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.