Where do you go to school and what are you studying towards?
I received my Bachelor of Arts in History from Chapman University. My thesis looked at gender discourse in the Spanish Empire. During my undergrad, I became interested in the digital humanites, where I began working with GIS. I utilized ArcGIS and historical sociolinguistic analysis to investigate language trees in Africa. Currently, I am in the History Ph.D. program at Stony Brook University. I study the cultural and environmental history of Mexico. My dissertation investigates the history of a small town in Jalisco. I trace the transformations in the communal identity from indigenous to mestizo to transnational “absent” residents, and also explore how theses shifts reflect changes in the natural and built environment.
What attracted you to Reinvestment Fund for a summer internship?
I have always believed that my training as a historian can be used outside of academia to make real change and better address social issues. As such, I became interested in policy work. In the summer of 2018, I was an Urban Leaders Fellow and worked in New Orleans where I helped produce policy to expand swimming and water safety education to students. This experience, coupled with my interest in GIS, led me to the Reinvestment Fund.
What are some of the things you will be working on for Reinvestment Fund during your internship? What do you hope to learn from your internship here?
I will be working on a few projects but mostly one that looks at the impact of libraries and museums on their local communities. The goal is to determine how these institutions have affected the social well being of their surrounding neighborhoods, particularly in improving personal health and promoting educational advancement. I plan to identify a few sites where I can conduct interviews to help our analysis. I hope to better my skills in GIS, SQL, and improve my understanding of policy work.
Aside from this I’m also getting involved in analyses of scattered-site affordable housing preservation, the production Market Value Analyses, and other branches of Reinvestment Fund’s work. Reinvestment Fund’s decision-making and implementation strategies as a lender are also of great interest to me, and I hope to leave Reinvestment Fund with a better understanding of CDFIs, policy analysis, and residential and commercial real estate markets.
Share something interesting you have learned about Reinvestment Fund or the industry in your time here.
The breadth and depth of projects at the Reinvestment Fund is quite amazing. I am glad to be part of this organization that produces exciting and values-driven work.
Is there anything else that you would like to share that we didn’t ask you?
This is my first time in Philadelphia so I am excited to explore the city, learn about the history, and, most importantly, try the food.
College(s) attended: Chapman University Bachelor of Arts in History; Stony Brook University, Ph.D. in History, (expected graduation 2022)