art collection, dining at the Walnut Room, attending a concert at Grant's Park and visiting with several guest speakers conveying information about personal experiences with visual impairment and educational opportunities available in the City. I planned the trip from scratch: building new relationships and partnerships, planning an itinerary, pitching various aspects of the trip to the Executive Director, developing a cost estimate based on a given budget, coordinating with volunteers prior to the trip, developing packing lists, etc., and then led the actual trip in July. All activities were designed to help our participants accomplish their goals in increasing independence, community participation and social skill development.

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