Blog Archive

July 2017

Meet The D3 Interns: Dom Korzecke

Meet The D3 Interns: Dom Korzecke

 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Lansing/East Lansing, most recently the east side of Lansing.

What is your degree in and why did you choose your degree?

My undergraduate degree is in Economics and my masters is in Public Policy. I chose economics because I enjoy learning how systems work from a theoretical standpoint, and also enjoy modeling using statistical techniques. Economics was a great middle ground and I was immediately drawn in.

I chose public policy because I wanted to learn to apply the concepts I was learning in economics in a more practical sense. I feel that economics and public policy really complement each other in understanding the big picture.

What was your favorite project you worked on in school?

For my master’s capstone I created a model to estimate to what degree federally subsidized student loans influence a schools tuition increases. I used data from FAFSA, IPEDS, and the Digest of Education Statistics and found significant evidence that increases in the number of students within a school receiving subsidized student loans are associated with increases in tuition.

What is your favorite Detroit restaurant?

I still haven’t been to that many restaurants in Detroit but I love a good coney dog and have already visited Lafayette Coney Island a couple of times. I also really like a pizza place on Trumbull called Pie-Sci; they have inventive pizzas with a seasonal menu that rotates.

How do you think the work D3 does benefits the region?

I think the work D3 does is incredible in that it connects people to information. Organizations like D3 are important because they enable other organizations and entities that may not have the time or skill, to make smart and informed decisions based on numbers. When people are making smarter decisions, the region can benefit tremendously.

What is your history with Detroit?

Being a Lansing native I don’t have a long history with Detroit, however, I used to see music in the city every couple of months. Both my grandparents were born in Detroit, so I would occasionally get a neighborhood tour.

What has been your favorite summer Detroit activity?

Since moving to Detroit I’ve had the chance to experience lots of cool activities, but my favorite so far has probably been biking around the city. I was immediately impressed with how bike-able (and flat) Detroit is, and getting to know the city on bike has been simply awesome. Not to mention all of the bike lanes really make getting around a breeze.

Meet The D3 Interns: Zach Brown

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit with around 100,000 people. It has the largest proportion of residents of Middle Eastern descent in the United States, with about 40% of residents citing a Middle Eastern heritage.

What is your degree in and why did you choose your degree?

I’m currently working on a double major in Criminal Justice and Arabic with a minor in Computer Science from Michigan State University. With my unique experience growing up in Dearborn, I’ve always been interested in Middle Eastern history, and this led me to a fascination with American counterterrorism policy. I currently work on research regarding the radicalization of Neo-Nazis and far-right groups on the internet through Michigan State’s School of Criminal Justice. I hope to one day do similar research regarding Islamic extremist radicalization for the federal government.

What is your favorite Detroit restaurant?

That’s a close call. Of course, there’re the classics like Slows Bar BQ and Lafayette Coney Island, but I also like some more local places like The Old Shillealagh in Greektown and Bert’s Marketplace out by Eastern Market.

How do you think the work D3 does benefits the region?

D3 provides analysis of real-world data that can be used to better social policy. I think that if the data is out there, we should be doing everything possible to analyze if our policies are working and if not, come up with potential solutions. By providing this analysis, D3 helps to improve the community.

What is your history with Detroit?

Growing up next to the city gave me the perspective of an outsider looking in. I remember heading over to the city for Tigers games and school trips to the DIA as a child, because my parents were always worried about what could happen. After becoming a rebellious teenager with a driver’s license I began making frequent day trips to the city just to explore. I didn’t enjoy living in the suburbs, and Detroit provided a means of escape. My internship at D3 has provided me with an opportunity to live in the city for the summer, and now I’m trying to make the transition from being a tourist a more in-depth understanding of the city.

What are you working on this summer?

At D3, I’ll be working on a wide variety of projects, spanning from compiling a list of CRA compliance scores in Michigan for use in future research to drafting a memo with Dom about the role D3 should take in regards to the 2020 Census. Through the InnovateGov Program at MSU, I’ll also be attending class once a week to learn more about the City of Detroit and its financial history, as well as efforts to change the city that are taking place today. On the weekends, I’ll also get to attend field trips with the other InnovateGov students, to places like Motor City Blight Busters in Old Redford to Belle Isle and the Detroit Historical Museum.